Established in 2015, Images Research Forum is an educational initiative that takes place during the 32nd edition of Images Festival. Understanding the need to support the creation and dissemination of critical thinking and dialogue, Images Festival has invited a cohort of artists, writers, researchers, curators and thinkers to collectively engage with contemporary moving image culture within the context of the festival's program with mentorship from leading international curators, artists, and researchers in the field.
The Forum’s guest seminars will be hosted by the exhibitions 4 Waters: Deep Implicancy at Gallery TPW and Touching From A Distance II: Transmediations in the Digital Age at the Goethe-Institut Toronto. The Forum will conclude in a public presentation at Gallery TPW where participants will share their collective conversations and burgeoning research with the public.
We received many outstanding applications this year, and are excited to congratulate and welcome our 2019 Research Forum cohort!
Hiba Ali is a new media artist, writer, curator and musician from Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. Her performances and videos concern music, labour and power. Her music performances as H1BA sample her immigrant, black, brown, and refugee background. She conducts reading groups addressing digital media and workshops with open-source technology. She is a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Queens University, Kingston, Canada. She has presented her work in Chicago with Her Environment, at Digital Art Demo Space and Threewalls, Stockholm at radiorakel, in Toronto at Whippersnapper with SAVAC, and in Kingston at Modern Fuel.
Madison Brown, a doctoral student in Screen Cultures at Northwestern University, is primarily interested in domestic media and the politics of the personal. Madison uses her own home videos and family photography to theorize personal archives, affect, and memory/forgetting. Other interests include trash aesthetics, love, and reality TV—especially at the same time. Madison holds a dual BA in English and Cinema Studies, and an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto.
Mitchell Ellam is Oji-Cree of the Brunswick House nation, Bear clan. He is an emerging Media Artist living and working on Nipissing territory. In the role of Indigenous Arts Programming Intern at White Water Gallery, Mitchell is working to craft policy and develop an Indigenous Curatorial Residency to create more space for Indigenous makers and arts administrators in contemporary art organizations.
Sydney Hart is a researcher, artist and PhD candidate in the Cultural Studies programme at Queen’s University. His current research investigates the roles that digital media and visual images play in representing borders and spaces of flows, and specifically how the transnational movements of people and goods are represented at Canadian airports. He completed an MA at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy in London, UK. Originally from Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, he is now based on unceded Coast Salish territories in Vancouver.
Elisa Peebles is an artist, activist and producer originally from the East Side of Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.S. in Media, Culture and Communication studies from NYU. Through multimedia explorations, she contemplates issues around decoloniality, collective trauma and social justice. As a producer, she works in short form commercial and independent media. Currently, she is a producer, writer and director for the award-winning satirical web series Dark Justice. Elisa resides in Buffalo.
Daniella Sanader is a writer and reader who lives in Toronto. Her reviews, essays, and speculative texts have been commissioned by a variety of publications, galleries, and art spaces across Canada. In 2018, she participated in the Critical Art Writing Ensemble III at the Banff Centre. She holds a SSHRC-funded MA in Art History and Gender Studies from McGill University, and she currently works as the Program and Publications Coordinator at Gallery TPW. desanader.com
Priyadarshini Shanker is a NYC-based film scholar, teacher and curator. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Cinema Studies at New York University. She has taught as an Adjunct Faculty at NYU and Columbia University. She recently curated the Indian non-fiction film series “Cinema Playhouse,” at MOMI. She has also co-curated two film festivals focusing on regional Indian cinema: IKFF 2016 and 2017. She has book chapters in two recent Indian cinema anthologies and has published in Framework, Screen, Asian Studies Review, Hitchcock Annual and MARG.
Sajdeep Soomal is a writer, researcher, and curator who works at SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto, ON. They are currently writing about drone-proof cities, out-of-the-box asylums, and gharanas in diaspora. Sajdeep has previously worked at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and IPLAI (the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas). They hold an MA in History from the University of Toronto.
Jennifer Su is a Toronto-based artist and researcher working in ethnographic writing, photography, and film. Her first short film 36 Questions won the DGC & WIFT-T award at the 2016 Reel Asian International Film Festival. She is an alumni of the DOC Institute New Visions Incubator. Most recently, her second short film Wave Hands Like Clouds was commissioned by the 2018 Festival of Recorded Movement.
ariella tai is a video artist, film scholar, and independent programmer from Queens, New York based in Portland, Oregon. They are one half of “the first and the last,” a fellowship, workshop and screening series celebrating the work of black women and femmes in film, video and new media art. They have shown work at the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival, PICA, Open Signal Community Media Center, the Northwest Film Center and Boathouse Microcinema.
The Images Research Forum is led by curator and writer Ekrem Serdar.
Ekrem Serdar is the curator at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center (2015–present), where he is responsible for the organization’s exhibitions, public programming, and artist residencies. Previously, he was a programmer with Experimental Response Cinema (Austin, TX) which he co-founded. He is the recipient of a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (2017). He is an advisory member of Experimental Response Cinema, and the FOL Cinema Society (Istanbul). His writing has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Millennium Film Journal, 5harfliler, among other publications. He completed his BA in Critical Studies, and his MFA in Media Arts Production at the Department of Media Study at SUNY Buffalo. He is from Ankara, Turkey.
Co-presented with Gallery TPW and the Goethe-Institut Toronto. Additional support by Scarborough Pictures and ViaRail. With thanks to the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom for their support.