Main Hall

Roundtables Meetups

The Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA) in partnership with Flux Media Gallery, the Media Arts Alliance of the Pacific (MAAP) and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC) are pleased to announce the Digital Shift Virtual National Media Arts Gathering.  From September 16 to October 28, 2020, the gathering will host a variety of online events including Round-Table Discussions, Screenings, Featured Artists, and Artist Walks.

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All events are FREE to attend, registration is only required for each of the Roundtable Discussions which will be held on Zoom.

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Roundtable Program

The roundtables will have French/English translation and ASL interpretation.  

Each session will be made up of a one hour round-table conversation, followed by a virtual break-out, where participants will gather in working groups to discuss the issues raised during the conversation. Zoom registration links to upcoming Roundtable discussions will be posted here in the Main Hall.

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Opening Ceremony

Speaker: Brianna Bear

September 16, 10am–11:30am PST

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Week 1: Shifting Landscape

Speakers: Chris Creighton-Kelly, France Trépanier

Sept. 17, 2020 10am-12pm PST

France Trépanier & Chris Creighton-Kelly are co-Directors of Primary Colours/ Couleurs primaires. Its main objective is to place Indigenous arts at the centre of the Canadian arts system. Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires also asserts that creative practices by artists of colour, who have roots around the world, play a critical role in imagining the future(s) of Canadian art making.

They will present “A Shifting Landscape”, by approaching the immediate challenges in the Canadian arts system. Using a historical perspective, they situate the development of this Eurocentric system in the context of colonialism; the post World War 2 ‘cultural nation building’ period; the 80’s and 90’s push by IBPoC artists to gain access to this system; the 25 year response of Canadian arts institutions/organizations and the current resetting of this system in the wake of Indigenous struggles and the BLM uprisings.

Chris and France will insist that concepts such as access, inclusion and diversity – despite the rush of arts organizations to embrace DIE strategies (Diversity, Inclusion and Equity) – should themselves die. This Multiculturalism approach has never been adequate to deal with questions raised by systemic racism in the arts. In 2020, it is an anachronism.

Instead, they advocate decolonizing of the arts, at every level. Building on the anti- racist work developed by IBPoC activists, they will explain how equity audits; communications strategies; tokenistic programming; HR practices in hiring; public statements against racism, etc, are just the beginning and nowhere near enough.

The critical work of decolonizing ultimately leads to an entire re-thinking and re- designing of the arts system. This new imagining acknowledges territory, history and the centring of Indigenous arts practices.

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Week 2: Indigenous Digital Sovereignty (IM4)
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Co-presented with the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC)

Speakers: Tracey Kim Bonneau, Doreen Manuel, Loretta Todd, Cease Wyss

Sept 24, 2020 10am-12pm PST

The Indigenous Matriarchs 4 will share their work and speak about bringing an Indigenous worldview to immersive technologies such as VR/AR/360, and through platforms such as their Media Lab, supporting Indigenous communities to find effective ways to incorporate these technologies into educational, cultural, language, artistic and commercial applications.

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Week 3: Digital Ethics: AI, Algorithms, and Surveillance
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Speakers: Julie Funk, Tracey El Hajj, Suzanne Kite

October 1, 2020 10am-12pm PST

We live in a world of AI-powered recommendation systems generated using algorithms that are increasingly opaque and susceptible to built-in bias and exclusion. 

How are artists critically engaging with machine managed systems and addressing the increasingly relevant themes of algorithmic bias, personal privacy, and digital surveillance? 

How can we ensure that artists benefit from these systems while also retaining control over the vocabularies and semantic markers used to describe and define their works?

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Week 4: Access, Accessibility, and the Digital Divide
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Speakers: Nasma Ahmed, Devon Renée Bergqvist, Carmen Papalia, Tamar Tembeck

October 8, 2020 10am-12pm PST

Digital ecosystems often reproduce systems of exclusion and marginalization through their operating assumptions and social structures. 

How are independent artists and cultural workers striving to resist these tendencies, to successfully create digital contexts that promote access and accessibility? 

What opportunities does technology provide to move towards a more equitable sector, both online and in person? 

What strategies are media artists and organizations employing to navigate the digital divide including barriers to costly technology and high-speed internet?

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Week 5: Artist’s Rights: Intellectual Property and Payments in the Digital Realm
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Speakers: Georges Azzaria, Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Sally Lee, Wanda vanderStoop

October 15, 2020 10am-12pm PST 

The inherent openness of the internet and the ease with which media art works can be copied and distributed has opened phenomenal possibilities for dissemination, but also poses some serious challenges to protecting artists’ intellectual property and ensuring fair revenue share. 

How can we utilize technology to increase dissemination of media artworks while ensuring fair artist remuneration and protecting intellectual property? 

How can we ensure fair artist remuneration and sustainable livelihood in the face of widespread expectations of free or nearly-free online content?

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Week 6: Racial Justice in the Digital and Media Arts
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Speakers: Simone Blais, kimura byol-nathalie lemoine, Nancy Lee, Peruzzo

October 22, 2020 10am-12pm PST

The historically racist and colonial structures and ideologies embedded in the culture of the media arts leave racialized artists and administrators fighting an uphill battle to address injustice.

What do just and equitable spaces look like?

How can we challenge the racist and colonial systems that the media arts exist within?

What does it mean to centre and empower BIPOC voices?

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Meetup Schedule

These Meetups are meant to provide space for informal topic or role-based discussions. Each week we will run two simultaneous discussions on Zoom. Zoom registration links will be posted here in the Main Hall.

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Week 1: Sept. 22, 10am–12pm PST

Register Here

Session 1:  Artistic Staff

Session 2: Technical and Production Staff

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Week 2: Sept. 29, 10am–12pm PST
Register Here

Session 1:  Management and Administrative Staff

Session 2: Member Outreach, Communications, Volunteer Coordination

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Week 3: Oct. 6, 10am–12pm PST
Register Here

Session 1:  Presenters, Galleries, Festivals

Session 2: Preservation, Archives, Collections management

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Week 4: Oct. 13, 10am–12pm PST
Register Here

Session 1: Analog

Session 2: Open Session

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Week 5: Oct. 20, 10am–12pm PST
Register Here

Session 1:  Distribution

Session 2: Open Session

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Special Presentation: Oct 20, 12pm PST
CYBER SAFE AND SOUND – IMAA Launches Cyber Security Resource
Register Here

Join IMAA’s team for the launch of Cyber safe and sound. Benjamin J. Allard, Project Manager, will give a guided tour, announce the upcoming Cybersecurity Celebration in March and inspire you to learn about digital risk management!

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Week 6: Oct. 27, 10am–12pm PST
Register Here

Session 1:  Production Centres

Session 2: Open Session

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Register Here  ·  Full Program  ·  About the Speakers