Dr. Aleksandra Dulic, Director, Centre for Culture and Technology, UBC Okanagan
Kenneth Newby, Associate Professor in Visual Arts- New Media at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)
The presentation focuses on an interactive multimedia artwork, Order, Passion, Becoming, that aims to imbue the Canadian metaphor of an ethno-cultural mosaic with an ecological perspective. The artwork bridges two key ideas: that of cultural mosaic and ecological health – both represented as images of diversity. This interactive spatial composition aims to articulate a point of view where environmental challenges are seen not simply problem of science and technology but as core social, cultural and spiritual concerns. The underlying premise is that an ecologically diverse world requires correspondingly diverse metaphors that shift from a cross-cultural framework to one inclusive of ecological communities. To facilitate this visioning, we engage with a holistic notion of community that includes, as in an indigenous worldview, all the life forms that are rooted in this land. This holistic foundation of the project has the potential to shift understanding of the Canadian cultural mosaic from a cross-cultural framework to one inclusive of ecological communities, adopting Leopold’s (1949) call to expand ethical action to incorporate the biotic community.
This project is an investigation into the ways we can depict such an expanded community, where ecological perspectives take an active part in cultural representation, permeating software design and composition processes.
The expanded Canadian mosaic is expressed through the composition with dynamic images of multiplicity in a merging of Human and Nature. Meaning, both broad and focused, is constructed from layers of portraiture based on a set of faces drawn from the beautifully diverse communities characteristic of Canada juxtaposed with the Land they inhabit. The work is reflective of our contemporary cultural reality and depicts, in the visual sphere, an expanded notion of cultural mosaic living within natural landscapes and, in the aural sphere, the verbal richness of dialogic interactions characteristic of the Canadian multilingual environment including speech, songs and nature sounds. The multiple voices of the proposed media environment will sing simultaneously, not only in dialogue, but also with an ear to each voice’s interdependence. In this multimedia project, we weave cultural narratives into their landscapes and places through multimedia, so that viewers can experience both ethno-cultural diversity and a sense of place.
Dr. Aleksandra Dulic is an internationally recognized media artist and scholar working at the intersections of multimedia and live performance with research foci in computational poetics and cross-cultural media performance. Her research involves the development of learning context and experiences using game play as device for sustainability awareness grounded in local ecology. Her current work focuses on intersection of Culture and Technology, Climate Change communication, gaming and interactive art. She investigates image production and computation technologies to expand the practice of visual arts and how visual representation and its reception are changed by interactivity. She has received a number of awards for her media artwork that has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Kenneth Newby is a media artist, composer-performer, educator, interaction designer, and audio producer whose creative practice explores the use of technology to enable media performances and installations that are rich in aural, visual and cultural nuances. His work is widely presented in exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and radio broadcasts throughout Canada, Asia, Europe, and the USA. These works include compositions of media performance, electro-acoustic and acoustic music; interactive computer systems for live performance and installation; software tools for composition of music and animation, new composition for Javanese and Balinese gamelan ensembles; interdisciplinary collaborations with composers and artists in various disciplines (film, video, dance, theatre, poetry, shadow play) and participation in improvisational ensembles.