Adi Fleisher (MA 2021) is an interactive designer and a recent graduate from NSCAD’s new Master of Art in Art Education program.
What have you done since leaving NSCAD?
Since graduation my path has split into two: My thesis and video-art were showcased in a couple of exhibitions, festivals, magazines, radio shows and was even broadcasted on national TV. As for my professional career as an interactive designer – I began working with a tech-wearable company from Montreal, leading its vision for data and wearables. This opportunity was actually offered to me because they came across my graduation thesis.
What are you currently working on or have you most recently worked on? What is this work about?
I began re-working on a project I started in my first year at NSCAD. It’s an idea that came up from a course I took with the spectacular Associate Professor Karin Cope about environment: a non-instant messaging app that uses the moon as a postman.
What continues to inspire your work?
I’m very inspired by two main things: nature and artificial intelligence. I live near Peggy’s Cove and moving from a city in the middle east, straight into the country-style living has impacted me greatly. When you live that close to nature, you understand how we underestimate its power, or even more importantly, it’s extreme vitality to our existence. The city tends to erase nature’s importance and emphasize our being as a sole character of the universe. A one-man show that controls the planet. Being next to nature is such a humbling experience. AI is on the other side of the spectrum – the idea that we can create an artificial mind, an artificial soul, artificial feelings. We tend to be afraid of things that might overcome us, that will outlast us. But AI gives us an opportunity to question who we are and what we are made of.
How did your time at NSCAD contribute to your career path?
Dr. April Mandrona, who is the head department of the Art Education program, gave me so many tools that I use these days in my career. She taught us all about research and research methodologies at NSCAD. Since technology-based wearables rely on data that is produced by humans, I use that knowledge to better understand people through research. April not only helped me realize how important research is before jumping into conclusions, but also gave me the base of a mutual language that I can talk with the PhD researchers in my team. I think I am a better employee than ever because of her classes.
What was your favourite part of NSCAD?
I love how NSCAD creates a sense of community on the campus. The feeling of reliability towards each other. Whether it’s helping students with food, mental health or just being there. Coming here alone as an international student the year of the pandemic outbreak, this was a big scary issue for me. Fortunately, my friends from class turned out to be people I am keeping for life.
What was your biggest takeaway from your time at NSCAD?
The path is even more important than the result. As a designer learning in an art-education environment, I used to think in terms of “what is the solution?”. I remember one day at Rory’s studio course – he said, “Don’t think about the end result! If you do – I will know.” I learned to let go of that way of thinking and embrace the unknown. There can be many things you can take from reflecting about the journey. Will I have a solution? I might and I might not. And that’s okay.
What is the proudest moment of your art/design career?
Being nominated for the NSCAD Student Art Awards. I was always creating art but as a designer. The fact that NSCAD nominated my work gave me a reassuring feeling that I am among my people. That I belong here.
What do you wish you had of known when you were a student?
To chill! There will always be pressure coming from different ways and as a student you get sucked into the pressure void. I think that eventually, my NSCAD experience made me aware of how to manage my pressure. If you go slow, you’ll see more details. If I knew all that in my first year as a student, it would have definitely saved me some hard moments.
What is something you can’t wait to do next in your career?
My master’s experience at NSCAD was such a self-discovery experience that I began dreaming of coming back to the academy. I’m dreaming of the day that I will become a PhD professor. Where in the world can you debate about life and philosophy in such detail? It opens your mind in every possible aspect!
Learn more about Adi’s Master’s thesis involving research about two couples of social AI’s in a relationship with each other.