Co-curated by Matthew Brower and Giovanni Aloi with the assistance of Seb Roberts

Combined Opening November 1, 2018
Aird Gallery 6-8pm Remarks at 6:30pm
Contact Gallery 6-9pm

Digital Animalities: Mapping. John B. Aird Gallery, October 30 - November 23, 2018.

Digital Animalities: Rendering. CONTACT Gallery, November 1 - December 15, 2018.

 Digital Animalities is a two-venue exhibition of artworks exploring human animal interactions in an age of risk. Digital technologies have been reshaping human understandings of animals and transforming the possibilities for human-animal relations. Artists have been at the forefront of exploring these challenges, using the languages and forms of artistic practice to stage, explore, and intervene in these emerging situations. These works present a range of approaches to the themes. They offer models for understanding new possibilities provided by new technologies, critiques of implicit tendencies in the workings and organizations of these technologies, and classifications and frameworks for orienting ourselves to these new possibilities.

Loosely organized under two major tendencies presented in the works, Mapping and Rendering, the two venues present complementary experiences of the evolving space of animality in contemporary digital culture. At the John B. Aird Gallery, the theme of Mapping brings together works by Julie Andreyev and Simon Lysander Overstall, Jonathon Keats, Gwen MacGregor, Neozoon, Ken Rinaldo, Lou Sheppard, and Donna Szoke that suggest how new cartographies organize and orient us. At the CONTACT Gallery, the theme of Rendering brings together works by Sara Angelucci, Ingrid Bachmann, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Wally Dion, and Aki Inomata that reveal digital technology’s ability to scan and re-assemble aspects of reality. Curated by Giovanni Aloi and Matthew Brower, Digital Animalities is part of a SSHRC funded research project entitled “Digital Animalies: Media Representations of Nonhuman Life in the Age of Risk” led by Jody Berland of York University.

Ken Rinaldo,  Prontay Seed , Giclee Print, 2013 (reprinted 2018)

Ken Rinaldo, Prontay Seed, Giclee Print, 2013 (reprinted 2018)

Gwen McGregor,  Seamus and me 08 , looped video, 2008

Gwen McGregor, Seamus and me 08, looped video, 2008

Donna Szoke,  Invisible Histories  .  Geo-loactive smart phone/tablet app, 2015

Donna Szoke, Invisible Histories. Geo-loactive smart phone/tablet app, 2015


Bio: Gwen MacGregor is a Toronto artist working in installation, video, photography and drawing. She has received awards such as the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist of the Year and the Canada Council International Studio in New York. Her work is in a number of collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Oakville Galleries, Artbank, and the Royal Bank Collection. She is represented by MKG127 in Toronto.  MacGregor is also a PhD candidate in Cultural Geography at the University of Toronto with a SSHRC doctoral CGS scholarship.  


Bio: Julie Andreyev is a Vancouver based artist-activist, researcher and educator. Her art practice called AnimalLover investigates more-than-human creativity. Projects rely on interspecies participation and collaboration to explore seeing, listening, and feeling for ecological and empathic potential. At the core of the processes are care-ethics practiced in each encounter, respecting the autonomy of free-living and companion animals. The outcomes are manifest as new media, sound art, performance and relational art. Andreyev’s art has been shown nationally and internationally, and she has published essays in academic journals, books, catalogues and magazines. She has a PhD from Simon Fraser University, and is Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. 


Bio: Aki Inomata graduated with an MFA in Inter-media Art from Tokyo University of the Arts in 2008. In her practice, she creates work in collaboration with living creatures. Her major artworks include Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crab s?, in which she created city-like shells for hermit crabs, and I Wear the Dog’s Hair, and the Dog Wears My Hair, in which the artist and her dog wear capes made out of each other’s respective hair.  

Bio: Simon Lysander Overstall is an artist and composer working in digital arts and new media, in particular sound and music. He has produced sound designs and compositions for dance, theatre, and installations. He develops works with generative, interactive, or performative elements. He produces interactive performance systems and art installations which have been shown in Canada, the US, Europe, and China. He has an MA in Sound in New Media at Aalto University in Helsinki, a BFA in Music Composition from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, and an Associate in Music (Jazz) Diploma from Malaspina University-College. 


Bio: Ken Rinaldo is internationally recognized for interactive art installations that develop hybrid ecologies with human, plant, and animal. These serve as model and experiment for thinking about complex social, biological and machine symbionts that are arising. Exploring critical interface designs allows interrogation of technology as an emergent form with evolutionary survival instincts and self-aware software agents. Rinaldo is focused on theories of life, symbiogenesis, trans-species communication and research methods to understand and explore animal, insect and bacterial cultures as we model emergent intelligence as they interact, self-organize and co-inhabit the earth. 


Bio: Wally Dion is a visual artist living and working in Binghamton, New York. He is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation (Salteaux). Dion holds a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Throughout much of his career, Dion’s work has contributed to a broad conversation in the art world about identity and power, and can be interpreted as part of a much larger pan-American struggle by indigenous peoples to be recognized: culturally, economically, and politically, by settler societies.  


Bio: Sara Angelucci is a Toronto-based artist working in photography, video and audio. Her work explores vernacular photographs and films, analyzing the original context in which images are made. Drawing attention to conventions of image making, her work foregrounds the cultural role vernacular images play in framing particular stories, creating histories, and memorialization. Her interest lies in drawing our attention outside of the image frame, pointing to the social and historic conditions which are the unspoken basis of the image.  


Bio: Neozoon, founded in 2009, is an anonymous collective of female artists based in Berlin and Paris. Human-animal relations are at the center of their artistic work. The group became known for their street art in public spaces in which, amongst others, worn out fur coats appeared as the silhouettes of animals on house walls. Recycling found footage is also a recurring element in their work, where the group often employs amateur videos from YouTube. Their cinematic work deals with contradictions in our daily contact with animals in language, practise and with the representational medialization of these interfaces.  


Bio: Donna Szoke is a Canadian artist whose practice includes video, animation, media art, installation, drawing, writing and collaboration. Her work has been exhibited in Canada, USA, France, Germany, Turkey, Hungary, Croatia, Cuba and Dubai, UAE. Szoke’s art practice began in Winnipeg, Manitoba designing for Guy Maddin’s early films, creating performance art and conceptually based drawings. After moving to Vancouver her practice shifted to digital video, collaboration, and installation. Her recent work includes interactive animation and printmaking. Her work is informed by critical studies with repeating themes of immanence, embodied perception, and the fluidity of lived experience.  


Bio: Maria Fernanda Cardoso is an international artist, born in Colombia, currently living in Sydney, Australia. Graduating from Yale University with a Masters degree in Sculpture and Installation in 1990, she is well known for her unconventional use of materials and the use of animals as inspiration. Cardoso exhibits widely in major museums and galleries in the US, Latin America, Australia and Europe. 


Bio: Bio: Ingrid Bachmann lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. Bachmann has presented her multidisciplinary work nationally and internationally in exhibitions and festivals in Belgium, the U.S., Estonia, Singapore, Peru, Brazil, the UK, and Cuba. Exhibitions include the 11th Havana Biennial (Cuba), Manifestation d’art International 6 (Quebec) and Command Z: Artists Exploring Phenomena and Technology (USA).


Bio: Jonathon Keats is an experimental philosopher, artist and writer. His conceptually-driven interdisciplinary art projects have been hosted by institutions ranging from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the Long Now Foundation to Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination. Keats is the author of six books, most recently You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future, published by Oxford University Press. He is a Research Fellow at the Nevada Art Museum's Center for Art + Environment, and was recently the Black Mountain College Legacy Fellow at the University of North Carolina - Asheville. His art is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco. 

Bio: Lou Sheppard is a interdisciplinary artist working in video, audio and installation practices. Of settler ancestry, Sheppard was raised on unceded Mi'Kmaq territory, and currently lives in K'jiputuk/Halifax. Sheppard's recent work has been focused on the practice of translation, particularly translations between meaning systems that do not align in conventional ways. Starting from a range of source materials (diagnostic criteria, environmental data, field recordings) they engage in rigorous processes of translation, resulting in musical compositions, performances and choreographies.