September 11, 2020

Computational Arts reveals 2020-21 curatorial theme

Distance Lamps light up in a purple hue
Distance Lamps — by Jason Sankhar, Matthew Leong, Edmond Diep, Arujen Segar

Digital concerts, digital seminars, digital this, digital that. With everything going digital, new avenues and opportunities are opening everywhere in the professional and academic domains of Digital Media. Our Department of Computational Arts recognizes this acutely, and they are seizing this moment to bring their culture of innovation into these new challenges. This term, they have announced a new curatorial theme for the school year. Here is their statement:

:: Invisibility :: Complexity :: Resistance :: Intentionality ::-
Department of Computational Arts Curatorial Theme, 2020-2021

Threadbare project is displayed with a laptop showing code
_Threadbare — by Raechel E. Kula

The year 2020 has seen the unfolding of a pandemic and a global response that is unprecedented in its scale and scope at any time in history. It has been a time of great loss, including the loss of life, the loss of financial and personal security, the loss of opportunity, and the loss of human connectivity. As artists, thinkers, and creative practitioners, this is an essential moment for us to engage the world and use our unique perspective to confront the urgent matters of our time. The computational approach to making provides us with a unique standpoint in this conversation where we bridge the domains of art, science, and technology to critically engage the world through a discourse on technology at its roots. By using code and signals as an expressive medium we can reimagine past, current, and future technologies, steering technological impact and influencing our mutual prosperity and collective futures.

It is in this spirit that the Department of Computational Arts in the School or Arts, Media, Performance, and Design at York University presents our curatorial theme for the 2020-2021 school year: Invisibility :: Complexity :: Resistance :: Intentionality. In choosing this theme we sought a delicate balance between finding an umbrella that is large enough to capture a variety of perspectives, while being poignant enough to inspire meaning through our approach. Just as a virus adapts, so does our culture, and the world around us, therefore this theme is designed to be adaptable as well.

This coming year we will forge ahead with innovative exhibition formats and engaging professional practices that will address some of the new challenges and possibilities for artists and the creative industries in the current moment.  Students and instructors are invited to respond to this call. In the Fall, instructors and students are invited to respond to the themes outlined above with the intent of contributing work to an online exhibition and conference-style discussion held in mid-December 2020. As the crisis continues to unfold, our plan is to adapt our response and carry the momentum of this initiative through the Winter term 2021. The theme will ultimately be the highlight of the Digital Media annual Showcase and End of Year Show, which is scheduled to take place in April 2021. If a face-to-face event is still not possible an online event will be developed in its place. (For a view of current and past exhibitions, please visit:

 Mark-David Hosale, Ph.D., the Associate Professor and Chair of Computational Arts For inquiries regarding this initiative, please contact:

 Mark-David Hosale, Ph.D.  –

Associate Professor and Chair, Computational Arts
Digital Media Program
School of Art, Media, Performance and Design
York University, Toronto