All posts by ninab

To Live in the Age of Melting: Northwest Passage


Screening at the lab of the film:

To Live in the Age of Melting: Northwest Passage

Where: Topological Media Lab
When: Friday November 28th
Time: 7PM

Please join us Friday, November 28th at the Topological Media Lab for a special screening of a new film by Evalyn parry (Toronto) and Elysha Poirier (Montreal).

To Live in the Age of Melting: Northwest Passage traverses the territory between live performance and film in a unique collaboration between theatre innovator and musician evalyn parry and visual/projections artist Elysha Poirier.  Taking iconic Canadian folk song ‘Northwest Passage’ as a point of departure, the film embarks on an evocative visual and sonic journey that travels from Franklin’s doomed 19th century expedition to contemporary Arctic sovereignty.  Climate change, the human nervous system, colonial legacy, and ‘tradition’ are woven into a provocative tale of what happens when the North – and parts of ourselves  – begin to melt.

There will be a short presentation after the film, followed by an open discussion.  This includes the recent discovery of one of the lost ships from Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition.

Evalyn  Parry

Steeped in the folk tradition but born to innovate, evalyn parry’s genre-blurring work is inspired by intersections of social activism, history and autobiography.  An award-winning songwriter, poet and theatre creator, she’s best known for her innovative show SPIN – featuring a bicycle played as a musical instrument – which has toured the continent.

Elysha Poirier

Elysha Poirier is a visual artist and designer working in various forms of performance, theatre and installation. Her methods in painting and design have been adapted to video for live interaction and scenography. She has performed with a diversity of artists stemming from dance, experimental music, film and theatre and is also a researching artist at the Topological Media Lab (Concordia University) working with students, faculty and international artists focused on movement, experimental philosophy and architecture.


Ian Arawjo

BA Computation Arts
A recent graduate of Concordia’s Computation Arts program, Ian Arawjo has worked at TAG, Alkemie Atelier, the Topological Media Lab, NT2 lab, OBX labs, and on the SpokenWeb team in multiple capacities as a dual programmer and designer. As an undergraduate he presented projects at the ACLA conference, CHI PLAY 2014, and twice at GRAND. He has several years of experience working with Apple’s iOS frameworks; in 2012 he released a satirical game, Kale In Dinoland, which was featured by Apple on the App Store.
Ian is currently working on a locative media app for display at the Montreal Botanical Garden, an experimental poetry game involving the SpokenWeb archive, and an open-source off-line sketch recognition framework. In the past, he worked with TAG and the LudicVoice team on the Jarbles and Ethereal game projects. His personal interests are in sketch interpretation, tangible media, and games for education.

Pre-mediation show

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Pre-mediation show

Where: Topological Media Lab, EV.7.725
When: Thusday november 27th
Time: 6:30 PM
Navid Navab and Felix Del Tredici are joined by local musicians and other members of TML in a night of improvised hallucinations within TML’s responsive ecology. Standing upon nothing and going nowhere at all, we will drip, drift, clash, clang, sweep, swish, expand, sneeze and fall into the warmth of a winter’s night. Bring your own boots and blankets.

Navid Navab

Responsive Sound Instruments

Navid Navab is a Montreal-based Alkemist, composer/improvisor, and media artist. Interested in the poetics of gesture, materiality, and embodiment, his work explores the social lives of objects and the enrichment of their inherent performative qualities. Navid uses gestures, rhythms and vibrations from everyday life as basis for real-time sound generation, resulting in augmented acoustical-poetry that enchants improvisational and pedestrian movements. His works, which range from gestural sound compositions to responsive architecture, site specific interventions, theatrical interactive installations, interactive scenographies, and improv-based performances, have been presented at various museums, festivals, and events worldwide.

Felix Del Tredici

Bass Trombone
A native of Montreal, Felix Del Tredici strives to push the boundaries of the bass trombone through interdisciplinary collaborations, the commissioning of new works, and improvisation. The New York Times has described Del Tredici as an “extraordinarily versatile trombonist” who gives performances that are “disturbing yet fascinating” and “hair-raisingly virtuosic”. He has studied at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, and is a member of the Fonema Consort, the New York Trombone Consort, and Ensemble Moto Perpetuo.

Plant-thinking – Note Week 2


<- Back to Plant-thinking Seminar page

weekly notes prepared by Dan Landerville and Xin Wei for Marder’s Plant-Thinking reading

week 2 _ Nov. 14th. Introduction and Chapter 1

Scouting Ahead: wayposts (from XIN WEI )
Introduction (p 1 – 13)
p 3
How is it possible for us to encounter (desencontro p 13) the plant, without schematizing it into insignificance or fetishizing it?

p 4
The problem with nominalist and conceptualist approaches.
I think Marder’s critique of conceptualism will require more unpacking.

p 7
Hermeneutical phenomenology, Deconstruction, Weak Thought

Chapter 1 (p 17 – 53)
p 20-21
Fichte: plants exhibit first principle of movement in nature, a passive principle.

p 24
lack of telos
plants’ purported deficiency w/r animals, hiddenness (Aristotle)

p 35, 37
production of meaning
“sens”: meaning & direction

p 40,41

p 50-53
identity, difference
reproduction, repetition, multiplicity
the plant … has no identity of its own
Scouting Ahead: Notes re. Introduction (from Dan Landerville)
Listening for resonances in Marder’s intro with Xin Wei’s intention to bracket “human” while exploring
how there is a ‘living-with’ plant, I’ve tried to trace trails through the three traditions Marder draws
upon, in light of problems our investigations may encounter (i.e., anthropocentricm, intstrumentalism,
ontological bifurcations…).

Phenomenology – at its limits
On limits: Marder on the abyss and not-having world
Why take phenomenology to its limits? The problems of the constituting subjectivity as condition
of possibility for having-world remain within the Heideggarian phenomenological method. (If we’re
bracketing “human” – or, the only kind of being in Heideggarian ontology with access to the mode of
eksistence endogenous to Dasein – then how can we describe… anything?)

Example: Heidegger’s Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics

Dasein is world-forming, Animality is captivated, i.e., does not have world, and Hd skips over plant life to
talk instead about the stone. (I’d find a plum paragraph)

Derrida tracks the problem of having-world as condition of possibility of meaningful existence (within
Western metaphysics), in the Animal That Therefore I am. Interrogating how to approach the abyssal
difference of non-human animals, the Derridean hypothesis of limitrophy’s productivity – as method
through which to explore the “foliated” limit that multiplies, propagates, and feeds on itself (so many
plant metaphors in thinking/writing) – germinates in Plant-thinking quadratic senses (Marder, 10).
Why is limitrophy important? It un-grounds the stability of phenomenology’s constituting subjectivity,
who problematically – especially in efforts to describe vegetal life/living – is, as the inevitable center of
meaning production and representation, the one who silences the radical singularity of the other that I
intend to describe. Hence deconstruction remembers the metaphysical violence inherent in attempts to
represent alterity and opens a path – perhaps – to dance with the anima of other limits that exceeds the
one I constitute.

Example: Derrida The Animal that therefore I am (More to Follow) 30-31.

Weak Thought:
What the limits of phenomenology and deconstructive limitrophy engender is weak thought –
stemming from an aesthetic receptivity within perception that delays circumscribing meaning. So, in
his investigation of how to describe the plant’s having-world in a non-anthropocentric way, and yet,
unavoidably from the perspective of subjectivity’s being-with the plant, the notion of letting-be crops up
in Marder’s project of describing plant-thinking’s an-archic origins.

Examples of Letting-be
Heidegger’s Being and Time section on Mitsein in the mode of leaping-ahead
Levinas’ problematization: The problem that ‘letting be’ doesn’t solve
Derrida’s weeding of the issues involved in Violence and Metaphysics.
So, with Marder’s triad as our guide… how might we let-be the “barely perceptible motion” (Oana) of

vegetal life?
Time-lapse photography: Movement and the play of Time-scales

Architecture Concordia at TML

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Architecture Concordia at TML

Where: Topological Media Lab, Concordia, Ev-7.725
When: Friday november 21
Time: 6PM

Architecture Concordia’s first speaker series presents:

Indra Kagis McEwen

“Plečnik perennis? A Slovenian architect’s conversation with antiquity.”


jake moore

Hot Spot: a Montréal artist’s conversation with public space
(prompted by the architectural projection, Murs aveugles (Blind Walls), 2014, Isabelle Hayeur)

The recent removal of Isabelle Hayeur’s architectural projection, MURS AVEUGLES, from the BNL MTL has sparked outrage amongst many artists as well as business owners and community members of the “Main”. Those concerned have emotional depths in parallel but their reasons for this disquiet are glaringly distinct. Many feel the threat to freedom of expression is the pinnacle of rights to be protected while many community members, including the owner of the building that Hayeur projected onto, feel the work was incendiary and posed a threat to the building and her business’s well being.
This public art work then becomes the locus of discussion around notions of public, property, architecture as defensible space as well as the internal and external divisions and definitions of building itself. The particular site is deeply contested and welcomes a critical analysis of the multiple social spaces being activated, articulated and occupied here.

Website :

To be held in The Topological Media Lab: Concordia University on 7th floor of the East side of the Engineering and Visual Arts Complex. Room EV-7.725. 6 PM

Orbital Resonance

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Orbital Resonance is an exploration into responsive environments and live performance. The performers improvise with sound and movement through breathe, voice, and bodily sensors. In the process, the performers experiment with different internal physiological states of their bodies outwardly displaced in light and in sound to create an immersive sensual environment for them and for the audience. The larger environment merges the interactions between various elements (audience, performers, light, sound, architecture, sensors) into a unified, existential orbit.

A performance and discussion took place as part of the Topological Media Lab‘s Re-Mediation Series on April 23 and 24, 2014 from 5-7pm at the Hexagram Blackbox at Concordia University. The performance was supported by Hexagram-CIAM Student Grant.


The project was a collaboration between artist and PhD Humanities candidate Margaret Westby and interactive developer, creative engineer and an MA Special Individualized Program candidate Nikolaos Chandolias with participation from experimental musician and sound artist Doug Van Nort and performance artist, facilitator, and sociologist of digital technology Anne Goldenberg. Westby and Chandolias participated in every aspect of the process: initial research questions, conceptual and creative content, technological research and development, workshop and rehearsal directives, set-up of space and scenography, organization, promotion, documentation, and all other tasks. Van Nort and Goldenberg collaborated at specific rehearsal days to assist in workshops, conceptual and technological development, and performance creation and dissemination.

The process and methodologies undertaken to create this research-creation project were quite complex. We followed current threads in open source projects (software and movement creation) informed by the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos, developing new methods of choreography for sonic performative environments and technological design informed by and for the body. The materials in play were biological sensors, language, movement, gestures, sound, lights, cameras, computers, and various other technological apparatuses. We dove into movement exercises based upon the Skinner Release Technique, Viewpoints, contemporary dance, and more current cross-fertilizations in yoga and Open Source Forms (OSF). This combination of kinaesethic methodologies informed our exploration to integrate both human and nonhuman materials.  In addition, experimental music practices including Deep Listening by composer Pauline Oliveros and improvisational techniques in both sound and movement informed our process and creative content. Furthermore, an attuned focus on maintaining a horizontal collaborative spirit was key at all time. This involved continuous discussions around language, teaching and patience with different practices, and an understanding of knowing and accepting limits, whether with the technology or within ourselves.

A performance was presented as a result of a two-month long residency at Concordia’s Blackbox, with the objective of creating a space where we could blur the lines of performer and audience. The immersive, responsive environment invited co-creations to occur between the performers, the space, the spectators and the technology in a non-linear, non-hierarchical and non-dictatorial way.

Nima Navab

Since his years at Ontario College of Art & Design studying Environmental Design, Nima Navab has become increasingly focused on spatial design, and more specifically, examining the role of art and technology in enhancing both intimate and large-scale public interactions. Through a variety of mediums and means, Nima investigates the various roles humans play in shaping both the ecological, political and sensorial landscapes of our built environment. His increased attention to everyday spatial interactions has brought to light the importance of field research, discussion and collaboration with those occupying the space as well as the space itself, highlighting the importance of spatial experience and theoretical research, both which continue to form the basis of his creative process. He is currently an active member at the Topological Media Lab, and working as a research assistant for Carmella Cucuzzella, examining the emerging aesthetics of sustainability, in today’s architectural competitions.

David Somiah Clark

David Somiah Clark is a Montréal based composer and performer with a professional background in audiovisual systems integration. Working as a consultant, he has designed and integrated solutions for clients including the Canadian Space Agency and CAE Healthcare. His compositional work can be heard in his collaboration with the Montréal electroacoustic band Pang Attack. Currently completing a B.F.A. in Computation Arts, David’s research involves exploring ways in which technologically mediated communication may confuse arbitrary boundaries between living and non-living systems and enrich our ecological experience.

Plant-Thinking Seminar



Based on the book Plant Thinking : A Philosophy of Vegetal Life by Michael Marder, this reading seminar is a starting point for discussion and aims at engaging and nurturing a creative community of thought interested in a better understanding of vegetal life.


Start: November 7th
End: December 19th
Weekly meeting, every Friday 2-4PM (11AM-1PM, Phoenix)

Nov 7– Week 1: Overview of the book, discussion

Nov 14 – Week 2: Chapter 1
-Sonifying Plants Project by Andy Poblete
Notes of the week here

Nov 21 – Weeks 3: Chapter 2
reschedule of the meeting with Michael Marder for Dec. 5th

Nov 28 – Weeks 4: Chapter 2
-Desert Life by Byron Lahey and Amy Renee
-Arctic Life by Elysha Poirier and Katherine

Dec 4 – Weeks 5: Chapters 3 & 4
-Laura Boyd-Clowes or Natasha Myers (TBC)
This week, Michael Marder himself will be joining the Plant-Thinking conversation in the first hour of our seminar for a Q&A.
Exceptionally, the seminar will be at the Ressource Center (EV 11.725)

Dec 11th – vernissage Le Possible/The Possible by Cynthia Hammond

Dec 12 – Weeks 6: Chapters 3 & 4
Artist talk by Dr Cynthia Hammond
Title: Le Possible
Abstract: In October 2014, the Canadian-Pacific Railway company bulldozed a section of a protected urban landscape in Montreal, called Le Champ des possibles, or the field of possibilities. This landscape had been given the status of a public park in 2013, but compared to most of Montreal’s green spaces, it is a very unusual park. Formed initially through the construction of the railway, this postindustrial landscape self-seeded during a generation of municipal neglect. In time, its indeterminate characteristics and remarkable biodiversity endeared it to nearby residents. It has also been home to itinerant populations, numerous art installations and events, and many species of plant, bird, and insect. In this seminar,Cynthia Hammond will present the urban and biogeographical history of Le Champ, and talk about the vitality of human-biological collaboration on the site since 2009. She will also present her project in progress, Le Possible, a response to and call for action about the recent devastation. Le Possible is a collaboration with artist Camille Bédard, urban curator Shauna Janssen, architect Itai Peleg, and urban naturalist Roger Latour. This work will be on display at Studio XX from Dec. 11-Dec 20th, as part of
the exhibition, To Participate, curated by Mark Clintberg and Erandy Vergara-Vargas.


Dec 19 – Week 7: Chapters 4 & 5
project presentation and discussion
(double long session)



Patterns of growth and perception: the site, the city and the wild by Flower Lunn 

“Tree Rings,” The Atlantic by Hugh Crawford


Plant-thinking Vimeo’s group

Plant Thinking and Human Movement, project by Oana Suteu Khintirian

Interview with Michael Marder on Plant-Thinking 

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Jamoma Training

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The Jamoma training will be hosted by TML artist-researchers working with this program. They will present and explain different examples and provide a DIY hands-on workshop.


October 22th, 12-3, With Evan Montpellier

This workshop will cover a set of Jamoma modules for manipulating video in realtime.

Topics that will be covered include:

-Installing Jamoma.
-The Syphon framework of sharing video between applications via the GPU.
-Capturing from multiple live input devices (cameras, playback decks, etc.)
-Postprocessing effects on the GPU via GLSL shaders.
-Basic mixing and compositing.
-Sending and receiving compressed video over local networks or the
internet via TCP.

Participants who wish to follow along with the demonstration should
bring an Apple computer with Max 6 installed, but computers are not
required and anyone is welcome.

November 27th, 12-3, with Nikos Chandolias


More info concerning the workshops coming soon !