ArtSci Salon/LASER TO in collaboration with DDL Thu. Sept 29 7:00 pm

In-Between algorithms


Energizing matter/Materializing energy

Project facilitators: Antje Budde (Digital Dramaturgy Lab, Institute for Digital Humanities in Performance at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies), Nina Czegledy (LASER/Leonardo Network), Roberta Buiani (ArtSci Salon, Fields Institute), Don Sinclair (Computational Arts at York University). Event assistant: Sanja Vodovnik

Date: Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016

Time: 7pm-11pm

This is a multilocation event that will start at the Fields Institute (222 College Street) and will end at the Lobby of the Robert Gill Theatre, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (Koffler Student Service building, 214 College Street)


  • The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
  • Court yard at the Fields Institute
  • Hallways of Bahen Centre,
  • Staircase in the Coffer Student Services Building
  • Lobby of the Robert Gill Theatre, Third Floor


Karan Singh; Berna Celikkaya; Joseph Culpepper and Kerttu Pussinen; Joel Ong; Oleg Kisselev; Nazli Ahktari, Antje Budde, Gillian Armstrong, Keith MacLennan, Sonia Norris, Julija Pesic, Sarah Robbins, Elizabeth Saunders-Brown, Alexandra Watt Simpson, Evan Tyler and Monty Martin; Richard Windeyer; Myrto Koumarianos; Jingjing (Vicky) Zhang; Elizabeth Parke; Pekka Sinervo

RSVP here

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The event

Inspired by the law of conservation of energy that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed but only transformed, we will use modes of multi-disciplinary performance, which has at its heart the idea of transformation. We can think of various types of performance – artistic, scientific, daily-life, queer, and transitions between life and death – as a mode of operation that counters conventional ideas of fixed states in the material, spiritual and energy-driven universe in which we live, perform, transform. As artists and performers, we see this from a metaphorical and artistic perspective, taking our cues from current thought experiments in quantum mechanics and quantum computing where terms like superposition and entanglement play a vital role in understanding performing operations on data. We might call this creative approach a form of imaginative mathematics/physics, which has fascinated performing artist-scientists across cultures since pre-historic times. We are intrigued by the potential of scientific contributions and provocations offered by mathematicians, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists.

In this context we are also interested in indigenous, modern, post-modern and pre-modern concepts of performed energymatter, including but not limited to the Chinese idea of Qi, and their impact on current practices of critical making and thinking beyond disciplinary boundaries.

Our guests

Karan Singh, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

Labyrinths and Mazes

Format: Interactive presentation and slideshow

Description: Labyrinths cradle millennia of legend and lore in their twisted articulations and are often considered mankind’s first creation born purely of human imagination. A nexus of spirituality, culture, art and science, the origins of these structures is shrouded in the same mystery they symbolize. The organic labyrinths of this presentation are created with curves evolving under the energy and forces of nature, guided by a mix of images, music and words but above all, an artistic hand.


Berna Celikkaya, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies / Digital Dramaturgy Lab, University of Toronto

Circling Squares, Squaring Circles. – Vertical and horizontal aesthetical politics in Robert Lepage’s recent performances

Format: photo exhibition and talk

Description: For this mini-exhibition I intend to reproduce several recordable features of Robert Lepage’s plays Playing Cards: Spades (2012) and 887 (2015). Through this a sort of hybrid space will be created in which visitors will be encouraged to think about what is theatrical and what is metatheatrical, what Lepage has created, and what can be re-created of his creation?


Joseph Culpepper and Kerttu Pussinen, scholar- circus artists, National Circus School Montreal

In-Between Circus, Magic and Quantum Mechanics: Visualizing physics in Particle #B

Format: Multi-disciplinary circus show in 10 minutes

Description:While the quantum world accurately explains the very principles that govern our existence, those principles are often invisible during our everyday experience of reality. The proverbial magic of circus is its uncanny ability to demonstrate the possibilities of our physical universe that seem impossible. Particle #B will manipulate audience members’ ideas of space, time and light. By transforming intellectual energy into physical energy, this one-woman show aims to bring the quantum process one step closer to the experience of everyday life.


Joel Ong, Department for Computational Arts, York University.

Windward Experiences Connecting Aeolian musical instruments, digital data, and natural environments

Format: Visual installation and talk

Description: This series is interested in the way directionality of the elements trace imaginary pathways from which we have come, establishing an emotionally affective connection to our past, present and future. It is inspired by the history of Aeolian musical instruments tracing from the drawings of 18th Century polymath Athanasius Kircher into our computational present where wind is experienced as often as digital data.


Oleg Kisselev, Theatre and film director, actor and educator

On the subject matter of art and artificial intellect – Psycho-physical actions

Format: Exercise demonstration and talk

Description: The presentation consisting of theoretical examinations and practical applications will focus on exploring the conditional and unconditional reflexes of creativity, positive and negative impact of technology on freedom of creative mind, and the psychophysical

action, algorithm of spontaneous artistic imagination and action.


Nazli Ahktari, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies / Digital Dramaturgy Lab, University of Toronto

Jackson Pollock’s Ice Cream Love in the Age of Global Warming – Painting with dying ice cream

Format: Performative installation

Description: This installation is the sad narrative about three dying ice cream buckets and their transformation into an abstract painting. We will be witness to their dying ritual and later celebrate their new existence in form of an abstract painting


Antje Budde with Nazli Akhtari, Gillian Armstrong, Berna Celikkaya, Keith MacLennan, Sonia Norris, Julija Pesic, Sarah Robbins, Elizabeth Saunders-Brown, Alexandra Watt Simpson, Evan Tyler, Monty Martin (Research assistant)

Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies / Digital Dramaturgy Lab, University of Toronto

Floating Ideas. – Current/Energy

Format: Participatory outdoor performance

Description:In our performance we will playfully make ideas float on water currents,visualizing energy patterns of our daily life in urban environments of academic architectural infrastructure – a place where we live, laugh/love, think and doubt. We will also share ideas drawn form critical discourses as we discover them.

Richard Windeyer, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies / Digital Dramaturgy Lab, University of Toronto, Biomedical Simulation Lab, University of Toronto (Dr. David Steinman, Director), and Perceptual Artifacts Lab, OCADU (Dr. Peter Coppin, Director)

Liminal Data, Dissolving Perception. – A software exploring representational exchanges between visual structures and sound waves.

Format: exhibition installation and talk

Description: Inspired by the LASER event’s thematic scope this presentation juxtaposes the sonification of two distinct yet thematically linked data sets: blood flow data generated for a Doppler ultrasound simulation, and a digitized version of the three Chinese characters comprising the title of Gao Xingjian’s play, ‘Between Life and Death’.


Myrto Koumarianos, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto

Pieces of a dream-in-progress – Fluctuating energies in ancient songs

Format: musical performance and talk

Description: The performance will look into a Greek song and English poems and that address transformation in various ways. They circle around a dreamlike landscape where days are cooked up, object conspire with or against us and invite us to discover the fragments of a dream-in-progress.


Jingjing (Vicki) Zhang, Department for Statistics, University of Toronto

How statisticians describe the patterns of human mortality

Format: Mini lecture with projection

Description: The talk will start from the observation of the great English mathematician Benjamin Gompertz’s discovery of human mortality pattern in 1829, based on the data he had collected back then. Statisticians see order from chaos, and we believe a probabilistic view of much of the world phenomena. In the case of human mortality, Gompertz was able to discover a startling simple rule out of the thousands of lives he observed. After him many statisticians fine tuned his model or came up with their own formulation to human mortality, and from this probabilistic view of the world, we could postulate the “deterministic” characters of mortality such as life expectancy and a life table that presents the evolution of a population over time.


Julija Pesic, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto

In the clutches of hypertext. – The transformation of the text through hypertext in the form of a hard copy book

Format: Visual installation and talk

Description: Performed through hypertextual references, Dictionary of the Kharzars also represents the concept of never ending story, pointing out to the idea that the reading as intellectual, physical, and emotional act is always a process of transformation of the text through time, space, and culture.


Elizabeth Parke, Jackman Humanities Institute’s Digital Humanities Research Network, University of Toronto

Song Dong: weather, breathing, and the transition from exhalation, to water, to ice, to evaporation

Format: Mini Lecture


Pekka Sinervo, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

Transforming Energy at the Large Hadron Collider

Format: Mini lecture with projection

Description: I will show how the kinetic energy of protons coming into collision at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland is transformed through violent collisions into other forms of energy, where ordinary and possibly new forms of matter are created. These collisions result in “energy flow” in the ATLAS detector that we sift to make discoveries.



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