Proximal Spaces May 3, 3:00 pm (EDT)

May 3, 2021 – 3.00 PM (EST)

Join us at this poetry reading by six Canadian artists responding to the work of eight bioartists. Event with be streamed on Facebook Live. Please note that you don’t need to sign up in order to access the streaming as it is public.

tune in here

About Proximal Spaces

Proximal Spaces’ is a multi-modal exhibition that explores the environment at multiple scales in concentric circles of proximity to the body. Inspired by Edward Hall’s 1961 notation of intimate (1.5ft), personal (4ft), social (12ft) and public (25ft) spaces in his “Proxemics” diagrams, the installation portion presents similar diagrams of his concentric circles affixed to the wall of the gallery space, as well as developed in Augmented Reality around the venue. Each of these diagrams is a montage of microscopic and sub-microscopic images of the everyday environment as experienced by a collaborative team of international bioartists, and arrayed in a fractal form. In addition, an AR-enabled application explores the invisible environments of computer generated bioaerosols suspended in the air of virtual space.
This work visualizes the variegated response of the biological environment to unprecedented levels of physical distancing and self-isolation and recent developments in vaccine design that impact our understanding of interpersonal and interspecies ‘messaging’. What continues to thrive in the 6ft ‘dead spaces’ between us? What invisible particles linger on and create a biological archive through our movements through space? The artwork presents an interesting mode of interspecies engagement through hybrid virtual and physical interaction.
In the spring of 2021, six Canadian poets – Kelley Aitken, nancy viva davis halifax, Maureen Hynes, Anita Lahey, Dilys Leman, & Sheila Stewart – came together to pursue a lyric response to Proximal Spaces. They were challenged and inspired by the virtual exhibition with its combination of art, science, and proxemics. The focus of the artworks – what inhabits and thrives in the spaces and environments where we live, work, and breathe—generated six distinctive poems. 

Proximal Spaces can be experienced at

Artistic Directors: Joel Ong, Elaine Whittaker
Graphic Designer: Natalie Plociennik Bhavesh Kakwani
AR development: Sachin Khargie, Ryan Martin
Poets: Kelley Aitken, nancy viva davis halifax, Maureen Hynes, Anita Lahey, Dilys Leman, & Sheila Stewart
Bioartists: Roberta Buiani, Nathalie Dubois Calero, Sarah Choukah, Nicole Clouston,Jess Holtz, Mick Lorusso, Maro Pebo, Felipe Shibuya
This project is part of FACTT-Improbable Times (,  a project spearheaded and promoted by the Arte Institute we are in or production and conception partners with Cultivamos Cultura and Ectopia (Portugal), InArts Lab@Ionian University (Greece), ArtSci Salon@The Fields Institute and Sensorium@York University (Canada), School of Visual Arts (USA), UNAM, Arte+Ciência and Bioscénica (Mexico), and Central Academy of Fine Arts (China). Together we will work and bring into being our ideas and actions for this during the year of 2021! 


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