The MacKenzie Art Gallery is pleased to launch our brand new Digital Studio—located inside our library. The Digital Studio will be the home for a multi-year, collaborative digital arts training initiative led by artists Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll, the Gallery’s new Digital Coordinators. 

Funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Strategy Fund and supported through partnerships with the Initiative for Indigenous Futures as well as local and regional school boards and teachers. 

About Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll

Cat Bluemke uses game design, performance, and expanded reality to explore the dynamic relationship of work and play. Graduating in 2018 with her MFA in Design for Emerging Technologies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she presents the struggle of labour through interactive media, with a focus on precarious, feminized, and domestic work.

Jonathan Carroll is an XR artist and developer who makes games and software. His practice evolved from creating applications to facilitate interaction between performance artists and audiences, to building irreverent interactive experiences for mobile devices and VR headsets. 

The two have been collaborators since 2013, with their work being exhibited internationally at venues such as the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, Kunsternus Hus, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 2018 they co-founded SpekWork, an art collective making games about labour.  The collective hacks the technologies of virtual and augmented reality, game design, and artificial intelligence to ask pressing questions about the future of labour and leisure in a networked austerity society.