All posts by nchandol

Josée-Anne Drolet

Research Facilitator / BFA Computation Arts / Soft Architecture, Media, Management,
Communications / email

Josée-Anne graduated from the Computation Arts program after 3 years at Concordia
and an exchange program in Communication and New Media at the National University
of Singapore. 
She has experience in high level team sports, with the family enterprise
(RHUMART, Manoir de Neuville, Sushi Nagano) and team based, creative projects such
as the Grand Onion , Troglodyte and Cosmicomics .

Freida Abtan

After a first degree in maths (combinatorics) at Waterloo, a second in the DCART Fine Arts program at Concordia, and a Masters in music composition at Université de Montréal, Freida is now completing her Ph.D. in the MEME program at Brown University. Freida’s interests include videomusic, electronic music and video performance, and realtime responsive media.

Elena Frantova

Elena completed her BFA in Computational Arts and is currently enrolled in Master’s program in Computer Science at Concordia University. She is exploring the possibilities of using responsive environments to study human un/consciousness. Elena collaborates with Dream and Nightmare Laboratory since 2005.

David (Jhave) Johnston

Jhave is a digital poet. He has an undergrad degree in Computer Science; a Masters of Science in interactive art; & a PhD from Concordia University where he has worked as a research affiliate with OBX, TML & NT2.The TML’s Sha Xin Wei was on his PhD thesis committee.Jhave created the remixed stream from the TML’s Summer Workshop 2005, as well as the process of Remedios’ Terrarium, a TML group show in March 2008. Jhave (beginning fall 2012) is Assistant Professor at HYPERLINK “”City University of Hong Kong in the School of Creative Media.


Elizaveta Solomonova

Individualized PhD

University of Montreal
Areas of study: neuroscience of sleep and dreaming, philosophy, media arts

Liza is currently pursuing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. at University of Montreal: thesis directors: Tore Nielsen (Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Sha Xin Wei (Design and Computation Arts, Concordia University), committee: Bettina Bergo (Philosophy, University of Montreal), Don Kuiken (Psychology, University of Alberta). Her work is a collaborative initiative between the Topological Media Lab and the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory, she is exploring the phenomenology of embodied subjective experiences, in dreams and during wake, focusing on kinesthetic sensations and body movement within the lived space. Her M.Sc. thesis in Psychology (University of Montreal) focused on memory sources and agency in dreams. She holds a B.A. from McGill Univerisity, with a double major in Art History and Psychology, and a minor in World Religions.

David Morris

Associate Director of the Topological Media Lab

Chair of the Philosophy Department

PhD: The University of Toronto (1997)
MA: The University of Toronto (1992)
BA: The University of Toronto (1991)

My main interests are in Continental Philosophy (especially Phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty and Bergson) and Hegel, with a focus on the philosophy of the body, mind and nature in relation to current biology and cognitive science. I am currently studying the problem of the genesis of meaning and sense, in relation to biological and perceptual phenomena. My most recent publications are on: reversibility, expression, perception, animals, faces, embryology and ontology in Merleau-Ponty; organisms in Kant; embodied cognition; animals and humans, in relation to the problem of mind and body; method in Husserl, Bergson, and Peirce. My book The Sense of Space was published by SUNY Press in 2004.




WYSIWYG was an investigation of sonified soft materials that encourage playful interaction. The group was a diverse mix of artists, scientists and musicians from McGill University’s Input Devices and Music Interaction Lab and Concordia University’s Topological Media Lab. In the first phase of the project, a large, stretchy, light-sensitive square “blanket” was developed, which was shown at a public exhibition on October 31st 2006. At the show, visitors interacted with the interface by standing under it and lifting it up. The tension of the fabric was such that shapes and waves could be made, producing rich, multichannel sound. Detailed discussion of this installation can be found in the publication Mapping and dimensionality of a cloth-based sound instrument

In the second phase, a tapestry was designed and woven with conductive thread which was used to generate an electric field. At its public exhibition on July 18th, 2007, visitors could touch various parts of the tapestry to generate sound. The interplay of narrative image on the tapestry and the abstract sound associated with it encouraged discovery and experimentation.


The following overview is from the Topological Media Lab’s WYSIWYG page:

As an extension of the research work conducted with the Topological Media Lab (TML), Sha Xin Wei and his team are creating textile objects such as wall hangings, blankets, scarves, and jewelry that create sound as they are approached or manipulated. These sonic blankets can be used for improvised play. A phonetic pun on the old acronym for What You See is What You Get from the era of the Graphical User Interface, WYSIWYG (for wearable, sonic instrument, with gesture) draws on music technology, dance, children’s group games, textile arts, and fashion. Created first and foremost to sustain social play for people of all ages, WYSIWYG allows players to express themselves whether enjoying time in a park, dancing at a club, passing the time during a long car trip, or just playing at home.

The custom-designed digital instruments embedded in the cloth sample movement to transform ambient body movement and freehand gestures into new sounds or “voices” associated with a player or transmitted to other players in the vicinity.

When the project was launched in November 2006, the WYSIWYG team experimented with a prototype ”blanket” able to sense how it is handled. During the presentation, eight people manipulated this photo-sensitive blanket to produce a spatial sonic landscape. In July 2007, dancers performed a semi-choreographed movement improvisation around a 20’ suspended “tapestry” and a 6-foot “tablecloth” woven with conductive thread on a Jacquard loom by Joey Berzowska’s XS Labs.

Dancer Marie Laurier with 20’ sounding cloth woven by Marguerite Bromley during Ouija workshop. © 2007 Topological Media Lab.

Custom electronics by Elliot Sinyor, McGill University. © 2007 Topological Media Lab.

David Gauthier with capacitive proximity sensor in the form of a bird woven from conductive fiber. © 2007 Topological Media Lab.

Principal investigators: Sha Xin Wei, Marcelo Wanderley
Physical materials advisor: Rodolphe Koehly
Mechatronics, feature extraction: David Gauthier
Mapping, feature extraction: Doug van Nort
Sound instruments: Freida Abtan, David Birnbaum, Elliot Sinyor
Assistant project technical coordinator: Harry Smoak




“In the classical art of rhetoric, Quintilian and Cicero suggested that an orator or storyteller imagine a familiar building and position characters or other narrative elements in that imaginary architecture. The mnemonic device had the subject take an imaginary walk through a static architecture. Today’s architecture is suffused with motion, flow, transfer, and transmutation, veined by the internet, conducting video, sound, and people in constant movement.”

‘WunderKammer’ [Wonder Room], is a new media installation modeling people moving through time to explore poetic modulations of rhythm, repetition and corporeal memory. This new project conceptualized by the Montreal-based collective: Alkemie, exists in the format of a miniature portable theatre that features a provocative fusion of installation art, performance and real-time media technology.


Collaborating participants:
Elysha Poirier [Guest Resident Artist}
Jerome Delapierre – [Alkemie] Video Design and Interactive New Media
Navid Navab – [Alkemie] Sound Designer
Sha Xin Wei – Technologist/Theorist and Co-founder of TML and Alkemie
Michael Montanaro – Project Strategist and New Media Choreography and Co-founder of TML & Alkemie
Katie Young – [TML] Administrative Coordinator
Harry Standjofski – Actor and Script Writer
Alex Gaskin – [TML] Student and Builder of the WunderKammer
Jason Hendrik – [TML] Student Volunteer, Graphic Design
WunderKammer was conceived by Michael Montanaro and Sha Xin Wei
Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario-Quebec Artist Residencies Program 2012.




Projecting live video modified by physically-models video texture synthesis, nuanced by the activity of passersby. The membrane was steel mesh, allowing people to see each other through the projected image.





Palpation — the laying of a hand on the body to read its state of health — is perhaps the oldest of medical practices. When a physician lays her hand on her patient, however, she is not only reading or diagnosing the patient, she is saying to the patient: “You are my responsibility. I take you into my care.” This touch ethically entangles the physician and the patient.

Speech too is an ethical medium — words spoken can warm three winters or chill three summers, the Chinese say. Under western law, some words can be fighting words, and those who wield language with malice can be charged as if they had hit the victim with their hand.


So ethics comes back to touch.

The choreography in Act 1 is inspired by thinking of two dancers in a chamber as being transformed from one hermaphrodite body into two. The chamber, viewed from above presents an alchemical vessel within which the hermaphrodite, compound body twitches and coils in a fluid medium until it splits into two independent bodies. The energy and momentum of their movement swirls the visual media between the bodies: negative space is itself pregnant with ethical charge, visualized as textures and particles in the gaps between the bodies, rippling in the wake of the dancers’ gestures.

This epochal fission is also the birth of desire, of sexual love, as Aristophanes famously described in Plato’s Symposium, and marks the transition between Act 1, an intimate epoch, and Act 2, our epoch, in which we find ourselves as isolate bodies in a void, seeking one another via the much sparser tissues of language and sign.

Act 2 is shot outdoors. The dancer who emerges shows traces of energetic, now erotic, entanglement with her distant partner. She discovers a (male) dancer already in an open field. The textures and particles trailing behind her lead back to an implied third being, the dancer from Act 1 who remains hidden as the first dancer evolves through her sequence of more and more passionate, elaborated movement with the discovered dancer. We use the word passion in its ancient sense of a primordial force below the level of emotions. The first dancer is multiplied by temporal copies of herself, and plays contrapuntally with her own delayed selves as well as with the other dancers.

This second act closes with the fusion of the dancer with her multiples and the emergence of the hidden dancer as an authentic other.


PEOPLE: Sha Xin Wei, Soo-yeon Cho, Desh Fernando
+ Topological Media Lab
TOUCH 2 a performance :Soo-yeon Cho, Kiani de Valle
Set: Topological Media Lab
Remedios Terrarium