Computational Arts

Computational Arts

Digital Media EDI Initiatives (2021-2022)

Report from Chair

In computational arts we have been working on three main approaches. One is that we started this year to develop a theme for the year that we will be using to curate and organize our exhibitions and events (see attached). Through this we held a mid-Year online exhibition that can be found here: which included performances and talks alongside digital artworks.

This event was the launch for our speaker series, which is being used to highlight underrepresented voices in our discipline, namely BIPOC artists and women.
This is being hosted mainly on our Facebook page ( and on YouTube (

Finally – we are working towards a resource, which I am currently calling the Ideas Database. The approach is to build a database as a resource for students and teachers (and potentially researchers) that highlights underrepresented voices in our discipline through ideas, movements, and themes. This is in contrast to historical approaches to teaching and thinking in our discipline, which inevitably privileges established white and patriarchal perspectives due to the inherent suppression of underrepresented voices in our discipline in the past. This project is really too young to be sharing however, but I thought you would like to know about it.

Report from Sensorium Director

Events and Initiatives:

  1. Indexing Resistance: The Blood and Guts of Queer Protest in Canada. Project Director: Dr Schem Bader (supported by Sensorium)

Indexing Resistance is an interdisciplinary 2- day symposium at Lula Lounge with an accompanying month-long exhibition at the Plumb. By reflecting on relationships between the visual, the scholarly, and preservation, Indexing Resistance presents papers and artwork exploring the diversity of resistance and protest in queer communities in Canada, focussing on untold, overlooked or forgotten histories

  1. Digital Media Course DATT4935: Virtual Communities: Digital Activism and Social Justice

In this course held in the Winter semester 2022, students explored the formation of communities and new theories of mobilization/diaspora in the digital era. While examining the recent history of digital media as a tool in the propagation of social advocacy and activism, they also focused on their own positionalities, cultural backgrounds and diverse ethnic heritage represented and held in relation to contemporary social movements.

The outputs of the project were a website for their midterms:

A website documenting work in virtual space, and individual links to work on Mozilla Hubs that can be accessed on laptop or mobile device.

(This was presented at the start of YCAR (York Centre for Asian Research) 20th Anniversary launch along with invited speaker Professor Shibao Guo on Chinese diasporic identity – April 28th)

We also staged a pop-up event on Campus on April 4th where students had both in-person and online elements in collaboration with partners/ student groups involved in advocacies for the queer community, Asian community, immigrant community and mental health.

3.  Ongoing Projects:

Firgrove Mixed Media Oral Narratives Project:

Community event – June 4th, commemorating the histories, memories and legacies of the Firgrove neighbourhood as it undergoes drastic change as part of the TCHC (Toronto Community Housing Corporation) Firgrove-Gassways Revitalization project.  York’s team will be engaged in documenting stories, photographs and artefacts of community housing in a neighbourhood stigmatized by violence, poverty and racial injustices to rework the narrative through a virtual archive. In partnership with the Firgrove Learning and Innovation centre. Location : Firgrove neighbourhood.

Community event, supporting Kashe Dance company’s digital manifestations of Caribbean dancers April 21st – Mar4th. In Kashe Dance’s production Time, Place, Movement, a work exploring Caribbean rhythms, cultural practices and influences on the Canadian cultural landscape, a York team visited their studio rehearsals to work on motion captured dance movements that would be projected on stage during performance.