Ideas Digital Forum 2018 (October 12 and 13, 2018 at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa) was a two day symposium designed to nurture new frameworks for engaging contemporary Canadian Art. The following videos were recorded during the event.

Opening Remarks and Setting the Agenda

Inauguration / Welcome: Donna Raetsen-Kemp, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery

Setting the agenda: Zainub Verjee, Ontario Association of Art Galleries

First Session: Asking the Right Questions

In this session broad conceptual and systemic questions will be highlighted in the opening note and questions from the participants will be gathered and collated. These questions will be referred to throughout the two-day deliberations and will be reflected upon to forge a collective path forward.

Keynote: Mohammed Salemy

Mohammad Salemy is a Berlin and New York -based Canadian artist, critic, and curator who holds an MA in critical curatorial studies from the University of British Columbia. He has shown his works in Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works 7 (Beirut) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). His writings have been published in e-flux, Flash Art, Third Rail, and Brooklyn Rail, and he has curated exhibitions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Access Gallery, and Satellite Gallery in Vancouver. He regularly writes on art and exhibitions for the Hong Kong-based platform Ocula. He currently co-organizes the education programs of the online art & theory platform The New Centre for Research & Practice.

Listening In: Participant Break-up

Following the Opening Note, Participants will be divided into smaller groups to facilitate the process of raising collectively questions in four categories:

  • Artist Practices
  • Audiences: communication, storytelling, and engagement
  • Collections & Exhibitions
  • Digital Competencies

Scott Benesiinaabandan Presentation

Scott Benesiinaabandan discusses his practice and his work Physic Mysteries, Blood Memories in the RMG exhibition Inaabawin.

Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinabe intermedia artist who works primarily in photography, printmaking and video. Scott has recently completed  international residencies at Parramatta Artist Studios in Australia (2012), Context Gallery in Derry, North of Ireland (2010) and was awarded the University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR residency 2013, along with international collaborative projects in both the U.K and Ireland.

Responsive Keynote: Niranjan Rajah

Niranjan Rajah holds a BSC Economics from Queen Mary College, London, a Post-graduate Diploma in Law from the University of Westminster and an MFA from Goldsmiths College, London. Niranjan has served as associate dean of the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts at the University Malaysia Sarawak. He has been visiting faculty at the Cyberarts/Cyberculture Research Initiative (CCRI), National University of Singapore; Design Media Arts, UCLA; Ignite Programme, TCS, TATA Group of Companies and the International Art Gallery, Ismaili Jubilee Arts Festival, Lisbon.

Second Session: State of the Field

In this session we will discuss the current practices embedded in the histories of intersection between art, science, and technology and at the same time discuss the imperatives of ephemeral technologies and its impact on artmaking.

Art Now / Art Next

Panel Discussion with Caroline Langill,  Niranjan Rajah, Faisal Anwar, Jessica Thompson, Nell Tenhaaf (Moderator)

Canada Council Digital Strategy Fund presentation with Sylvie Gilbert

Director, Digital Strategy Fund, Sylvie Gilbert will present and discuss the state of funding.

Third Session: Alison Humphrey Presentation and Tour

Alison Humphrey speaks to her practice and work Shadowpox in the RMG exhibition Public Notice. Followed by Exhibition Tour.

Alison Humphrey plays with story across the fields of drama, digital media, and education. A Vanier Scholar at York University, her doctoral research explores how a science-fiction transmedia storyworld (, co-created with theatre students on four continents, can empower youth civic engagement and public health problem-solving.

Fourth Session: Gallery Making / Re-Making

This session focuses on how different art galleries have undertaken respective strategies to respond to the impact of digital technology as its core business.

Three Case Studies of Art Galleries Response to the Digital Ecosystem

1. Rozemin Keshvani, Whitechapel Gallery, UK

Rozemin Keshvani is an independent curator and art critic whose practice focuses on excavating and recreating undiscovered contemporary histories and establishing alternate and characteristically disjunctive narratives through discursive means and new media and time-based strategies that encourage dialogic, interactive and transformative situations.

Three Case Studies of Art Galleries Response to the Digital Ecosystem

2. Lianne Davison on Surrey Art Gallery

Liane Davison has curated over 100 exhibitions on contemporary art practice from digital media through to lawn ornaments. Her writing has been published in over 30 catalogues and her work supporting digital art has been recognized internationally. In 1998 she initiated the Surrey Art Gallery’s TechLab, a unique venue dedicated to supporting the production and presentation of digital art forms.

Three Case Studies of Art Galleries Response to the Digital Ecosystem

3. New Westminster Gallery Co-Directors & Co-Curators Gordon Duggan and Sarah Joyce

Gordon has over 25 years experience working in cultural institutions and with artists from around the world. After studying Painting at the University of Calgary he completed his MA in Industrial Design (Honours) from Domus Academy, Milan.

Joyce has an education in the Visual Arts, Art History, Conservation and Visual Culture from British and Canadian Universities. She was Head of Conservation at Glenbow Museum + Art Gallery for five years.

Fifth Session: Exhibition Making / Re-Making

To lead the discussion on the emergence of sites of Exhibition Making – the interfaces and materials. How are these works reflecting various themes such as gender-technology debate; ephemeral art; modes of productions and its implication for collection and art historical discourse, DIY culture and new tools.

Digital Technology & the Art Gallery: Exhibition, Collection, Audience

This panel will engage in discussions about prospective developments and application of Digital Technology in Audience Engagement, Immersive Exhibitions, Collection of Ephemeral Artworks, Accessibility, etc.

Panel: Jean Gagnon , Srinivas Krishna, David Bobier, Zach Pearl
Moderator: Rozemin Keshvani

Sixth Session: Learnings and Reflections

We started with a set of questions and towards the end we take into consideration how we have addressed them or how do we need to re-calibrate our responses to the learnings from the symposium? This session will bring together the thematic questions and nut-bolts issue to the fore allowing participants a distinct take away to their respective institutions.

Facilitators: Zainub Verjee and Niranjan Rajah