Montanaro, Michael et al., « Topological Media Lab – Making the Invisible, Visible workshop », Encuentro Montreal Manifest! Festival hosted by the Hemispheric Institute, Montreal, juin 2014.
Sha, Xin Wei, Montanaro, Michael, Navab, Navid, Stein, Julian, Montpellier, Evan et al., « Topological Media Lab – Workshop on Improvisational Environments from Feb 15 – March 8 », Arizona State University – Synthesis Center, Pheonix (États-Unis) , février 2014.


SECT VII Presentation by Sha Xin Wei

Seminar in Experimental Critical Theory (SECT) VII Overview


Montanaro, Michael, Sha, Xin Wei et al., Ice Time Candle Time Water Time Tissue Time Time, a time conditioning installation by Michael Montanaro & Sha Xin Wei, hosted at the Gray Center for Arts of the University of Chicago, November 2013., 2013.
Sha, Xin Wei et al., Time Conditioning Installation, a performance installation presented at Time Forms: Temporalities of Aesthetic Experience at McGill University, September 2013, 2013.
Montanaro, Michael, Sha, Xin Wei et al., Pervasive Play Installation, Workshop for performance installation University of Chicago, May 2013., 2013.
Montanaro, Michael, Sha, Xin Wei et al., Einstein’s Dreams, An environment in which visitors encounter performers in responsive fields of video, light, and spatialized sound, in a set of tableaus, each with a different kind of time. Hexagram BlackBox, Mar-Apr 2013, 2013.


February 17, 2012
Tirtza Even
The Story of Telling

Tirtza Even’s presentation The Story of Telling will review her efforts to communicate social and political realities in visual media. Even’s linear and interactive video work have consistently been engaged with representing the encounter with a variety of groups and individuals, typically ones whose lives embody complex or decentralized social/political settings (in Palestine, Turkey, the U.S and Germany, among other locations). At the same time (and perhaps especially) the work could also be described as an exploration of the inevitable, yet nuanced, failure of this very act of representation.

Even’s most recent projects include Natural Life (a feature length documentary on incarcerated youth, in progress, 2011), Failed (a multi-channel video installation, in progress, 2011), All Day (a short experimental documentary made in collaboration with an inmate locked for life at a Michigan State prison, 2012) and Once a Wall (or Ripple Remains, a multi-channel video/ 3-D animation, 2009), reflecting on personal encounters in Palestine.


Sep 13, 2012
Sha Xin Wei
Topology, Phenomenology and Spatial Audio
CNMAT, Berkeley

Topology can furnish concepts with which we can articulate sound using notions of proximity, convergence, limit, continuity, (dis)connectedness, transform, and novelty, without recourse to number, metric, or any discrete schema. The motivation for this work is to develop concepts more adequate than geometric (locally Euclidean) models for media that are thoroughly temporal. Phenomenology can provide a useful complement to a hard choice between “objective” models of audio, and theories of hearing that try to replace “subjective” experience by psychological, neural, or cognitive models.
Rather than pretend to answers, I will introduce some concepts from topology and some phenomenological comments on senses of space, body, movement. Then we’ll open the discussion to some edge phenomena in spatial audio. We’ll also probe for converse insights regarding movement and gesture.


Saturday May 26, 2012
Sha Xin Wei
Meaning in Comprovisation

abstract: “COMPROVISATIONS – Improvisation Technologies for the Performing Arts” is a workshop during which leading researchers, artists and software developers from Europe, Asia and the Americas will discuss questions and artistic approaches in the emerging and fast-growing field of computer-assisted improvisation in Music, Theatre and Dance. As these technologies transform the aesthetics and practices of stage performance, they also engender new production modes and demand a new understanding from organizers and audiences as to what a “performance” is: a well-rehearsed repetition of a finished work where we admire the sensibility, skill and perfection of the performers ? Or is it something that happens once, just now, only for those present – where we also admire the presence of mind, the openness to context and the beauty of coincidence that lies at the bottom of all performance ? And how does the fact that computers can improvise, too, now, accompanying and guiding the live performers, change our perception of what happens in a performance ?
Over 4 days, from May 24 to 27, 2012, the invited guests at “Comprovisations” will show their work, their research and their art to each other – and will engage in searching questions that will try to understand what improvisation and performance can mean in the digital age. In invitational workshop sessions as well as in five public events, we will explore and discuss the boundaries of performance, humanity and art with some of the most innovative research-creators around the globe.
∞ A Sister Workshop, ImproTech Paris-New York 2012 : Improvisation & Technology, is being held from May 16-18 in New York City



Whole-Body Movement and Responsive Media, Drama Studio, Concordia University, December 7-17, 2012 with Dr. Vangelis Lympouridis, Adrian Freed, Navid Navab, Julian Stein, Teoma Naccarato, JoDee Allen, Dr. Jen Spiegel, Nikos Chandolias, Liza Solomonova, students in Drama and Contemporary Dance departments.
“Movement-based Experiment with Temporal Textures,” Hexagram Blackbox Workshop, Concordia University,February 17-28, 2012, with F. Abtan, O. Faleh, N. Navab, J. Stein, K. Jung,
“Gesture-bending Movement and Media,” Topological Media Lab & Centre for Music and Science Workshop, February 6-13, Cambridge University, with Michael Montanaro, Navid Navab, Satinder Gill.


March 16, 2011
Dr. Helga Wild
Designing (for) the social object

abstract: Infusion is an opportunity for convivial gathering, based on exchange of ideas, sharing of knowledge and the creation of links within the community. The Department of Design and Computation Arts welcomes this fruitful occasion to further enhance ties between alumni, students, faculty and the greater Montreal design scene.

August 3, 2011
Sha Xin Wei
Recherche Creation



SECT VII, Rewired:Asia, University of Hawaii Manoa, August 1-10, 2011, Workshop Instructor.
Frankenstein’s Ghosts, Blackbox Residency, Concordia University, with Michael Montanaro, Ann-Marie Donovan, Liselyn Adams, Blue Riders and TML June 2011.Topology and Morphogeneis Workshop, with Yves Abrioux (Paris 8), Stamatia Portanova (University of London Birkbeck), Thomas Jellis (Oxford), Centre for Modern Thought, Aberdeen, 30 May 2011.


March 4, 2010
Prof. Brian Rotman

Ohio State University
Visiting Speaker Series, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture

Becoming Beside Ourselves continues the investigation that the renowned cultural theorist and mathematician Brian Rotman began in his previous books Signifying Nothing and Ad Infinitum…The Ghost in Turing’s Machine: exploring certain signs and the conceptual innovations and subjectivities that they facilitate or foreclose. InBecoming Beside Ourselves, Rotman turns his attention to alphabetic writing or the inscription of spoken language. Contending that all media configure what they mediate, he maintains that alphabetic writing has long served as the West’s dominant cognitive technology. Its logic and limitations have shaped thought and affect from its inception until the present. Now its grip on Western consciousness is giving way to virtual technologies and networked media, which are reconfiguring human subjectivity just as alphabetic texts have done for millennia.
Alphabetic texts do not convey the bodily gestures of human speech: the hesitations, silences, and changes of pitch that infuse spoken language with affect. Rotman suggests that by removing the body from communication, alphabetic texts enable belief in singular, disembodied, authoritative forms of being such as God and the psyche. He argues that while disembodied agencies are credible and real to “lettered selves,” they are increasingly incompatible with selves and subjectivities formed in relation to new virtual technologies and networked media. Digital motion-capture technologies are restoring gesture and even touch to a prominent role in communication. Parallel computing is challenging the linear thought patterns and ideas of singularity facilitated by alphabetic language. Barriers between self and other are breaking down as the networked self is traversed by other selves to become multiple and distributed, formed through many actions and perceptions at once. The digital self is going plural, becoming beside itself.
Jointly sponsored by: Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture Concordia University, Concordia Canada Research Chair in New Media, & Input Devices and Music Interaction Laboratory/CIRMMT, McGill University


October 15, 2010
Edward S. Casey
On Not Putting Too Fine an Edge on Things

Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Stony Brook UniversityAbstract:

Philosophers, taking their lead from natural and social scientists, pride themselves on achieving clarity and exactitude. This aim is indisputably valid and has been indisputable to the accomplishment of many of the enduring achievements in philosophy – for instance, Descartes’s Principles of Philosophy, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Peirce’s semiotics, Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica. At the same time, the virtues of vagueness have been increasingly pursued ever since William James (inspired by certain strains in Peirce himself) proclaimed “the value of the vague” in his Principles of Psychology (1890). Since then, others have followed suite, however diversely: notably Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Timothy Williamson. In this talk, I consider the merits of the vague in philosophy by a concerted exploration of the edges of things and topics: those extremities where the exact gives place to the less than precisely designatable and discussable. I maintain that, far from being a defect or lack, the very imprecision has positive values of its own to which we should attend more closely.


October 20, 2010
Niklas Damiris
The Limits of Sustainability

As the planet’s condition on the energy, climate, water and food fronts worsens, concern for sustainability rises. In this presentation I shall problematize the concern with sustainability itself in order to grasp better what is at stake and what potential for change it affords, given that, currently, there are no clear technological and political options available. I intend to show that the sentiments motivating sustainability cannot gain traction or acted upon without attending to 2 interdependent issues: a) recognizing the immanent link between ecology and economy and b) developing a different approach toward the care of self. I will briefly elaborate on a) by sketching a new theory of pricing and on b) by introducing and then generalizing the late Foucault’s work on parrhersia and governmentality.
Co-sponsored by the Canada Research Chair in New Media, and Department of Design and Computation Arts


Third International Conference on Music and Gesture, March 5 – 6, 2010, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media and Technology and Schulich School of Music, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Co-organized with Marcelo Wanderley, Jon Wild.
Visiting Speaker Series: Brian Rotman (Ohio State University) “The Alphabet, Ghosts, Distributed Being Becoming Beside Ourselves in the Digital Era,” Centre For Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture Concordia, montreal, March 4, 2010.


February 18, 2009
Sha Xin Wei
Pecha Kucha
Société des arts technologiques (SAT)

abstract :
(Topological Media Lab: Sha Xin Wei, CRC in New Media Arts)Talks and Seminars in the Topological Media Lab (TML) – EV 7.725, Free and open to the public. TML Director Sha Xin Wei is a speaker at the Pecha Kucha event. Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. at Société des arts technologiques (SAT), 1195 St. Laurent Blvd.


March 10, 2009
Sha Xin Wei
Société des arts technologiques (SAT)

abstract :
The video game industry is experiencing a revolution due to interface devices such as those offered by the Wii allowing the capture of the gamer’s movements. Miniaturization of physical componants along with the ever increasing size of the video game indutry and market have made such devices available to the general public. Game conceptors frenetically scrutinise their possible impacts on their gameplay. In parallel, technological artists and some specialized businesses have been using similar interfaces for years in different contexts. They have developped numerous scenarii of use and built a strong expertise in the field. What transfer of knowledge and expertise are imaginable between those sectors now that the technology is both easily accessible and affordable? The secrets regarding the Wii controlers are now available on Youtube. What new ways to use them are being developped at the moment? What impacts will such interfaces have on other aspects of our everyday life?

Playspaces, TGarden foam and sponge, Ars Electronica talk, 2001

January 29, 2009
Niklas Damiris
Performing Value: Money, Markets, and Alchemy

Co-sponsored by The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies at Concordia University, the Topological Media Lab, and the Workshop in Radical Empiricism

Dr. Niklas Damiris, Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, will present a lecture entitled “Performing Value: Money, Markets, and Alchemy.”Dr. Damiris is a theoretical physicist turned eco-economist and social entrepreneur. For many years, Dr. Damiris was a research affiliate in research institutions around Silicon Valley:Stanford University, Xerox PARC, Apple’s Advanced Technology Group, and more recently at IBM’S Almaden Research Center. At Stanford University, he was a member of the philosophy of quantum mechanics seminar, and has been one of the long-standing members of the Philosophical Reading Group.He was a special advisor to the Dean of Humanities at UC Santa Cruz for the Knowledge Societies project. Currently, in addition to being a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, and a consulting lecturer at the Swiss Center for Banking Studies. He is co-founder of the start-up Capitalizing Communities, which helps transform social networks into economically sustainable practices.



“Whitehead+Cosmopolitics Panels III & IV: Novel Ecologies of Practice,” Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), Atlanta, 5-8 November 2009


May 15, 2007
Toni Dove

Abstract:Spectropia, by writer/ director and responsive media artist Toni Dove, is both a feature film and an interactive performance. Dove will be present to discuss the project and perform excepts from her “scratchable” movie. This sci-fi hybrid, in development for the last six years, features time travel, telepathy, elements of film noir and the supernatural. Utilizing gaming technology and experimental theater strategies, performers can interact with the narrative, using motion sensors to control the performance oftheir on-screen avatars. The audience will be able to see through the character’s eyes, hear their interi or thoughts, navigate their way through space, and even talk with the characters. Anything can happen.

Co-sponsored by the Topological Media Lab (Concordia) The Sense Lab (Concordia), Joint PhD in Communication (Université de Montréal/ UQAM/ Concordia) and the Workshop in Radical Empiricism (Université de Montréal), Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Concordia), Design Computation Arts Department (Concordia)



“Soft Architecture Dedale Workshop,“ with Patrick Harrop, Prof. Architecture U. Manitoba, H. Smoak, JA. Drolet, E. Sinyor, JS. Rousseau, T. Sutton, E. Thivierge, M. Sutherland, F. Lunn, & Dedale Studio, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 5-12 November 2007.
“Ouija Experiment on Collective Gesture in Responsive Media Spaces,” Hexagram Blackbox Workshop, Concordia University, with Prof. Sha Xin Wei, Director; Soo-yeon Cho, Choreographer; Dancers:Mike Croitoru, Kiani del Valle, Veronique Gaudreau, Rebecca Halls, Marie Laurier, Joannie Pharand, Olivia Foulke; Oxygen team: JeanSebastien Rousseau, Calligraphic video, videography, visual effects, production, Tim Sutton, Gestural sound design and programming, production, Emmanuel Thivierge, State engine, camera tracking, production, Filip Radonjik, Live ink painting; WYSIWYG Wearable Gestural Instruments team: Marguerite Bromley (XS Labs), Tapestry design and weaving, Elliot Sinyor (IDMIL McGill), Tapestry mechatronics, David Gauthier, Tapestry mechatronics, Freida Abtan, Sound design & programming, David Birnbaum (IDMIL McGill), Sound design & programming, Doug van Nort (IDMIL McGill), Gestural motion feature analysis; Logistics: Josee-Anne Drolet, TML Project Coordinator, production, videography, editing; Harry Smoak, TML Research Coordinator, production support, research advisor; Ma Zhiming, Production; Faculty Co-Advisors: Prof. Michael Montanaro, Contemporary Dance, Ouija movement experiment design, Prof. Marcelo Wanderley, IDMIL, McGill University, WYSIWYG gestural control of sound synthesis; Prof. Joey Berzowksa, XS Labs, Interactive textiles; June 21 – July 20, 2007.

“SPECTROPIA,” Toni Dove, Canada Research Chair Hosted Visiting Artist Lecture, Concordia University, 18 May 2007.

“Creative research and the co-production of values, conversation with humanists, artists, and universities in Canada’s economies of culture: Roundtable with Helga Wild, Niklas Damiris and Sha Xin Wei,” Canada Research Chair Hosted Panel, Concordia University, 2 April 2007.


Blackbox Residency, Concordia University, with Harry Smoak (Research Coordinator), and over 24 students and affiliate artists and researchers, 29 April – 20 May 2006. “Technologies of Performance,” Research Roundtable, Dr. Chris Salter, Livia Daza-Paris, Maroussia Lévesque, Sha Xin Wei, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 19 May 2006.
“Dream and Nightmare,” Research Roundtable, Dr. Tore Nielsen (U. de Montréal), Elena Frantova, Lisa Solomonova, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 12 May 2006.
“Wearable And Gestural Sound,” Research Roundtable, Sha Xin Wei, David Gauthier, Jason Levine, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 10 May 2006.
“Calligraphic Video,” Research Roundtable, Sha Xin Wei, Freida Abtan, Yannick Assogba, Michael Fortin, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 8 May 2006.
“Soft Architecture,” Research Roundtable, Karmen Franinovic, Harry Smoak, Erik Conrad, Hexagram-Concordia, Montreal Canada, 3 May 2006.


Oct 25, 2005
Sha Xin Wei
Motion Capture

We create sensitive environments that are highly interactive with body movements thanks to the development of computerised surfaces, devices and fabrics that are able to react acoustically to human motion.” Sha Xin Wei, Fine Arts and Computer Science, Digital Concordia and Hexagram, during his presentation of international experiments on sensitive spaces. Sha Xin Wei – Professeur agrégé, Fine Arts et Computer Science, Digital Concordia


Monday, Nov. 14, 2005
Benoit Maubrey
The Audio Gruppe creates mobile and multi-acoustic sculptures in public spaces.

Benoît Maubrey is the director of DIE AUDIO GRUPPE a Berlin-based art group that build and perform with electronic clothes (past examples: AUDIO BALLERINAS, AUDIO GEISHAS, AUDIO STEELWORKERS, BONG BOYS, VIDEO PEACOCKS…). Basically these are electro-acoustic clothes and dresses (equipped with amplifiers and loudspeakers) that create sounds by interacting with their environment. For example the AUDIO BALLERINAS use — among other electronic instruments– light sensors that enable them to produce sounds through the interaction of their movements and the surrounding light (PEEPER choreography). Via movement sensors they can also trigger electronic sounds that are subsequently choreographed –or “orchestrated”– into musical compositions as an “audio ballet “ (YAMAHA choreography). A variety of other electronic instruments (mini-computers, samplers, contact microphones, cassette and CD players, and radio receivers) allow them to work with the sounds, surfaces, and topographies of the space around them in a variety of solo or group choreographies. Rechargeable batteries allow them to operate both in- and outdoors.
The Audio Gruppe‘s work is essentially site-specific. Often the electronics is adapted into entirely new “Audio Uniforms“ or “sonic costumes” that reflect local customs, themes, or traditions (AUDIO GEISHA/Japan, AUDIO CYCLISTS/France, AUDIO HANBOK/Korea)..

more infos : http://www.ciamarts.org/archives/archives_ciam/2005_11/ConfBenoitMaubrey/


“Thresholds of Performance III,“ Chaired Panel, SLSA, Chicago USA, November 11, 2005.
“Valorization through art and technology : an opportunity to add value and rethink economic valuation ?“ Dr. Niklas Damiris, lecture hosted by Canada Research Chair and Les Lundis Hexagram, Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) Montreal, 10 October 2005.
“Threshold of Performance I and II,” Chaired Panels, Performance Studies International, Brown, Providence USA, March 31 – April 3, 2005.


“Mathematics, Writing and Poiesis,” Chaired Panel, Society for Literature and Science, Pasadena USA, 2002.
Special Faculty Respondent, Intimate Technologies, Banff New Media Institute, Banff Canada, 2002.


“Mathematics, Writing and Poiesis,” Chaired Panel, Society for Social Studies of Science, 2001.