Siying Duan teaches art and literature theory at the School for Liberal Arts, Shanghai University. Her research interest focuses mainly on the study of media arts from a perspective of Chinese Aesthetics. She has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University and earned her Ph.D. in Art Theory at Shanghai Film Academy, Shanghai University. She is also the producer of the podcast channel “Elephant says” at the platform Creative Disturbance and the editor of the bilingual journal Critical Theory. Her publications include several articles on Chinese Media Art research, comparative aesthetics, and art psychology.
John Mutter is a Vancouver-based artist, photographer, director, producer, VFX compositor, music composer and performer. He studied visual art at the University of British Columbia and The School of Visual Arts in New York city. He currently works as a senior visual effects compositor creating work for Disney, Marvel, and Netflix. He has directed music videos for Sub Pop, been nominated for multiple Leo Awards, and exhibited photo and video work internationally in critically acclaimed solo and group shows.
Joella Cabalu is a Filipino-Canadian documentary filmmaker based in Vancouver. Her films lay bare narratives about intimacies, identities, and relationships. It Runs in the Family (2015) was her first mid-length documentary as a producer and director, receiving Audience Choice Awards at the Seattle Asian Film Festival and Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Since then, she has developed a track record as a creative and collaborative producer working with emerging women directors on compelling short documentaries, including Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure (Lunenburg 2019), Do I Have Boobs Now? (Slamdance 2017), and FIXED! (DOXA 2017). Her most recent producer credit is the Telus supported short documentary On Falling which celebrated its World Premiere and a Best Short Documentary nomination at Tribeca 2020. Currently, she is producing her first feature documentary Back Home with support from the Telefilm Talent to Watch fund and leading the curated photography project First Photo Here with the National Film Board Digital Studio.
Alex Beim is an artist, speaker, creative director, and founder of Tangible Interaction, an experiential design studio whose interactive installations have been enjoyed by millions around the world. Known for his Zygotes, giant helium-filled balls that respond to touch; his Digital Graffiti Wall; and other interactive installations, his seamless use of technology in the service of art constructs immersive, sensory experiences that tap into some of the most basic human instincts, cultivating a sense of wonderment and eliciting playful exploration.
Beim’s work has been used extensively in music festivals around the world and by bands such as Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Purity Ring, Green Day, and the Chemical Brothers. His Zygotes continue to be an integral part of shows by international performance artists Blue Man Group.
Beim and his team designed and built sixteen interactive installations for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and featured his Zygote balls in the closing ceremonies. His Digital Graffiti Wall wowed celebs at the grand opening of the Chanel store in NYC and several large brands, including Virgin, MTV, and Lexus license Tangible’s products.
He has been featured extensively in the press, including in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Make and IDN Magazine. Alex is an engaging, passionate speaker, and has presented at Pechakucha, Creative Mornings, International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, Maker Faire (San Francisco), Touchpoint 2014, and FITC (Vancouver & Halifax), Imagine Creative (Ireland), the University of Linz (Austria), NMM2011 (Sweden), INST-INT (Minnesota), IAM (Barcelona) and Cutout Fest (Mexico).
Veteran producer and engineer, Dark Arps is the latest moniker of Canadian electronic artist, Jon Bierman. Originally inspired by the slew of groundbreaking acts that arose from the UK’s DnB and triphop scenes in the 90’s, his tastes evolved to incorporate nu-skool breaks, progressive, and techno. Timeless acts such as Hybrid, Underworld and The Prodigy were influential role models that forged in him an equal commitment to musicality, high production standards and of course, dance-ability. Throughout the 2000’s he spent eight years producing, engineering, touring and performing with one of the UK’s first truly live DnB-breakbeat acts, Keiretsu, rocking dance floors all across Britain, from Edinburgh to Brighton. As well, during this period he continued to produce, remix and collaborate with an endless variety of electronic and traditional acts, giving him a diverse pool of influence from which to draw inspiration. Now in his 16th year as an electronic music producer, and reinvigorated by his new spiritual home of Vancouver BC, Dark Arps’ productions are more coherent, confident and technically sophisticated than ever.
Through the past 10 years the Electronic Music movement has made an unprecedented impact on our culture, growing from the warehouses of Detroit and eventually finding its way to centre stage at the Grammies. Through these shifts and turns Anthony Traynor has plotted his own trajectory and developed an uncanny ability to catch the wave before it hits. In his previous incarnation as BreakBeatBuddha he was lauded as one of the founders of the Cali Glitch Hop scene, working with the likes of Bassnectar, Freq Nasty and supported by such luminaries as the Glitch Mob. As “PropaTingz” he was one of the early champions of the US Dubstep sound, working with such heavy weights as 16-Bit and gaining support from UKF, Ntype,Akira Kiteshi, Datsik and Kissy Sell Out (BBC Radio 1). His production work can be seen on labels such as Fabric, BOKA, Black Acre, PLAY ME as well as on his own TRUE MOVEMENT Imprint. More recently his work has found its way onto The CW network and he co-wrote the 9 month Ableton course at Harbourside Institute of Technology Vancouver.
Lauren Marsden is an artist, teacher, and editor based in Canada and Trinidad + Tobago. She creates films, performances, and GIFs in collaboration with a range of creative professionals, using a style of direction called structured improvisation. She recently exhibited her work at CSA Space in Vancouver, The New Media Gallery in New Westminster, Alice Yard in Port-of-Spain, and the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival. In 2015, she was a Visiting Tutor and Artist-in-Residence at Quest University in Squamish, and she teaches regularly at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. She is currently an Editor for the San Francisco Arts Quarterly.
Niel McLaren is a creative technologist whose work is a playful exploration at the boundaries of human-computer interaction. He specializes in interactive installations and generative drawing and i currently experimenting with different representations of time. He has been teaching Processing at VIVO since the fall of 2012.
Paige Smith is an experimental filmmaker, cinematographer, and educator, with a BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University. Her work has screened around the world, including the Locarno Film Festival (18), Hot Docs (18), and the Vancouver International Film Festival (13, 17 & 18).
Alongside her directorial and cinematography work, Smith works as a filmmaking educator. She has previously instructed at VIVO Media Arts Centre, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and The Cinematheque.
Additionally, Smith has a diverse array of arts organization experience ranging from front of house management at SFU Woodwards, and The Cinematheque, to artist relations work at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Vancouver New Music.
She is an avid proponent of curiously exploring life, whether that be approaching unique art forms, empathy towards others, or how to search out new knowledge.