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Part 1: Public Activations, with Visualization in 2D + 3D, with Immersion and New Media (including Drawing and Photography and Drone Animation)

June 15 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm EDT

Public Activations, with Visualization in 2D + 3D, with Immersion and New Media (including Drawing, Photography and Drone Animation) will address empathy and point-of-view in current social and environmental issues. Emily Pelstring and Jenn Norton (Queen’s) will discuss their collaborative project, After the Witch of Malleghem, and the political implications of using reflexive humor in expanded animation to create alternative spaces of queer-feminist resistance that challenge normative ways of thinking about science. From Dundee, Anthony Head will present his sky animations using drones as points of light for a project with Amnesty International and Greenpeace; Anita Taylor will discuss drawing as a critical means to visualize and map interdisciplinary collaboration; Gabriel Menotti (Queen’s) will present Museums without Walls, a virtual project; and Alice Watterson with special guest Lonny Alaskuk Strunk (Yupiaq from Kuinerraq [Quinhagak], Alaska) will present a case study from the Nunalleq Archaeology Project focused on co-designing and decolonizing digital cultural heritage resources.


  • Anita Taylor (Dundee)
  • Alice Waterson (University of Iceland) & Lonny Alaskuk Strunk (Yupiaq from Kuinerraq [Quinhagak], Alaska)
  • -Anthony Head (Dundee)
  • -Emily Pelstring + Jenn Norton (Queen’s)
  • -Gabriel Menotti (Queen’s)

Bios and talk description

Anita Taylor (Professor, and Dean, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee) is an artist and curator who will bring her extensive experience through work that contributes to the scholarly infrastructure, knowledge and understanding of drawing within contemporary art. 

Talk Description

Drawing Workshop: I am keen to think about how we document this project in and through drawing as a key means of visualization and would love to develop a series of ‘drawing notebook’ publications.

As a fundamental means to encounter and examine unicate and convey experiences. From childhood drawings to doodles and diagrams or rock drawings across time and cultures, we see an almost ubiquitous need to make an imprint on, and of, the world around us. Drawing is both ancient, current, and elemental; an act, an action, and a critical means to visualize in two and three dimensions, enabling us to see what we are thinking; to understand, communicate, plot, document and navigate our experiences.

Emily Pelstring (Assistant Professor in Film and New Media at Queen’s University) explores the affective dimensions of cinematic apparatus and special effects through media art. Emily’s artistic research comes out of a desire to challenge normative ways of thinking about technological development by bringing antique media into contact with contemporary images. Her work takes interest in the material contingency of the cinematic spectacle, the evolution and cultural perception of various media forms, and the intersections of science and magic. These inquiries have been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, and the results have been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, DIY spaces, and festivals. She has directed many music videos and short experimental films, specializing in animation techniques for 16mm film and vintage analog video. In addition to her solo work, Emily is engaged in ongoing artistic collaborations with Jessica Mensch and Katherine Kline, her “sister-crones” in the trio The Powers. Their most recent collaboration, Sistership TV, was a web-based variety show that gathered numerous collaborators and guests to explore themes like human-animal communication, telepresence, hysteria, and witchcraft. Emily was also a core organizer of an international symposium called The Witch Institute at Queen’s University, which brought together scholars, artists, and practitioners to explore the meaning and impact of current media representations of the witch.

Jenn E Norton is an artist using time-based media to create immersive, experiential installations that reframe familiar objects, landscapes, and activities as fantastical, dreamlike occurrences.  Using stereoscopic, interactive video, animation, augmented reality, sound, and kinetic sculpture, Norton’s installations explore the blurring boundaries of virtual and physical realms.  Often using video as a starting point within her process, Norton’s imaginative video compositions of disjunctive imagery are bound together in post-production, using a combination of pre-cinema and contemporary display technologies. Norton’s recent animations and augmented reality apps draw upon her interest in the ways in which information is exchanged between animals, plants, and technology. Current areas of research within Norton’s work explore the use of parallel uses of metaphor in physics and art, as a point of conceptual genesis, poetic practice, and communicative device. Recent screenings and exhibitions include her solo show at ELLEPHANT (Montreal), the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Hybrid Art Fair, in Madrid, Spain, where Norton was awarded Best Exhibition, and the online feature of the Art Toronto 2020 fair, which featured Norton’s augmented reality work, Eros’ Kiss, the first AR Commission for a North America art fair. She is currently a PhD candidate in Visual Arts at York University.

Talk Description 

Emily Pelstring and Jenn E Norton (Queen’s) will discuss their collaborative project, After the Witch of Malleghem, an augmented-reality pop-up print which remediates The Witch of Malleghem, a 1559 image by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. Through dramatic re-enactments and re-animations of the figures in this work, we reflect on the visual rhetoric used to de-legitimize healing practices outside of the dominant patriarchal religious/medical establishment.

Anthony Head (Professor at the University of Dundee) is an artist/designer and specialist in coding and 3D computer graphics, engages with a range of creative technologies. 

Talk Description

From Screen Space to Air Space: The development of drone show animations Anthony Headwill present his recent research creating drone formations and light formations as digital artworks for drone light shows. During the pandemic, in collaboration with UK company, Celestial Ltd, he helped create three films released online, including one for Amnesty International and one for Greenpeace. The talk will cover the development of his research into methods and techniques for creating animations over the previous 18 months and how they became messages for activism and the environment.

Workshop: In the summer of 2022, Anthony will run a workshop on the theme of creating drone displays. This will be set up as a projection event where participants will be able to create their own designs on computer for a virtual display. The result will be performed live for the participants to music. During the workshop, participants will learn and experience some of the technical and artistic limitations of this developing medium.

Alice Watterson (Lecture and Researcher, Communication Design, University of Dundee) is an archaeologist and digital artist based at the 3DVisLab. Her practice-led research explores the use of archaeological visualisation for public engagement and outreach with a particular focus on community co-design and multi-vocality. Her interdisciplinary background facilitates this work by allowing her to fluently negotiate the spaces between the specialist insights of archaeologists and general audiences. In addition to her academic research, her visualisation work has been commissioned and shown internationally in museums, schools and on-site interpretation. 

Lonny Alaskuk Strunk is a Yupiaq from Kuinerraq (Quinhagak), Alaska. He received his masters in Computational Linguistics from the University of Washington. His masters thesis focused on a finite-state morphological analyzer for Central Alaskan Yup’ik which is now integrated into the yugtun.com website, an online Yup’ik dictionary. Lonny is passionate about the role technology can play in language revitalization and being an advocate for the expansion of Indigenous languages on the internet.

Talk Description

Co-Design and Lived Experience for Digital Collections: A Case Study from Quinhagak, Alaska Digital engagements have become commonplace for museums and heritage projects who are increasingly making use of advancing 3D imaging technologies and improved bandwidth to share collections with broad global audiences. These engagements with digital facsimiles of otherwise fragile objects have clear benefits in increasing access to collections, however, it is recognised that 3D reproductions often lack the ‘aura’ of the original due to an absence of substance, place, and context. Materiality, multi-vocality and lived experience are a fundamental point of connection for audiences, bringing greater meaning to these digital engagements.  This session will comprise a talk using a case study from the Nunalleq Archaeology Project in Quinhagak, Alaska followed by a discussion around the co-design and use of digital cultural heritage resources. In challenging our media and methods we will consider the role of digital engagements as catalysts to new types of relationships between Indigenous source communities, audiences and collections.

Gabriel Menotti(Assistant Professor, Moving Images Curatorial Studies, Queen’s University) has expertise in the field of curatorial cinema and digital new media. Menotti is coordinator of Besides the Screen.

Talk Description

Museums Without Walls: virtual exhibitions and material heritage Over the last decade, the consolidation of robust mixed-reality ecosystems has fostered virtual exhibits as a popular means to document and provide access to art and cultural heritage. By combining the post-indexical qualities of digital replicas with the sensorial affordances of VR systems, virtual exhibits promise to deliver an unprecedented experience of the object’s original presence through technical mediation. By comparing and contrasting different use cases of the technology, this presentation examines the ways in which virtual exhibits might perform museal institutionality and manage the metaphysics of artwork presence. The presentation concludes with suggestions for the foundations of more emancipatory forms of virtual museology, which defy rather than reinforce the individuality of presence, thereby multiplying potentials to unsettle the museum.

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