VibraFusionLab: Haptic Voices
May 17 – June 17, 2023
InterAccess, Toronto ON
Haptic Voices brings VibraFusionLab’s haptic technology to an interactive hybrid-online venue. “Haptic”, or the science and technology of transmitting and understanding information through the sense of touch, is expanded into large scale through a ten channel vibrotactile wall, installed inaugurally at InterAccess, with installations to follow at Centre for Artistic and Social Innovation and Tangled Art + Disability. Visitors to the project are invited to stand against the wall to experience vibrations that are controlled by online participants. Online participants will chant, hum, and vocalize into the microphones on their computers as the sound is played through the vibrotactile transducers in the walls in real time. Online participants are able to control the position and location of the vibrations, manipulating through intensity, frequency components of the voice, or through the interface controlled by the participants’ mouse.
Vocal sounds are archived to be played at times when no online participants are available in addition to two commissioned sound compositions, specifically designed for the vibrotactile experience as both vibration and sound, by Toronto composer John Gzowski and Deaf Irish composer Ailis Ni Riain. The online platform facilitating participant interaction was created by Hamilton-based web designer Simon Lebrunr.
By using vibration as the final output, Haptic Voices is equally accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing communities to experience the wall. With a camera in the gallery facing the haptic wall, online participants are able to view how they are interacting with participants in the gallery. VibraFusionLab has not previously engaged with an online audience, marking this major installation as the first of its kind, transporting global ‘voices’ into an immersive tactile body experience.
Wednesday, May 17 | 7 – 9PM
In-person at InterAccess (950 Dupont St., Unit 1)
FREE (no registration required)
ASL interpretation provided
Sensory Listening Workshop, hosted by Salima Punjani
Saturday, June 17 | 1 – 3PM
In-person at InterAccess (950 Dupont St., Unit 1)
FREE (registration required)
Join multisensory artist Salima Punjani in a symbiotic exploration of ease, comfort and connection. All materials will be provided, ASL interpretation provided. Registration and more details to come at link above.
VibraFusionLab is a media arts centre based in Hamilton, Ontario that provides opportunities for the creation and presentation of multi-sensory artistic practice, partnering with other arts and technology-related organizations. As an interactive creative media studio, VibraFusionLab promotes and encourages the creation of new accessible art forms, including the vibrotactile, and focuses on inclusive technologies that have the potential to expand art-making practices and create more inclusive experiences for the D/deaf, blind, disabled, and hearing communities.
www.vflvibrafusionlab.com | www.hapticvoices.com
About the artists:
David Bobier (he/him) is a hard of hearing and disabled media artist whose creative practice is exploring multi-modal means of art making. His other focus is in developing accessible vibrotactile technology as an artistic and experiential medium that led to the establishment in 2014 of VibraFusionLab, a multi-sensory creative research centre now situated in Hamilton that has an international reputation as a leader in accessibility for the Deaf and Disability Arts movement.
As an artist and through VibraFusionLab, Bobier has received funding from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, SSHRC Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Grand National Centres of Excellence, Farnham Maltings (UK), High Commission of Canada in the UK, Province of Quebec and British Council Canada.
Bobier served in advisory roles in developing Deaf and Disability Arts Equity programs for both Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council, was an invited participant in the Canada Council for the Arts – The Arts in a Digital World Summit and a presenter at the Global Disability Summit in London (UK).
Jim Ruxton (he/him) has been working as an artist and engineer in installation, performance, theatre, dance, and film and has collaborated with many other artists throughout his career. His company, Cinematronics, has helped numerous artists realize their technically ambitious projects and provided special effects for numerous films, TV series, commercials, and science museums.
Jim uses electronics in multiple creative ways, whether it be in creating interactive systems, developing evocative lighting installations or robotic systems. He is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, was awarded a Chalmers Fellowship, a Hamilton Arts Award and has been the recipient of numerous arts grants. Jim is also a founder and former Director of Programs for Subtle Technologies, a 20-year-old organization that creates links between artists and scientists with events throughout the year and during its annual festival in Toronto.
He is a member of the Hamilton based VibraFusionLab. Jim is passionate about bringing people together from different disciplines to facilitate work that extends beyond traditional genres.
Salima Punjani (she/her) is a Tiohtiá:ke based multisensory artist grounded in relational aesthetics. A common thread through all of her work is the creation of environments that allow for receptivity of connection. She is particularly interested in how multiple senses can be used to expand the possibilities for people to feel welcome in art spaces as well as to create artful experiences of empathy, intimacy, and connection.
Samila is facilitating the Sensory Listening Workshop on June 17th.
Founded in 1983, InterAccess is a non-profit gallery, educational facility, production studio, festival, and registered charity dedicated to emerging practices in art and technology. Our programs support art forms that integrate technology, fostering and supporting the full cycle of art and artistic practice through education, production, and exhibition. InterAccess is regarded as a preeminent Canadian arts and technology centre.
950 Dupont St., Unit 1
Toronto ON M6H 1Z2
Send questions regarding programming to firstname.lastname@example.org
We regret InterAccess does not have barrier-free access; we are currently working to improve the accessibility of all facilities. There are five steps up with handrails to the main entrance which has an automatic (push button) door. Inside all facilities are on the same level, including a single-user accessible washroom.