Speculative Life Student Research Funding

The Speculative Life Research Cluster is offering seed funding for students to produce group research-creation projects:

  • Seed Grant (Team Funding) (1-year) – up to $1500 for two applicants, up to $2000 for three or more applicants

NEXT GRANT DEADLINE: October 27, 2017

Eligibility: Students must be actively engaged Speculative Life Cluster members and registered at Concordia University in order to qualify for grants. Students must have been an active member of the Speculative Life Cluster for a minimum of 3 months before applying.

Grants are intended for students who are committed to Speculative Life as their primary cluster. If Speculative Life is not the primary cluster and special circumstances apply, students may write a one-page letter of request to the Spec. Life Director, Orit Halpern, justifying an exception to this rule. The letter must be received two weeks prior to the application deadline.

Students graduating within three months of the grant deadline(s) will not be eligible. Grant selection is through an adjudication committee consisting of faculty members active in the Speculative Life cluster.

  • Download the application Cover Sheet (required) here. This is required for all grant applications.
  • Download the description of the Seed Grant (Team Funding) here.
  • Fill out the Final Report Form (for grant recipients only) within one month of the project completion.

For more information on grant eligibility or upcoming deadlines, please contact us.

Planetary Futures Summer School

August 1-13th, Concordia University, Montréal QC.  Canada

For information about the upcoming Planetary Futures Summer School, please click here

Accumulation / e-flux architecture

Accumulation is a new project by Daniel A. Barber and e-flux Architecture, featuring contributions by Emily Apter, T.J. Demos, Robin Kelsey, Orit Halpern, McKenzie Wark and Kathryn Yusoff.

In collaboration with Daniel A. Barber, over the course of the next six weeks e-flux architecture will publish a series of essays on this cultural infrastructure and the methodological challenges of its analysis. In so doing they offer a response to the relative invisibility of the climate now seen as material accumulations of social behavior. They outline some of the opportunities and ambitions of visual scholarship as a means to encounter the challenges emergent in the current epoch: how can climate become visible, culturally and politically? Knowledge of climatic instability can impact and inflect collective behaviors. It can offer other trajectories for the accumulation of images, knowledge, materials and their effects; counter-accumulations that draw the present into a different future.

Accumulation is produced in cooperation with the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University and the Speculative Life Lab at the Milieux Institute, Concordia University Montréal.

Read it here.

Call for ethnographic fieldnotes, images and artifacts: Concordia living gallery.

Fieldnotes, found objects and other research artifacts are vital to ethnographic practice. Fieldnotes represent the record from which ethnographic accounts are constructed, often involving prolific note taking, scribbling and surprising analytical discoveries while on the move. In recent years, many ethnographers have pushed the boundaries of traditional fieldnotes, recognizing new ways of gathering data in the field. They’ve also taken seriously the multiple sensitivities that constitute the lived experiences of people and collectivities, including touch, texture, smell, sound and sight. Critical, auto-ethnographic and collaborative methods have further worked to expand the scope of ethnographic field data, integrating everything from political archives, to photo-voice and other forms of collective artistry.

For the opening of the Concordia Ethnography Lab and Living Gallery, we will be holding a collective exhibition of ethnographic fieldnotes and field data of many shapes, sizes and materials. Our inaugural theme for the living gallery’s first exhibition is Initiations. Along with expanding notions of what constitutes field data, the Living Gallery also seeks to provide an inclusive forum for critical, collaborative discussions on ethnographic and curatorial practices.

We invite faculty members and graduate students from any department to submit diverse ethnographic field-data, including fieldnotes, notebooks, sketches, maps, sound-clips, and artifacts (as conceived inside or outside of the box). The selected submissions will be showcased at the Ethnography Lab’s inaugural opening in mid-February 2017 and displayed on an ongoing basis as a part of the Living Gallery’s collective space in EV.10.625 until August 2017.

For consideration, please submit the following:

  1. a) A copy, scan or photo (pdf or jpeg) of texts, photographs or artifacts (please do not send originals in the proposal stage); or a sound clip (.wav or .mp3)
  2. b) A 200-400-word description of the object and how it relates to the theme of initiation and/or your experience in the field
  3. c) The dimensions of the submission
  4. d) A 100-200-word biography

N.B. You may submit multiple items, but we may only accept 1 submission per person

Please submit materials via email to: concordiaethnography@gmail.com

Deadline for proposals: February 7, 2017.


~ We thank everyone in advance for their submissions. We will notify applicants of acceptances in mid-February.


More information: https://www.concordia.ca/artsci/cissc/working-groups/ethnography-lab.html

Call for workshop proposals

Dear comrades, the Speculative Life Cluster is soliciting proposals for featuring a series of workshops run by students this year. The aim of these workshops is to share skills among our members, engaging on the topics of the Cluster at the same time.
Suggested topics are (but not limited to):

  • biomedia
  • systems and media // tools for activism // hacking
  • locative media // mapping // located sound
  • urban infrastructure // critical practices
  • bodies in motion // practices // studies
  • food studies // practices
  • queering the city // queering as method
  • algorithmic life // model optimization
  • methods // ethnography
  • labor // habits // maintenance practices

Please upload your proposal to this folder. Proposals should include:

  • Workshop title.
  • Proposers’ names and primary contact email.
  • Topics that will be covered.
  • Program outline (including estimated hours and location).
  • Maximum number of attendees.
  • Any special space or equipment requests (we have a limited but existent budget).

Deadline: January 31st.

DNA / The Future of Life Objects by Martin Racine



From: October 31 – December 9, 2016

Location: FOFA Gallery,
1515 St-Catherine st. West
Montréal, H3G 2W1

Vernissage: November 3, 2016, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission is free

Originating from a major 3 year Research-Creation team project funded by the FRQSC, this research project presents a reflection on the Future Life of Objects, based on the metaphor of a biological research lab focusing on the study of DNA.

What do a human, a flower, and a bacterium have in common? Each of these things —along with every other organism on Earth — contains the molecular instructions for life, called deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA. Encoded within this DNA are the directions for traits as diverse as the colour of a person’s eyes, the scent of a rose, and the way in which bacteria propagate to infect a lung cell.

Just as DNA is found in nearly every living cell, can we imagine a future where even artificial objects encrypt a genetic code ?

This research will be presented through an interactive exhibition at the FOFA Gallery in November 2016. The expo discloses a critical and somewhat subversive point of view on the world of objects, where the visitor is invited to manipulate distorted interactive objects, or play the role of a scientific investigator called on to discover the interior organs of an object, through hand held scanners and X-Rays.

More info at: DNA / The Future of Life Objects

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)