By Beverly Akerman (Source:
Concordia University's Hexagram Institute for Research/Creation in
Media Arts and Technologies -- the largest arts and design-based new
media lab in Canada -- has completed extensive renovations.
couple of years ago, we applied for funding from the Canada Foundation
for Innovation (CFI) to update equipment like cameras and computers, and
to renovate and create new facilities for the new researchers we've
taken on since the first CFI grant," says Christopher Salter, the
institute's new director.
The $4.5 million in funding came
through and, as a result, Hexagram has been able to expand its
impressive cutting-edge research facilities. The institute now has the
capacity to place more emphasis on interactive performance, digital
gaming and sustainable design.
was established in 2001 with an initial CFI investment of $22 million
to provide state-of-the-art equipment, resources and management
infrastructure to new media art and design researchers, particularly in
areas where Quebec is an emerging world leader.
Salter, associate professor in the Department of Design and Computation
Arts, Hexagram had primarily been identified with its physical
infrastructure until a couple of years ago, but now has an expanded
mandate for research/creation -- projects that advance knowledge in the
fine arts and enhance the overall quality of artistic production. Salter
teaches in the areas of real-time digital audio, immersive
environments, critical theories of media and performance and technology.
"Traditionally, scholarship in the university has focused on
text-based forms of knowledge," says the practising artist, researcher
and writer based in Montreal and Berlin. "Now we can investigate
questions about the particularities of artistic practice in order to
produce new and very different world views and understandings of
Salter's goal is to strengthen this new
aspect, "to look at artistic practice from a multidisciplinary and
scholarly point of view." He hopes to increasingly involve the
humanities and social sciences, engineering, computer science, arts and
ultimately the natural sciences in these endeavours.
supports more than 80 new media art and design researchers in their
work, principally at Concordia University and at the Université du
Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). Other associated researchers are from the
Université de Montréal and McGill.
About 500 graduate students
have gone through Hexagram programs. This includes PhD students and
those following special individualized programs. Between 40 and 50
students are currently engaged in research projects under the
supervision of Hexagram professors or benefitting from the use of
Hexagram is located on the 10th and 11th
floors of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated
Complex (EV), 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W.Photo: Christopher Salter Related links: Posted on October 4, 2011