Speakers and Themes


A theatre artist and communications scholar, Lowell Gasoi has over 20 years experience as a performer, director and producer in the Montreal theatre community. His acclaimed theatre productions have received support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et lettres de Quebec. His SSHRC-funded Masters research at Concordia University is focused on the use of performative media in the metatheatre of Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor. He has been a researcher with Concordia’s Fluxmedia and a teaching assistant in the Intermedia Production stream. Lowell’s interest in live and mediated performances also extends into the area of dissent, political communication and community development through the arts. He is presently assisting with the Encounters field study group within the International Centre of Art for Social Change. Lowell seamlessly integrates his skills in digital media production, communications theory and community engaged arts to advance knowledge in theatre, documentary video, teaching and interactive performance. http://storyspray.com

Paromita Kar

Katherine Paige Calvin is an MA student in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studies eighteenth and nineteenth-century French art and critical theory, focusing particularly on constructions of racial and national identity.


Brett Potter has a BFA in Film and Video Production from York University concentrated in alternative/experimental cinema, and his found-footage video works and installations have screened at the Flickerings Festival (Illinois), the Blackwell Gallery (Mississauga), and as part of Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. He is currently a PhD candidate in theology at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, where his work attempts to bring contemporary art, media, and culture into conversation with twentieth-century philosophy and theology (particularly the continental tradition). He is interested in creative appropriation as a strategy of cultural engagement, as well as a paradigm for understanding artistic process in the digital age.

Gillian Pistell is a PhD candidate in Art History at the Graduate Center, the City University of New York. She received her BA from Colgate University in 2008, double majoring in History and Art History, and her MA from the Graduate Program in the History of Art, Williams College, in 2010. She is currently a Research Assistant in the Modern and Contemporary Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Prior to this position, she was the Researcher for both the Ray Johnson Estate and Hollis Taggart Galleries, both in New York City.  Gillian has published work on Theresa Bernstein and Ray Johnson for various exhibitions on the artists, and is beginning her work on her dissertation, which will address Ray Johnson and his multifaceted practice.

Ben Harrison is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ben is currently in his first year of his MA in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. His current research examines critiques of exploitation cinema and political agency in the works of Quentin Tarantino. Ben graduated in 2013 from the University of King’s College with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours), and has worked in radio and television production for CBC and CTV Atlantic.


Robert Luzar is an artist, independent researcher and recent PhD graduate from London, England’s Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.  His current research and works explore post-phenomenological forms of physicality and gesture through mark-making mediums, some of which include drawing, performance, video, and digital projection. Under the title Drawing Upon Multiplicity: Mark, Body, and A Trace of Thought, his PhD thesis originally contributes to a fundamental shift in current debates around drawing and performance in relation to thought, in the traditions of continental philosophy.   www.robertluzar.com 

Spencer Stuart

Matthew Jarvis Wall is a graduate student studying HCI, serious games, and interaction design at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. http://matthewwall.tumblr.com


Aria Spinelli (Skype In)

Natalia Dmushowska is a recent graduate of the Master of Environmental Design program at the University of Calgary. Her thesis is titled, “The Art of Jaywalking: A Contemporary Approach to Interaction, Ownership and Creation in Public Space.”  She focused on the incorporation of psychogeographic methods into daily experiences as a means of infusing our urban environments with spontaneity in an attempt to eliminate boredom.  As a positive side effect Natalia’s work also promotes increased interaction in public space,  the vitality of active participation in public art, and the value in approaching urban issues as an exercise in design.  Natalia considers herself an amateur photographer, an avid traveler, an art enthusiast, reader of existentialist work, and an ambassador of all things awesome. @ambassadornat

Laura Mahlstein


Jerina Hajno

Matt Ossias holds a BA in Philosophy and is currently enrolled in the Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts graduate program at Brock University. His current research focuses on the intersections of contemporary art cinema, the cinematic theories of Gilles Deleuze and Frederic Jameson, as well as the emergent philosophies of biopolitics, posthumanism, and speculative realism.

Carmen Victor has an MFA and is completing an MA in Art History and Visual Culture at York University with a focus on contemporary representations of landscape in time-based media. Since 1999 she has held curatorial positions at various institutional and non-institutional galleries, private collections and museums. www.carmenvictor.com


Cindy (Ji Hye) Kim is a painter and a video artist whose work explores cultural identity and theatre; how familiar visual symbols, aesthetics, and ultimately stereotypes, become performative and manipulated in their modes of representation. Currently working in both US and Canada, she has received her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2013.

Ella Cooper is an award winning multidisciplinary artist, emerging documentary filmmaker and arts educator/facilitator based in Toronto. She is currently completing her Masters of Arts Education at Simon Fraser University. Her current work explores embodied and arts based inquiry as it links to Canadian Black female identity and the body, multiracial feminism, visual culture, community storytelling, media-arts empowerment, environmental arts and hybrid identities. Originally from Montreal, Ella has been a featured speaker at many national and international conferences, her creative work has been featured on the CBC with support from the Canada Council, the Ontario Art Council and the City of Vancouver. ellacooper.ca

Robert Dayton is a multidisciplinary artist originally from BritishColumbia. His work has appeared in Hunter and Cook, Carousel, The Onion, Roctober, Cinema Sewer, Lost In The Grooves (Routledge), Paper Rodeo, Bananafish, CBC 3 and numerous other places. He has shown work at Paul Petro Special Projects, Lucky’s, Clifton’s Cafeteria, Mercer Union and performed at The Vancouver Art Gallery, The Or Gallery, The Western Front, The Art Gallery of Ontario, The Helen Pitt Gallery, Comedy Death Ray, The Knitting Factory and more. He is currently enrolled in the MFA program at The University of Waterloo and holds a BFA from Emily Carr.


Alison Snowball is an artist, theorist, and designer, born and based in Toronto. She is a recent graduate of OCAD University’s M.A. program in Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories. Alison is publishing her major research findings, “Immaterealities of Dematerialisation in Contemporary Art and Finance,” over Twitter—one tweet a day from start to finish @immaterealities. Alison’s theoretical interests in abstraction, language, and political economy tend to influence her art and design practices, and inevitably, vice-versa. In 2010, Alison wrapped a year-long project programming a multi disciplinary arts lineup at Snowball Gallery & Workshop, where she served as Founder and Director. Prior to that, Alison worked as an Institutional Equities Trader at TD Newcrest after graduating with a B.Comm. from Dalhousie University.

JP King

Martin Budny (b. 1976) is an artist working in mixed media, performance and installation. While working as a television, theatre and film actor for ten years, he began a self taught practice as a painter and visual artist. Much of his work adapts anthropological strategies to explore poetic narratives from personal and cultural experiences while revealing the process of self-construction within the socioeconomic structures that surround everyday life. Born in Baghdad Iraq to Polish-Bulgarian parents, Budny grew up in Europe and Egypt before immigrating to Canada with his family in 1987. He is an MFA candidate at the Transart Institute based in Berlin and New York, in participation with the University of Plymouth in the UK.

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