Thursday Night Live is a new livestream series/Digital Art talk show hosted by the MacKenzie’s Digital Coordinators. Each event will feature guests from various corners of the Online/Digital Arts community who join the hosts as they deliver workshops, panels, tours, and talks that expand our understandings on how to view, make, and enjoy digital art in our emerging new realities.
Livestreams can be viewed on the MacKenzie’s Facebook page, where audience members can ask questions and participate through the text chat box.
Gone in a Flash
In partnership with Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre, the MacKenzie Art Gallery presents an artist talk by Paolo Pedercini (molleindustria) as the first program in their “Gone in a Flash” livestream series about Adobe Flash and digital art archiving.
Gone in a Flash is a digital programs series from the MacKenzie Art Gallery and Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre, focusing on the upcoming dissolution of the Adobe Flash medium. Since 1996, Adobe Flash has introduced artists to interactive, animated, and web-based work. But at the end of this year, this powerful tool is being permanently removed from the Internet. This online programming series brings together artists, digital archivists, and game developers to discuss their experiences with the medium and what its disappearance means for future of digital art.
Paolo Pedercini is a game developer, artist and educator. At Carnegie Mellon University he teaches experimental game design, creative coding, and animation. He was born in Italy and migrated to the United States in 2007 to study integrated media arts at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Paolo’s artistic practice deals with the relationship between electronic entertainment and ideology. Working under the project name “molleindustria” he produces videogames addressing various social issues such as environmental justice (McDonald’s videogame, Oiligarchy, Phone Story), religion (Faith Fighter) and labor and alienation (Every Day the Same Dream, Unmanned, To Build a Better Mousetrap). Molleindustria obtained extensive media coverage and critical acclaim while hopping between digital art, academia, game industry, media activism and Internet folk art.
In addition to his studio practice, Paolo advocates for independent and socially conscious gamemaking, within and without artistic contexts. He lectured in a wide range of venues, from the oldest squat in Rome to the venues like the Game Developer Conference, the Digital Games Research Association, Ars Electronica, The Centre Pompidou, and Cabaret Voltaire.
Paolo is the director of LIKELIKE, a neo-arcade devoted to independent games and playful art in Pittsburgh, PA. You can find out more by visiting: https://molleindustria.org/.
Although his work exists primarily online, it has been exhibited internationally at festivals, galleries and museums including the Sundance Festival, the EMP Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Hammer Museum, Games for Change, Gwangju Design Biennale, Indiecade, FILE Brazil, LABoral, and ZKM.
Streaming for Artists
This class will introduce participants to using Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) to livestream their art, work, and play onto platforms like Twitch and YouTube. Participants can use streaming to show work in progress, or as a medium for performances, or to create entirely new hybrid media only possible on these new platforms. This workshop will demonstrate how to stream digital drawing on desktops and external tablets, as well as analogue drawing using a video feed. OBS is a free software, but in our demonstrations we will be using some equipment and programs that are not free. It is not necessary to have those to participate in the workshop, as they are just an example of some of the many ways for an artist to use streaming.
Augmented Reality Makeup
Join our digital media artists Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll as they use Snapchat Lens Studio to create augmented reality makeup that can be used in Zoom meetings, Skype calls, or published to Snapchat and shared with your friends! The livestream will be available to watch on Facebook and YouTube after it airs.
Lens Studio is used to create augmented reality filters that can run on your computer via your webcam, or on your phone. It lets you easily create designs that follow your face around, and we will be using that functionality to create digital makeup looks that you won’t see anywhere else!
Lens studio is available for free, please download in advance to follow along with the tutorials. To see your filters applied on yourself, you will need a webcam, and Lens Studio requires a Snapchat account to use (which is also free).
Snapchat Lens Studio
Animating with After Effects
Join Digital Coordinators Cat Bluemke & Jonathan Carroll for another Thursday Night Live Online as we explore After Effects! The livestream will take place simultaneously on Facebook and YouTube, and be available for viewing afterward on all channels, and on the MacKenzie’s website.
After Effects is one of the most exciting Creative Cloud applications, but it’s wealth of options makes for an intimidating learning curve. Starting with basic keyframe animation, this workshop will demonstrate the fundamentals for getting started, and show some tips and tricks for making motion graphics and animation juicy and engaging.
This workshop will require access to After Effects, a paid program that can be downloaded and installed via Adobe Creative Cloud.
Worldbuilding with Unity3D
Unity3D is a free tool predominantly used by video game artists and designers, but it opens up interesting possibilities for any artist working with digital media. Unity3D can be used to create interactive and multimedia experiences, and it does not take much to get started. We will be starting from scratch with the tools and interface of the software, and by the end we will have built a virtual landscape that we can walk around with. We will be joined by artists working with digital technology to find out how artists can leverage this technology to create innovative works.
The Virtual White Cube: A panel on digital art galleries
The temporary closure of art galleries and museums has led to the creation of many new online exhibits, programs, and galleries. In this panel discussion, curators discuss what it means for art when the gallery space is recreated online. We discuss the ‘white cube’ gallery, its translation into virtual space, and other models for representing art online.
Participants include Lillian O’Brien Davis (MacKenzie Art Gallery), Wendy Peart (Dunlop Art Gallery), Eric Hill (Dunlop Art Gallery), Emily Fitzpatrick (Trinity Square Video), and Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll (moderators).
About the Panelists:
Lillian O’Brien Davis is an emerging curator from Toronto, ON currently based in Regina, SK. Her recent curatorial research has focused on the creolization of the art gallery and archipelagic thinking as curatorial practice. Lillian is the Curatorial Assistant at the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the co-host of A Real Piece of Art on CJTR Regina Community Radio.
Emily Fitzpatrick is an independent curator and arts administrator who holds a master’s degree in Curatorial Studies from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Her work involves temporary public art projects rooted in social practice. Recent curatorial projects include MMMMM…Gendai Kitchen, a food-art subscription service; On The Table, an artist multiple project speaking to issues related to gender-based violence and sexual harassment in public space; and Gallery Galleria, a group exhibition responding to a mall’s publics, economies, and aesthetics, both co-curated with the collective Aisle 4. She has extensive experience working within Toronto’s artist-run centres and public institutions including Images Festival, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Gendai Gallery, and Art Metropole.
Wendy Peart is Dunlop Art Gallery’s Curator of Education and Community Outreach. She has enriched the cultural lives of Reginans for over 25 years through teaching, curatorial projects, outreach work, and artistic practice. She is a strong advocate for visual, digital and media literacies. She works with artists from a wide range of practices and from culturally diverse backgrounds enabling them to form meaningful experiences and relationships with community members.
Building a Virtual Gallery in Unity3D
Expanding on last week’s conversation about the challenges and opportunities of curating virtual galleries, this week on Thursday Night Live we look at the work behind building spaces for presenting digital artwork. We will be talking with digital artist Ryan Hill, who recently created a virtual gallery for presenting his photogrammetry work through the Dunlop Art Gallery. We will be returning to Unity3D, a free video game engine we introduced in a previous Thursday Night Live. Participants can expect to learn how to present different media, like sculptures, videos, and images, in an interactive 3D space. We’ll also talk about the advantages of presenting work in this format, and the possibilities for sharing with other people.
Online Exhibition Tour: Well Now WTF with Faith Holland
What does an online art exhibit look like? We continue our exploration of virtual galleries and online art with a tour of the exhibit “Well Now WTF?” lead by co-curator Faith Holland. The exhibit features over 140 Canadian and international artists, exhibiting video, GIF, and web-based work in its intended platform. The exhibit has been praised for its relevance during the pandemic as cultural organizations move towards online content to engage with audiences. “[The] exhibition brings some cynical dystopian wit to distract from (or frame anew) the information overload, art-world privilege and sociobiological crises defining this moment for many.” (Leah Sandals, CanadianArt)
Faith Holland is an artist, curator, and educator whose multimedia practice focuses on gender, intimacy, and technology. She has exhibited at venues such as The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), NRW Forum (Düsseldorf), Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder), Human Resources (Los Angeles), and DAM Gallery (Berlin). Her work has been written about in Artforum, The New York Times, The Sunday Times UK, Elephant, Hyperallergic, Broadly, and The Observer. She has been a NYFA Fellowship Finalist in Digital/Electronic Art, an artist-in-residence at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and Harvestworks, and a finalist for Fotomuseum Winterthur’s Post-Photography Prototyping Prize. She is opening Hard/Soft, her third solo exhibition with TRANSFER, online and offline on June 4, 2020. You can see her work online at www.faithholland.com.
New Media Art
What is ‘new media art’? How does technology change our relationship to images, art, and each other? On this week’s Thursday Night Livestream, we will be joined by Shauna Jean Doherty and Lillian O’Brien Davis, as we focus on new media work from the past four decades, exploring common themes of the genre. This panel discussion is intended for audiences both new and familiar with new media work.
Shauna Jean Doherty is a new media art curator and critic concerned with the impacts of digital technologies on artistic practice, critical discourse, and the art market. Recently she has published texts on topics that include post-internet art aesthetics, art and artificial intelligence, and the role of blockchain in the digital art market.
Let's Play Terra Nova with Maize Longboat
In this week’s Thursday Night Livestream, we play through Terra Nova by Maize Longboat, an artist who works with video games to create narratives that take advantage of the things you can do in that medium to convey piece’s message. Terra Nova is a two-player experience that “explores what first contact between Indigenous and Settler peoples might look like thousands of years from now. ”
(https://maizelongboat.itch.io/terra-nova) The interactive storytelling within the game is unique, telling a different story for each character that is woven together as gameplay progresses. This livestream will feature a full playthrough of Terra Nova with live commentary from Maize Longboat about the process of creating the game and the practice of making interactive digital art.
Maize Longboat is Kanien’kehá:ka from Six Nations of the Grand River and was raised on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Squamish Nation near Vancouver, BC. As the Skins Workshops Associate Director with Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), he is responsible for coordinating everything Skins-related. He holds an MA in Media Studies from Concordia University and a BA in First Nations Studies and History (double major) from the University of British Columbia. Maize’s MA research-creation thesis project examined Indigenous videogames and culturally-connected development practices through the production of his own game, Terra Nova, a two-player, cooperative platformer with an interactive narrative.
Let's Play UnEarthU with Kara Stone
Kara Stone is an artist that uses video games to create work about mental health, labour, sex, gender, and technology. Her appearance on Thursday Night Live continues our explorations of artist practices that use video games to develop new modes of inquiry & critique. In this week’s Thursday Night Livestream, we will be playing and discussing Kara’s new game, UnEarthU, which takes the form of a corporate wellness app, continuing themes she has explored in previous games like Ritual of the Moon and The Earth is a Better Person than Me.
Kara Stone is an artist and scholar interested in the affective and gendered experiences of psychosocial disability, debility, and healing as it relates to art production, particularly videogames. Her artwork has been featured in The Atlantic, Wired, and Vice. She is a member of the Different Games Collective. She holds a BFA in Film Production and master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University, and is currently a PhD student in Film and Digital Media with a designated emphasis in Feminist Studies at University of California at Santa Cruz.
Plugging in the IndigiNES with Dallas Flett-Wapash
In this week’s Thursday Night Live, we’re joined by artist and independent game designer Dallas Flett-Wapash to discuss his recent works on display in the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba’s online art exhibit !in.Site;. In Manitoba, the reservation is a ubiquitous entity; and yet – paradoxically – is also seen as a foreign place. The artists of !in.Site; bring digital manifestations/maps/future visions of the reservation, considering it both as familiar home and the outcome of state displacement policies.
Dallas Flett-Wapash (Ininew and Saulteaux, of Keeseekoose First Nation, Saskatchewan) is an independent video game designer who works outside of the team workflow and industry models most commonly used in the milieu. His developing body of work is a digital rebuilding of his ongoing artistic examination of the Ininew world view – including cosmology, culture and language – using retro video game aesthetics.
This week, we will be joined by Taylor McArthur, a digital artist who works at the intersection of 3D animation, video game design, and video. McArthur’s recent highlights includes Vector Festival’s (TO) panel discussion “You Need Protocols: Working with Indigenous Culture in the Digital Realm,” and the online exhibit !in.Site; at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba. This week we’ll be exploring McArthur’s work and discussing core themes within her practice.
Taylor McArthur (Nakota of Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation, Saskatchewan) is a digital artist who works at the intersection of 3D animation, video game design and video. Her developing body of work is evocative of Indigenous Futurisms and seeks to situate her Indigenous culture within both the modern and a potential future vision.
Video Games as an Art Medium
What do we mean when we say video game art? For this week’s Thursday Night Livestream, we will be joined by Dr. Pippin Barr to explore the use of video games as an art medium. We’ll look at common forms and themes that this medium explores, such as mods, machinimas, and the military. This discussion will introduce the audience to this exciting, emergent art medium. This discussion may contain references to mature subject matter.
Pippin Barr is a video game maker, educator, and critic who lives and works in Montréal. He is a prolific maker of videogames, producing games addressing everything from airplane safety instructions to contemporary art and has collaborated with diverse figures such as performance artist Marina Abramovic and Twitter personality @seinfeld2000. Pippin is a well-known figure in the independent games world, serving as a judge or juror for many festivals, and his games have been covered in publications from the New York Times to Slate to Kotaku. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University, the associate director of the Technoculture, Art, and Games (TAG) Lab, and a visiting lecturer in the Institute of Digital Games at the University of Malta. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand on the subject of “videogame values.” Pippin also writes a blog of game and game design criticism at www.pippinbarr.com and his book, How to Play a Video Game, introduces the uninitiated and culturally curious to the world of video games.