ISEA2015 has ended
ISEA2015: The 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art
Sunday, August 16 • 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Opening Reception: Lively Objects: Enchantment and Disruption at the Museum of Vancouver

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Lively Objects explores the seduction of things that seem to possess, or to be possessed by life. It brings together a collection of objects that vibrate with vitality through mechanical, magical or mythical forces. The exhibition addresses the idea of enchantment in a contemporary context and asks why and how, in an age of rationality, we are attracted by the animistic and atavistic experience of things “coming to life”.

Spread throughout the eclectic permanent collection of the Museum of Vancouver Lively Objects infiltrates dioramas, display cases and didactic panels. The works in this exhibition take many forms – gloves, tables, puppets, figurines, machines, houses and boxes. Seeding quiet disruption amongst the traditional museum display, the objects nestle, lurk, provoke, vibrate, dance, move and speak. Like a game of hide and seek, visitors can hunt through the museum to find the objects, or drift through and take their chances. Some objects are hiding in plain sight, speaking only to those who really stop to listen. Others are deliberately pulling focus and making a ruckus.

This exhibition builds on curatorial research in new media art and “post-disciplinarity” - the idea that the boundaries between traditional disciplines are not just shifting but inevitably eroding entirely. Contemporary changes in knowledge formations demand new ways to combine, organize and experience things. The divisions that have separated the aesthetic from the useful and the magic from the mundane are wavering. Lively Objects asks what role enchantment may play in rethinking our mutual co-evolution with technology, and how we negotiate a world where machinic encounters are inevitable.

Diana Burgoyne, Wendy Coburn, Steve Daniels, Judith Doyle, Kate Hartman, Garnet Hertz, Simone Jones with Lance Winn, Germaine Koh, and Norman White. 

Curated by Caroline Langill and Lizzie Muller.

This exhibition is supported by OCAD University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Canada Research Chair Program, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, The Ontario Arts Council, Intel, Telus, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Museum of Vancouver and the Vancouver Art Gallery. The following provided production support for Judith Doyle’s work: Ian Murray, Robin Len, Chao Feng, Nick Beirne, Naoto Hieda,  John McCorriston, James Rollo, Fabiolo Hernandez Cancino, Cody Berry. Production support for Germaine Koh derived from CNC machining by Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Alan Waldron / Infinite FX, Hamza Vora, and Gordon Hicks. Members of the Social Body Lab who supported Kate Hartman’s work are as follows Jackson McConnell, Hillary Predko, Boris Kourtoukov, Izzie Colpitts-Campbell, Alexis Knipping, and Rickee Charbonneau. The curators are indebted to the following OCAD University students who conducted preliminary research for this exhibition through their exhibition Influenc(Ed.) Machines; Robin Goldberg, Matthew Kyba, Kate Murfin, Tak Pham, Treva Pullen and Renée Stephens.

avatar for Caroline Langill

Caroline Langill

Dean, Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, OCAD University
My research interests include new materialism, media art histories, and art/science collaborations. Lizzie Muller and I have been looking at objects that exhibit aliveness within the exhibitionary complex, and how these objects might fare in terms of their exhibition, dissemination... Read More →
avatar for Lizzie Muller

Lizzie Muller

Associate Professor, University of New South Wales
Lizzie Muller researches the future of museums as sites of participatory knowledge creation. Her recent book Curating Lively Objects: Exhibitions Beyond Disciplines (with Caroline Seck Langill) was published by Routledge in Sep 2021. She teaches in the Master of Curating and Cultural... Read More →

avatar for Steve Daniels

Steve Daniels

Director, New Media, New Media, Ryerson University
Steve Daniels uses electronics and communication technologies to create hardware agents, kinetic sculptures, ubiquitous spaces and networked events. He is currently interested in the non-utilitarian possibilities of DIY social devices. Through his practice Steve juxtaposes disparate... Read More →
avatar for Judith Doyle

Judith Doyle

Associate Professor, OCAD University
Judith Doyle is an artist working with film, new media and installation. At OCAD University, she is an Associate Professor in Integrated Media. Her collaboration with Beijing-based artist Fei Jun as GestureCloud considers gesture and labour in physical and virtual conditions. Their... Read More →
avatar for Garnet Hertz

Garnet Hertz

Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts, Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Dr. Garnet Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts and is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media at Emily Carr. His art and research explores themes of DIY culture and interdisciplinary art / design practices. He has shown his work at several... Read More →

Sunday August 16, 2015 6:00pm - 10:00pm PDT
Museum of Vancouver 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, BC, V6J 3J9
  Art Event

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