2018 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Aleksandra Dulic

Keynote Presentation 1 - 9:00 am | University Recital Hall

Crossings: Cultivating sustainability practises through immersive media art

This presentation explores the concept of crossings among art and science, research and public, indigenous and non-indigenous perspectives in the design of poetic media experiences for imagining new ways of living sustainably. Sustainability, as an essentially contested concept and emergent property of local and global negotiations, places emphasis on ways of thinking and the imagination. In its role as catalyst, art and media can significantly contribute to social transformation by providing places for community reflection, visioning and imagination. The contribution of art to sustainability discourse lays in its power as means of inquiry, as a way of challenging boundaries, imagining futures, exposing the invisible, and constructing reality. The immersive media environment as a poetic space enables participants to learn through experience, engaging in more than rational ways of knowing for pragmatic problem solving. Within poetic media spaces participants can make connections across extended time and space - into possible futures.


Dr. Aleksandra Dulic (Associate Professor, Department of Creative Studies, UBCO) is an artist-scholar with expertise in interactive art, climate change communication, and media for social change. She is the Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCT) and leads an interdisciplinary research team that engages multiple forms of art, media and information technologies as vehicles for the expression of community, culture, and identity. Dulic’s research is centered on the creation of interactive systems and experiences that bring local, cultural and communal resources to the forefront. One thread of this work involves the development of learning context and experiences using game play as a device for sustainability awareness grounded in local ecology. Another thread is the research in interactive installation with multi-channel audio-visual displays that enable the creation of complex community images. These threads of research intersect in the idea of interactive art as a place for community reflection. Dr. Dulic has managed a number of interdisciplinary research projects and secured Canadian federal and provincial funding for these projects. She has created a number of large-scale dynamic environments and multimedia project as well as published insights that arise from these research-creation projects.



Dr. Sid Fels

Keynote Presentation 2 - 1:30 pm | University Recital Hall

Design for Human Experience and Expression

Users with VR headset

Photo credit: Qian Zhou 2018

Research at the Human Communications Technology (HCT) laboratory has been targeting design for human experience and expression. In this presentation, I’ll start with a discussion of gesture-to-speech and voice explorations, including Glove-TalkII and the Digital Ventriloquized Actors (DIVAs). I’ll connect these to other explorations of the new interfaces for musical and visual expression that we have created. I will discuss our work on modelling human anatomy and function, such as speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing with biomechanical models using our toolkit Artisynth. This work is motivated by our quest to make a new vocal instrument that can be controlled by gesture. I’ll discuss some of the activities we have been doing on some new 3D displays: pCubee and Spheree. These investigations will be used to support a theory of designing for intimacy and discussions of perspectives on human computer interaction for new experiences and forms of artistic expression. Finally, I hope to stimulate discussion within this framework on the role of digital, chemical and biological technologies play in the next wave of personalized artistic expression.


Portrait of Sidney Fels

Dr. Sid Fels: (Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, UBC, 1998-); PhD (CS, Toronto, 1994); MSc (CS, Toronto 1990); BASc (EE, Waterloo, 1988)

Sid is a Distinguished University Scholar at UBC (2004-). He was a visiting researcher at ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan (1996-1997). He worked at Virtual Technologies Inc. in CA(1995). He is internationally known for his work in human-computer interaction, biomechanical modeling, neural networks, new interfaces for musical expression and interactive arts with over 300 scholarly publications and national and international exhibitions of his work.