October 5-8: 48th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association

SLC member David Howes is conference chair for the upcoming  48th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) to be held on October 5-8, 2016 at Concordia University.

The following is information that can be found on the conference website.

This years theme is Engaging the Senses.

Visual Literacy is already a field of multidisciplinary investigation. How might it also become a field of multisensory and/or intersensory investigation? For example, how does seeing as a way of sensing and making sense of the world differ from reading, or touching, or dancing? As Isadora Duncan famously remarked: “If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it!” ? Or, how can the insights derived from the study of Visual Literacy be extended to other modalities of sense, such as sound studies?

In asking these questions, the conference seeks to revisit and recuperate the original definition of “Visual Literacy.” In the words of John Debes (Co-founder of the IVLA), Visual Literacy refers to “a group of vision competencies a human being can develop by seeing and at the same time having and integrating other sensory experiences” (1969).  More recently, Brian Kennedy (Director of the Toledo Museum of Art) proposed that “Visual Literacy is the key to sensory literacy” (2014). This suggests that the past and future of Visual Literacy lies with engaging the senses.

Counterpolis, a new exhibition by SLC member Chris Salter (with Erik Adigard/M-A-D)


“Beautiful Data” is a new publication by SLC member Dr. Orit Halpern

Halpern’s latest book is available through Duke University Press.


FRQSC features research by Speculative Life Cluster member Tagny Duff

Des oeuvres d’art faites de… microbes

Duff’s recent project “ Viral BioreMEDIAtion” is highlighted on the The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture website

Click here for english: http://www.scientifique-en-chef.gouv.qc.ca/en/impacts-of-research-cat/oeuvres-dart-de-microbes/

Click here for french: http://www.scientifique-en-chef.gouv.qc.ca/impacts/oeuvres-dart-de-microbes/

Our relationship with microbes and viruses is in a state of change. While they are generally considered to be dangerous adversaries that must be combatted, they can also be formidable allies. For example, viruses are used to deliver drugs to target cells within the patient’s body, and microorganisms are used to remove pollutants from the soil and decontaminate rivers after oil spills (bioremediation).

Duff cultivated cells containing a deactivated strain of HIV and mycelium on sculptures.

Concordia University communications researcher Tagny Duff is exploring this relationship with BioreMEDIAtion, a research-creation project that lies at the intersection of art and the life sciences and seeks to expand our relationship with the microscopic living world through art.

While working in a laboratory at the University of Lisbon, Duff cultivated viral cells containing a deactivated strain of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus) on sculptures in the form of science equipment composed of agar-agar, a gelling agent obtained from algae. Her project aimed to explore how bioremediation can lead to the creation of new bio-plastics and tools used in the arts and sciences. This exercise also serves to challenge our notions of cleanliness, sterility and disease.