Tactical Practice: Digital Art and the Ethics of Design, a free online panel talk

Join DesignTO Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at 12pm ET, for a conversation on digital and new media art practices that resist surveillance capitalism, with Toronto-based new media artist and curator Tristan Sauer and Scotland-based researcher and curator Martin Zeilinger. At a time when high-tech devices gather and mine our personal data as a commodity to be bought and sold, digital artists are finding ways to use these same technologies to tactically oppose data exploitation. Do designers engaged in the development of new technologies have an ethical imperative? How can we exert agency in our interactions with technology?

Tactical Practice: Digital Art and the Ethics of Design
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
12-1pm ET (5-6pm BST)
Free with RSVP

Tristan Sauer is a Toronto-based new media artist and curator exploring physical computing, wearable technology, and 3-D fabrication. Sauer’s practice is critically focused on technology and capitalism, viewing their relationship as a potential modern-day Pandora’s box. He is interested in the intersections between our digital and physical worlds, and how technology affects the various facets of human existence. Often expressed through his own identity as an Afro-Canadian, Sauer explores these topics through both an Afro-futuristic and Afro-pessimistic lens.

A graduate of the New Media program at X University, Sauer has presented locally at The Plumb and Whippersnapper Gallery. He currently curates as a member of Long Winter and online through Symbicocene Gallery.


Martin Zeilinger is an Austrian researcher and curator currently based in Dundee, Scotland, where he works as Senior Lecturer in Computational Arts and Technology at Abertay University. His work focuses on artistic and activist experimentation with emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, on issues of cultural ownership in contemporary art, and on aspects of experimental videogame culture. He recently published a monograph on AI art, creative agency, and the limits of intellectual property (meson press 2021). Martin co-curated Toronto’s Vector Festival (hosted at InterAccess Gallery) from 2014 to 2020, and was lead organizer of the 2019 MoneyLab art and financial activism symposium in London. His writing on digital art has been translated into Italian, Korean, and Slovak, and has been published in books such Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain, in arts periodicals including Spike Art Magazine, and in journals including Philosophy & Technology, Leonardo, and Culture Machine.

@mrtnzlngr | marjz.net

This online talk is organized by DesignTO and supported by EQ Bank.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Madjus, Head of Marketing

Image credits:
Tristan Sauer, ‘Through My Cracked Screen’, 2022. PLA, microphone stands, tablet, 3D animation, MDF. Photo credit: Ohonsi Films.
Tristan Sauer, courtesy of the speaker
Martin Zeilinger, courtesy of the speaker