March 16th & 17th, 2015


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Annie Gérin is a curator and associate professor of art history and art theory at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Educated in Canada, Russia and the UK, her research interests encompass the areas of Soviet art, Canadian public art, and art on the World Wide Web. She is especially concerned with art encountered by non-specialized publics, outside the gallery space.

Rebecca Duclos is Graduate Dean and Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Over the past twenty years, she has taught at universities and schools of art and design in the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia, and has held institutional appointments at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Design Exchange, the Textile Museum of Canada, and The Manchester Museum. Independent curatorial projects include the Manchester Letherium at Cornerhouse, As Much as Possible in the Time and Space Allotted at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Voir/Noir at the Musée d'art de Joliette, and Telepathic Drawing Session at Articule. Her research has been supported through funding from the American Association of University Women, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council, the Getty Research Institute, and Arts Council England.

Louise Pelletier was trained as an architect. She currently teaches at the School of Design at UQAM, where she was also appointed director. She is the author of Architecture In Words; Theatre, Language and the Sensuous Space of Architecture (2006), and co-author of Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge (1997) written with A. Pérez-Gómez. Her work has also been published in collections of essays and international journals. She participated as a curator and designer in several exhibitions in Montreal, Japan, Brazil and Norway. Her most recent book, Downfall, The Architecture of Excess (2014), is a novel that proposes a reflection on contemporary practice.

Matt Ratto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and directs the Semaphore Research cluster on Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing and, as part of Semaphore, the Critical Making lab. His work explores the intersections between digital technologies and the human life world, with a particular focus on new developments that trouble the divide between online and offline modes of production. He coined the term ‘critical making” in 2007 to describe modes that combine humanities insights and engineering practices, and has published extensively on this concept. Recent publications include DIY Citizenship: Critical Making and Social Media, MIT Press, 2014 (co-editor with Megan Boler) and “Design-to-Fabricate: Maker Hardware Requires Maker Software.” IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, November 2013 (with Ryan Schmidt).

Ramtin is a principal research scientist at Autodesk Research, a team dedicated to innovation in technologies that help millions of global users to imagine, design, and solve some of the world’s most complex design problems. Earlier in his career, Ramtin worked as a design architect when he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal. Ramtin is a social entrepreneur and city-builder at heart. By leveraging his unique background in design and technology, his leadership empowers teams with creative energy and strategic approaches to tackling challenging projects. He has been an invited speaker at numerous international conferences and holds an honorary research professorship from Carleton University. In 2013, Ramtin founded Imagine My City; a non-profit organization that he has been growing to help important regional issues through tools of imagination and innovation.

Michael Longford is an Associate Professor in the Digital Media Program and has served as the Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Fine Arts, York University. He is co-director of The Mobile Media Lab (MML), which comprises an interdisciplinary research team exploring wireless communications, rich media content development for mobile technologies, and locative media practices. He is a co‐editor of The Wireless Spectrum: The Politics, Practices and Poetics of Mobile Media (2010), and a co-editor of the Visual Communication Journal published by Sage. His most recent project, “Tentacles,” uses a smartphone to create a multi‐user ambient gaming experience projected into public spaces. In summer 2011, “Tentacles” was included in the exhibition Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Dr Cynthia Hammond is an artist, architectural historian, and presently Chair of the Department of Art History, Concordia University. She teaches interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches to the study of urban landscapes and the built environment. Her first book, Architects, Angels, Activists and the City of Bath, 1765-1965, was published by Ashgate in 2012, and her most recent solo exhibition, Parallax: Landscape in Transition, was held at the FOFA Gallery, Concordia University, in September 2014. As an artist, researcher, and educator, Hammond engages in site-responsive, community-engaged, interdisciplinary projects that draw upon the situated knowledge of multiple constituents and urban stakeholders.

Nat is an architect (registered in the UK) and is the Professor of Experimental Architecture at the Bartlett, University College London, following professorships at the Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen, University of Manitoba and the University of Brighton. He taught at the Bartlett throughout the ’90s along with studios at East and North London Universities. His work has been exhibited and published internationally, most recently in Pamphlet 34 made jointly with Perry Kulper from the University of Michigan.

Tracey Eve Winton has a professional degree in architecture from Waterloo, M. Arch. in the History and Theory of Architecture from McGill, and Ph.D. in the History and Philosophy of Architecture from Cambridge University, on the Hypnerotomachia. In Waterloo’s study abroad program in Rome, she teaches a Design Studio (focused on public space), and Urban History (relating history with the imagination, adaptive reuse of urban sites), and field trips exploring the reciprocity between the Ideal City and Theatre. In Canada she teaches Cultural History, and every summer she and her second year architecture students stage an original work of theatre.

Allan Stoekl is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Penn State University. He has published extensively on contemporary French intellectual history and literary culture. His is especially noted as an authority on the French polymath Georges Bataille (1897-1962). He has also translated major texts by Bataille as well as Maurice Blanchot and Paul Fournel. Most recently, his work has taken a turn toward analysis of ecological questions from a literary and cultural standpoint. His most recent book is Bataille's Peak: Energy, Religion and Postsustainability (U. of Minnesota Press, 2007). In the last few years he has been engaged in a book project devoted to various models of sustainability, urban ecology, and the sublime.

David Maddox is an urbanist committed to the health of the urban ecosystem and its importance for human welfare and livelihoods. He is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Nature of Cities, a website devoted to international dialog on cities as ecological spaces, as ecosystems of human habitat. He lives in New York. David has a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell and, in a parallel life, is a published playwright and composer.

Timothy McDonald is an Associate Professor of Practice in Architecture at Temple University, a Registered Architect in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, LEED AP, Certified Passive House Consultant and Tradesman (CPHC) and President of Onion Flats LLC, an award winning development/design/build collective centered in Philadelphia. Tim received his BArch from Penn State and his March in Architectural History and Theory from McGill University. He has been teaching and practicing for over 20 years with a focus on community development, multidisciplinary thinking and making, high- performance building technologies and alternative construction methodologies. Through his research and practice, Tim, along with his partners at Onion Flats, has developed, designed and built some of the first LEED Gold and Platinum projects in the country and the First Certified Passive House, Net-Zero-Energy-Capable project in Pennsylvania.

Claire Poitras is Professor of Urban Studies and Director of the Center Urbanisation Culture Société of the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS-UCS). She also currently serves as the scientific director of the research network Villes Régions Monde, an inter-university urban studies network. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of Montreal. Her research interests center around urban and metropolitan history, historic preservation and urban planning in Canadian and American cities. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of Urban Affairs, Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Urban History Review, Globe/Revue internationale d’études québécoises, International Journal of Canadian Studies, Histoire urbaine, and International Journal of Local Environment.

Alanna Thain is associate professor of English and World Cinemas at McGill University. She directs the Moving Image Research Laboratory, devoted to studying the body in moving image media. Her first book, Bodies in Time: Affect, Suspense, Cinema is forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press. Her current research explores intersections of dance and film in post-digital cinema and intermedial performance. Recent publications include “Sonic ethnographies: Leviathan and New Materialisms in Documentary”, with Selmin Kara in Music and Sound in Documentary Film and “Welcome to This Situation: Tino Sehgal’s Impersonal Ethics” with Toni Pape and Noemie Solomon in Dance Research Journal.

Paul Yachnin is Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies and Director of the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas (IPLAI) at McGill University. He directed the Making Publics project (2005-10) and now directs the Early Modern Conversions project. Among his publications are the books, Stage-Wrights and The Culture of Playgoing in Early Modern England; editions of Richard II and The Tempest; and six co-edited books, including Making Publics in Early Modern Europe. His book-in-progress is Making Theatrical Publics in Shakespeare’s England. A recent area of interest is higher education policy, with publications in Policy Options and University Affairs. His ideas about the social life of art were featured on the CBC Radio IDEAS series, “The Origins of the Modern Public.”

A 2009 Trudeau fellow and a member of the Royal Society of Canada, Simon Harel is a full professor at the Université de Montréal, where he directs the Department of Comparative Literature. Prior to joining the university in 2011, he was the director of the Centre for the Study of Arts, Letters and Traditions at the Université du Québec à Montréal, in whose Department of Literary Studies he taught and conducted research for over 20 years.
Over the past 25 years, Simon Harel has pioneered an innovative field of research at the crossroads of literary and cultural studies. Harel is interested in intercultural issues, the role of the stranger in society, and vulnerability in the spaces in which we live. He is presently concentrating on the delineation of the vacillating, often conflicting, forms of cultural mobility. In the spring of 2012, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation awarded him a Leaders Opportunity Fund grant to fund research infrastructure for the study of representations of new narrative and technological identities in urban life. The grant positions him as a leader in an emerging field, that of the study of stories of the mobile self.

Kate Dumbleton is the Executive and Artistic Director of the Hyde Park Jazz Festival and an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the MA program in Arts Administration and Policy. She had been part-time faculty since 2008. Her work in jazz, improvised music, and performance spans nearly two decades.
Kate's experience includes music direction for jazz clubs and festivals; curatorial direction of artist residencies; direction of interdisciplinary projects in music, dance, theater, visual art, film; venue and record label management; administrative direction; and artist management. She owned and operated a successful performance, exhibition space/wine bar in the Bay Area from 2000-2006. Kate's current affiliations include the Advisory Council for the Chicago Artists Resource,, and the Made in Chicago music series; Board of Directors for the Experimental Sound Studio (ESS); Board of Directors for Rova Arts (SF); Artistic Direction Advisory Council, Yerba Buena Garden Festival (SF); Leadership Team for Red Poppy Art House (SF).