Category Archives: Event Reports

Starting our collaborative Book Club

Tonight the Visual Thinkers met to start our Book Club.  It’s not like a literary-discussion book club. This is a collaborative sketchbook project that you can join in:  just come to our next meet-up on November 24.

Each book has a theme (magic, fear, computers, Canadians, etc.)  Contributors can make a new page by drawing, painting, writing, etc.   Or they can modify a previous page by someone else, maybe even by cutting it up!

Kaia Vintr has initiated this project to encourage participants to make something visual on a frequent basis (because not everyone is consistent about using their solitary sketchbooks!)  At our September meet-up, the group agreed to do this project using paper books, not electronic media.

Much of tonight’s discussion was about the hard edges of artistic collaboration:  How do we keep the books moving quickly between contributors?  What permissions are required if someone wants to publish a page of a book that other people contributed to?  What do we do with the books we produce?   For some artists, letting our work go may be the hardest part!

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The beginnings of Book Club

Tonight the Visual Thinkers met to start our Book Club.   This is a collaborative sketchbook project that you can join in:  just come to our next meet-up on November 24.

Each book has a theme (magic, fear, computers, Canadians, etc.)  Contributors can make a new page by drawing, painting, writing, collaging, etc.   Or they can modify a previous page by someone else. 

Blue and red bubbles lit up on glass

Liquid light-show and other uses of an overhead projector

On September 29, an enthusiastic group of Visual Thinkers met at OCADU in Toronto to try out some Novel Uses of Analog Tech.  We introduced ourselves:

Puppetry on an overhead projector; sketch-book exchange club.

Visual Thinkers Toronto 2015-09-29 introduced these participants and ideas. Notes by Alana Boltwood.

Then we learned some fun ways to use Otis the Overhead Projector, while grooving to psychedelic tunes.  Cassandra Pollack shared the transparent puppets she made from lighting gels and cardboard.  We played around, making our own transparent art, while Patricia put on a liquid light-show:

Blue and red bubbles lit up on glass

Patricia Kambitsch mixes oil and water pigments on a glass platter (designed for devilled eggs?), lit up by Otis the overhead projector. Photo by Alana Boltwood.

Coloured droplets lit up by an overhead projector

Old tech meets new. Liquid light-show by Patricia Kambitsch, on Otis the Overhead, at Visual Thinkers Toronto. Photo by Tanya Gerber.

Links from “Visualizing Science” meet-up

Last night we had a great gathering of new & familiar faces to hear digital artist Ron Wild talk about Visualizing Science.  He showed us OncoMap, his collaboration with cancer researcher Joseph Geraci, among other massive and colourful collages of scientific images.  Ron also introduced us to GigaPan, a website for exploring the world by zooming into very high-resolution images.

Cassandra Pollack shared her two paintings of string theory concepts.   Alana Boltwood invited everyone to her Meta-Diagrams art open house.  Along with Ron’s work, these inspired lots of  discussion about conveying scientific and academic concepts through artistic approaches.  We concluded that each artist may choose a different balance between faithfully conveying academic concepts, and aesthetic concerns such as composition.

It’s not just visualization that can convey scientific concepts.  By applying rules to data from the Large Hadron Collider, CERN created LHChamber Music, an example of sonification.

Gregory showed us his prototype of a video game about genetics, created at the ROM Game Jam.  We heard that design jams and charettes are similar types of events.  Maybe we will do one soon!

Somehow this led to conversation about tetrachromats, people who see unusually more colour in the world.  And at the pub, we passed around our phones to share things like Alex Grey’s spiritual artwork.  It was quite the evening!  Here are some notes and ideas from Patricia Kambitsch:

Visual Thinkers 2014-10-28 notes