A Light Footprint in the Cosmos
A Light Footprint in the Cosmos is a celebration of research methods and intercultural dialogue elaborated by the Substantial Motion Research Network (SMRN).
Inspired by 17th–century Persian process philosopher Sadr al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī, Azadeh Emadi and Laura U. Marks founded SMRN in 2018 for scholars and practitioners interested in cross-cultural exploration of digital media, art and philosophy. Sadra famously stated that each individual is "a multiplicity of continuous forms, unified by the essential movement itself," which describes how SMRN’s members inform each other’s practice and how those practices weave across artistic and scholarly work. Our collective method unfolds hidden connections: researching histories of media in world cultures, tracing paths of transmission, seeking models for media in world philosophies, studying vernacular practices, cultivating cultural openness, developing hunches, building imaginative and fabulative connections, and diagramming the processes of unfolding and enfolding. We fold South, Central, and East Asian, Persian, Arab, North and sub-Saharan African and African diaspora, Eastern European, and global Indigenous practices into contemporary media and thought. Our light footprint lies in seeking appropriate technological solutions, often from a-Western and traditional practices, to contemporary overbuilt digital infrastructures.
Celebrating the substantial motion of thought and/as creative practice, A Light Footprint in the Cosmos will feature presentations by 60 scholars and artists, delivered both online and in person, at the acoustically sophisticated performance venue Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre. We’ll kick off the symposium with a roundtable, The SMRN Method. Our through-provoking thematic threads include Grounding New Media in Traditional and Vernacular Technologies, Media Archaeologies, Travelling Cultures, Points-clés/Portals, Talismanic Media, Collective Imagination and the Imaginal, Cosmological Diagrams, I Ching as Method, Vibration and Breath, Body and Breath, Sensory Archaeologies, Healing Media, Algorithmic Media Disrupt Figurative Thought Patterns, and Three Ecologies.
The exhibitions, performances, and curated film screenings are integral to the event. We are delighted to present exhibitions of works of 17 artists, curated by Nina Czegledy and hosted by Vancouver contemporary art venues Or Gallery and Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and Studio T at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. The artworks explore, via a wide variety of analogue and digital media, the global circulation and connectivity of theories and technologies, addressing both historical inspirations and contemporary issues. They illuminate hidden connections and reveal diverse yet complementary concepts and practices. The musical performances literally draw breath from deep cultural sources. SMRN’s methods extend into the curated screenings Cinema of Breath: Rapture, Rupture and Cosmological Diagrams.
A Light Footprint in the Cosmos affirms the substantial movement of thought and practice by seeking to stage dialogues, provoke discussion and spark new collaborations in order to decolonize media studies, art history and aesthetics.
More about Substantial Motion: substantialmotion.org
Presented with support from the School for the Contemporary Arts and the David Lam Centre.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The Substantial Motion Research Network recognizes that this event takes place on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Artists and presenters
Bahar Akgün, Julieta Aranda, Evan Barba, Steve Baris, Mansoor Behnam, Nathalia Bell, Brahim Benbouazza, Carol Bier, Joff P.N. Bradley, Ciğdem Borucu, Juan Castrillón, Millie Chen, Delinda Collier, Nina Czegledy, Henry Daniel, Garry Doherty, Stephanie Dossou, Siying Duan, Ron Eglash, Waèl El Allouche, Tarek Elhaik, Walid El Khachab, Mena El Shazly, Azadeh Emadi, Nezih Erdogan, Paul Goodfellow, Jan Hendrickse, Julian Henriques, Masayuki Iwase, Sunčica Pasuljević Kandić, Eyvind Kang, Bharati Kapadia, Pantea Karimi, Farshid Kazemi, Jessika Kenney, M. Javad Khajavi, Asad Khan, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Somayeh Khakshoor, Michelle S. Kim, Lynn Marie Kirby, Keisha Knight, Olga F. Koroleva, Katie Kotler, Laura U. Marks, Nancy Mauro-Flude, Darija Medić, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Narjis Mirza, Minoo Moallem, Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, Katya Nosyreva, Mahmoud Nuri, J.R. Osborn, Arzu Ozkal, Sheila Petty, Manuel Baldoquin Pina, Radek Przedpełski, Bettina Schülke, Kalpana Subramanian, Yvan Tina, Wolfgang Weileder, and Eldon Yellowhorn.
With films by Karel Doing, Ja'tovia Gary, Jason Livingston, Lynn Marie Kirby, Anna Kipervaser, Peter Rose, and Malena Szlam (Cinema of Breath), and Somayeh Khakshoor, Millie Chen and Arzu Ozkal, Mena El Shazly, Radek Przedpełski, Çiğdem Borucu and Nezih Erdoğan, Narjis Mirza, Mansoor Behnam, Javad Khajavi, Gilles Aubry and Abdeljalil Saouli, Azadeh Emadi, Laura U. Marks, and Juan Castrillón (Cosmological Diagrams).
FRIDAY, JUNE 24
- HYBRID PANEL: Points-clés/Portals | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM
With Mena El Shazly, Asad Khan, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, and Radek Przedpełski.
- HYBRID PANEL: Talismanic media | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM
With Azadeh Emadi, Laura U. Marks, Nancy Mauro-Flude, and Manuel Baldoquin Pina.
- ROUNDTABLE: The SMRN Method | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
- HYBRID PANEL: Grounding New Media | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM
With Nina Czegledy, Ron Eglash, Pantea Karimi, Bettina Schülke, and Yvan Tina.
OPENING RECEPTION: 2nd Floor Terrace – SFU Goldcorp Centre for Arts | 6:00 PM
- GALLERY TOUR: Studio T, Centre A, and Or Gallery | 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
SATURDAY, JUNE 25
- HYBRID PANEL: Collective Imagination and Imaginal | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM
With Çiğdem Borucu, Nezih Erdogan, Bharati Kapadia, and Mahmoud Nuri.
- HYBRID PANEL: Travelling Cultures | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM
With Brahim Benbouazza, Millie Chen, Minoo Moallem, Arzu Ozkal, Sheila Petty, and Eldon Yellowhorn.
- HYBRID PANEL: Media Archaeologies | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
With Juan Castrillón, Delinda Collier, Walid El Khachab, and Farshid Kazemi.
- IN-PERSON WORKSHOP: I Ching method | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
With Evan Barba and J.R. Osborn.
- IN-PERSON PERFORMANCE: Azure | Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre | 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
With Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang.
Break for dinner
- IN-PERSON SCREENING + Q+A: Cinema of Breath: Rapture/Rupture | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema | 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
With Kalpana Subramanian.
FREE VIRTUAL SCREENING: Link will be posted here on June 24, and will allow access for a limited period from June 25 – 27.
Program notes and link to the online version of the program will be made available here soon!
SUNDAY JUNE 26
- HYBRID PANEL: Cosmological Diagrams | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 9:00 AM – 10:45 PM
With Steve Baris, Paul Goodfellow, and Somayeh Khakshoor, and Olga Koroleva.
- HYBRID PANEL: Vibration and Breath | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM
With Nathalia Bell / Ziggurettes, Jessika Kenney, Sunčica Pasuljević Kandić, and Darija Medić.
- HYBRID PANEL: Sensory Archaeologies | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
With Henry Daniel, Julian Henriques, Michelle Kim, and Keisha Knight.
- HYBRID PANEL: Healing media | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 4:00 PM – 5:45 PM
With Mansoor Behnam, Joff P.N. Bradley, Siying Duan, Masayuki Iwase, and Katie Kotler.
Break for dinner
- IN-PERSON SCREENING: Cosmological Diagrams | Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
With Laura Marks.
MONDAY JUNE 27
- HYBRID PANEL: Body and Breath | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM
With Jan Hendrickse, Lynn Marie Kirby, Narjis Mirza, and Kalpana Subramanian.
- HYBRID PANEL: Algorithmic Media Disrupt.... | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM
With Bahar Akgün, Carol Bier, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, and Katya Nosyreva.
- HYBRID PANEL: Three Ecologies | Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre | 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM
With Stephanie Dossou, Tarek Elhaik, Waèl El Allouche, and Wolfgang Weileder.
- CANCELLED: Immaterial Transformations | Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre | 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
With Jan Hendrickse.
CLOSING RECEPTION: 2nd Floor Terrace – SFU Goldcorp Centre for Arts | 4:00 PM