Conferences & Symposia
Past Events

CineFlux International Symposium:  May 19th - May 21st

In the second decade of the 21st century cultural shifts have occurred in the configuration of media as the private sphere moves into the public domain: private phone calls in public space, LCD’s in the air, on the streets or in the palm of the hand. These rhizomatic experiences of text and image along with non-linear interfaces and hyperlinked data have encouraged a reconsideration of the role of the storyteller and the text as the linear backbone of our narrative experience.

The Cineflux symposium will address a range of critically important issues and topics relating to what has been described as the ‘digital turn’ in contemporary society. Session themes will confront key philosophical questions concerning technology including the subsumption of analogue into digital, the conflation of image/ text, the increasing obsolescence of technologies, the research creation axis, new media and changing modes of production, exhibition and distribution.

Invited plenary speakers are leading thinkers and practitioners in the arts, as well as paper, workshop and colloquium presentations by researchers and practitioners in all fields of contemporary cinematic engagement.

NSCAD Hosts "Traffic" Symposium on Conceptual Art:  April 16, 2011

As part of "Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980," NSCAD University hosted a one-day symposium on conceptual art on Saturday, April 16 from 9:30am - 5pm in the Bell Auditorium, 5163 Duke Street.

Traffic in Halifax: A Symposium on Conceptual Art

9:30 – 9:50 a.m.            Registration - Bell Auditorium

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.     Morning Session:

•    Keynote Speaker: Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Professor, University of  British Columbia
•    Presenter: Garry Neill Kennedy, retired faculty member and former NSCAD President.
•    BREAK
•    Presenter: Ian Murray, Artist, Toronto
•    Respondent and question period moderator: Dennis Young, Professor Emeritus, NSCAD

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.       Lunch 

2 p.m. – 5 p.m.              Afternoon Session:

•    Presenter: Vincent Bonin, Archivist, historian and co-curator with Michèle Thériault of the Montreal section of the Traffic exhibition.
•    Presenter: Leah Modigliani, art historian, Toronto
•    BREAK
•    Presenter: Craig Leonard, Professor, NSCAD
•    Respondent and question period moderator: Jayne Wark, Professor, NSCAD and curator of the Atlantic section of the Traffic exhibition
•    Roundtable / Q&A session with all participants.

5:30 p.m.  Closing reception and performance of Ian Murray’s "Keeping on Top of the Top Song." Location: Cafeteria / lounge, 2nd floor, NSCAD University

Halifax Hosts Canada Fine Art Deans (CAFAD)

The Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans (CAFAD) is a national organization of forty-three post-secondary fine arts faculties, free-standing institutions and academic units. This year's Annual General Meeting and event, held October 2-5, 2008 in Halifax, was organized and co-hosted by Dr. Kenn Honeychurch, Senior Vice-President (Academic Affairs and Research) and Assistant Dean Dr. Christine Holzer-Hunt of NSCAD University, as well as Dr. Marian Binkley, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Dalhousie University

The 30 delegates had the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities, including:

  • Tours of the NSCAD and Dalhousie Campuses
  • Panel presentation: Collaborative Research in Fine Arts presented by faculty from NSCAD and Dalhousie Universities. Dr. Ray Klein, Dalhousie, Professor Bryan Maycock, NSCAD, Professor Robin Muller, NSCAD, Dr. Sarah Bonnemaison, Dalhousie, and Professor Robert Bean and Professor Ilan Sandler of NSCAD
  • Speaker: Faculty Renewal: Succession planning and work/life balance, Jan Nolan, Director, Faculty Renewal and Academic Leadership, University of Victoria
  • Round Table discussions: RESEARCH/CREATION GRANT APPLICATIONS and Top ten issues facing fine arts administrators, Dr. Sheila Petty, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Regina and CAFAD Chair
  • Dinner at the historic waterfront Waegwoltic Club

NSCAD President David B. Smith, hosted the opening reception. The conference was an excellent opportunity for NSCAD to present its newest Halifax waterfront Port campus.


Professor Bob Bean and Research Fellow Ilan Sandler, Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention, NSCAD University; Professor Bryan Maycock, NSCAD University, and Dr. Raymond Klein, Dalhousie University Department of Psychology, Patterns of Looking When Drawing from Observation: Implications in Training; Professor Robin Muller, NSCAD University, and Dr. Sarah Bonnemaison, Dalhousie University School of Architecture, Architectural Applications of Electronic Textiles.


SymposiumObsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention
Sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

A Symposium on "Obsolescence and the Culture of Human Invention" was held during the last week of May at NSCAD University. This project was organized by Robert Bean and Ilan Sandler and included artists and scholars from Canada and the United States. The Symposium united a diverse group of research collaborators to explore the culture of obsolescence, reconfigured language, human creativity and the merit of exploring ideas and things designated as obsolete in a post-digital age. A SSHRC Research/Creation project awarded to Robert Bean and Ilan Sandler in 2007 funded the Symposium and related public events.

Two public events coincided with the research Symposium:


Gallery exhibition organized by Robert Bean and Ilan Sandler
Anna Leonowens Gallery 2
1891 Granville St
May 26 – June 7, 2008.

.txt was an interdisciplinary exhibition of contemporary artists who explore ideas of language, inscription and code in relation to technology and their creative practice. All artists share a particular interest in the contemporary culture of technology and the association that producing art has with the variable processes of text, interface and materials. Artists who attended the symposium and presented work in the exhibition .txt included:

Robert Bean, David Clark, Michelle Gay, Jillian McDonald, Michael Maranda, Luke Murphy, Marcin Ramocki, Ilan Sandler.

NSCAD Public Lecture SeriesN. Katherine Hayles
Friday May 30, 7:30 PM
NSCAD Bell Auditorium

The distinguished author N. Katherine Hayles was the keynote speaker during the symposium. Ms. Hayles gave a public lecture on Friday May 30 in the Bell Auditorium in conjunction with the NSCAD Public Lecture Series and the SSHRC Symposium. Her talk was sponsored with research funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dr. N. Katherine Hayles
B.S., M.S., M.A., Ph.D. University of Rochester.

Dr. N. Katherine Hayles is a joint Professor with the Department of Design, Media Arts and English at UCLA. Her prolific list of publications includes:

The Cosmic Web: Scientific Field Models and Literary Strategies in the Twentieth Century;
Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science;
Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science;
How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics;
Literature and Informatics
(which won the Rene Wellek Prize for Best Book in Literary
Theory for 1998-1999);

Writing Machines
Katherine Hayles’s recent book Writing Machines (MIT Press), won the Susanne Langer Award for Outstanding Scholarship. An experimental work that is at once a visual and a verbal argument, the book is a collaboration with designer Anne Burdick. Along with Design/Media Arts Chair Victoria Vesna and the UCLA Chemistry department’s Jim Gimzewski, Professor Hayles participated in the exhibition Nano at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, developing a book accompanying the exhibition, NanoCulture: Implications of the New Technoscience. NanoCulture was published in April 2004 and features essays by six UCLA literature and D/MA graduate students as well as a preface by Professor Roy Ascott. Hayles’s newest book, My Mother Was a Computer: Digital Subjects and Literary Texts, was published by the University of Chicago Press in September 2005.

Specific details about this SSHRC project and participants can be found at:


Aimed at encouraging an international, interdisciplinary, exchange of ideas surrounding the crafts, the three-day Neocraft conference was attended by over 250 delegates, and included sixty-seven juried papers; demonstrations of new computer technologies in relation to craft; the publication of scholarly essays exploring the main themes of the conference; three confirmed book launches of new craft history/theory texts; and, simultaneous exhibitions of the work of craftspeople in virtually every gallery in the city of Halifax at the time of the conference.

Organized by Dr. Sandra Alfoldy and funded by SSHRC and the Canada Council for the Arts, the NeoCraft conference was designed with the objective of further developing critical thinking, theory and history in relation the crafts. The intention of NeoCraft was to acknowledge the vital role the crafts play in our culture and economy and to account for the position of craft by creating a forum for lively exchange and debate.


Contact Information

Ann-Barbara Graff, Ph.D.
Vice-President, Academic & Research

Marlene Ramos
Research Grants Officer (Acting),
Office of Research Services
5163 Duke Street, D301
Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3J6
Phone: 902.444.7221

Eric MacDonald
Academic Affairs and Research
5163 Duke Street, D300
Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3J6
Phone: 902.494.8220