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Architectures For Immersion

October 19, 2023 @ 12:30 pm 2:30 pm EDT

Learn about the current studies being done by researchers and affiliates of the Transnational IMAX project. Panelists Janine Marchessault (York), Allison Whitney (Texas Tech), Jessica Mulvogue (York), Monika Kin Gagnon (Concordia), Chip Limeburner (Concordia) and Jordan Strom (Surrey Art Gallery / SFU) will discuss the architecture, design, and technology of key early IMAX sites. Topics range from the first IMAX screenings at Expo ’70 in Osaka (featuring a reconstruction of the Fuji Pavilion) to IMAX 3D at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and from IMAX/planetarium links at the first OMNIMAX cinema in San Diego to the centrality of the geodesic sphere in IMAX architectural design from Cinesphere in Toronto to La Géode in Paris.


  • Moderator: Janine Marchessault
  • Jordan Strom
  • Monika Gagnon
  • Chip Limeburner
  • Allison Whitney
  • Jessica Mulvogue


Janine Marchessault is Professor in Cinema and Media Arts at York University, and holds a York Research Chair in Media Art and Social Engagement. Her research engages with the history of large screen media (from multiscreen to Imax to media as architecture and VR). She belongs to the CinemaExpo67.ca research group. Her latest project is an expanded cinema project, Outer Worlds (outerworlds.org) – commissioning five IMAX films by artists, which premiered at the Cinesphere in 2019 and will begin touring soon. She is the Director of Archive/Counter-Archive: Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage (2018–2024 counterarchive.ca), a research collaboration involving more than 20 community and artist run archives devoted to diverse histories from Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, immigrant, and women’s communities. Her most recent monograph is Ecstatic Worlds: Media, Ecologies, Utopias (MIT 2017) and co-edited collection Process Cinema: Handmade film in the Digital Age (MQUP 2019).

Jordan Strom is a curator, writer and student living and working on the unceded ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples (Metro Vancouver). He has been curating exhibitions, writing and publishing on contemporary art in western Canada for over 20 years. In addition to his work as Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at Surrey Art Gallery since 2009, he has curated exhibitions at Kamloops Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Presentation House Gallery (now Polygon Gallery), Xeno Gallery and Republic Gallery.  In 2004, he was the founding editor of Fillip Magazine of Contemporary Art; he worked there as co-editor for close to a decade. As a PhD student in the Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies and School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University, Jordan is working on his thesis project In the Shadow of the Pavilions: Expanded Media Art in the time of North America’s Last World’s Fair.

Monika Kin Gagnon is Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. She has published widely on cultural politics, the visual and experimental media arts since the 1980s. She is co-editor of In Search of Expo 67 (2020, with Lesley Johnstone), a companion for the exhibition at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal for the 50th anniversary of Expo 67. Recent publications include “Into the Archive With Joyce Wieland: Bill’s Hat (1967),” and her conversation with filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin, “Before I made films, I was singing,” in Alanis Obomsawin: Lifework (Berlin: HKW/Prestel).

Chip Limeburner is a doctoral student in Concordia’s individualized program, bringing an interdisciplinary background to bear on their dissertation, which proposes to scrutinize the experience of awe in theme parks as a mediator of the discourses framed within. Aside from their dissertation, Chip is conducting research on the aesthetic outcomes of tech integration in theme parks, interrogating whether conventional design wisdom must be reconsidered in light of novel technological developments in tangible interactivity, 4D cinema, and stunt shows. As a research assistant under Monika Kin Gagnon they are exercising technical expertise to digitally reconstruct the Fuji Group Pavilion from the 1970 Osaka Expo and the film media it exhibited. They are a student member of both Concordia’s Technoculture, Arts, and Games (TAG) lab and Center for Sensory Studies, and an associate member of the Themed Experience & Attractions Academic Society.

Allison Whitney is an Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of English at Texas Tech University. Her research foci include the history of film technology, local film culture and oral history practices, sound studies, dynamics of race, class, and gender in film genres, and film studies pedagogy. Her IMAX research ranges from her dissertation The Eye of Daedalus: A History and Theory of IMAX Cinema to publications on IMAX in the films of Christopher Nolan, the Star Wars franchise, and IMAX 3D films on lunar exploration. She received the Society for Cinema Studies Distinguished Pedagogy Award in 2020, and has published extensively on teaching film and media studies, particularly in relationship to regional film cultures, oral history, and community engagement. 

Jessica Mulvogue is currently the postdoctoral researcher and project manager of “Locating Transnational Collaborations in the Early History of Imax Films and Architectures (1970-1990).” She recently completed a postdoc at the Collaborative Research Centre on Otium at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Her two main areas of research are the history and theory of immersive, expanded cinemas and the exigencies of environmental cinema in the period of climate change catastrophe. Her publications include essays in The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture and Climate Change (eds.TJ Demos, Subhankar Banerjee, Emily Eliza Scott), The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Cinema (eds. Janine Marchessault and Will Straw), and Transformations Journal. She will be joining the Department of Film Studies at the University of St Andrews as Lecturer in January 2024.

4th Space

1400 Maisonneuve Blvd W
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8 Canada
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(514) 848-2424 ext. 5445
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