Photo Courtesy of Igor Mazic

Welcome to the Institute of Culture and Communication page!

A page where you can post any events, articles of interest, questions and concerns about the CCIT program!

My name is Justin Ahmad Hanif and I am a part of the work-study program here at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. My position as research and administration assistant for the ICC office gives me an insider view to upcoming events and articles of interest.

Please feel free to post any events or articles of interest below.

November 8th - Gary Hill


On Wednesday November 8th, at 4:00 pm, artist Gary Hill will give a talk with Blackwood Gallery Curator Seamus Kealy in the Kaneff Centre, room 137 (adjacent to the Blackwood Gallery).

Gary Hill is one of the most important contemporary artists investigating the relationships between words and electronic images -- an inquiry that has dominated the video art of the past decade. Originally trained as a sculptor, Hill began working in video in 1973 and has produced a major body of single-channel videotapes and video installations that includes some of the most significant works in the field of video art. His first tapes explored formal properties of the emerging medium, particularly through integral conjunctions of electronic visual and audio elements. Hill's works are characterized by their experimental rigor, conceptual precision and imaginative leaps of discovery.

Hill was born in 1951. He studied at the Arts Student League in Woodstock, New York. Among his many grants and fellowships are awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, two Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. In 1984-85, he received a Japan/United States Exchange Fellowship, and in 1988, he received a France/United States Exchange Fellowship, completing major works in both countries. In 1998 Hill was awarded the prestigious McArthur Foundation Fellowship. Hill has served as artist-in-residence at the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen; Synapse Video Center, Syracuse, New York; Portable Channel, Rochester, New York; the Experimental Television Center, Owego, New York; Sony Corporation, Hon Atsugi, Japan; Chicago Art Institute; and California Institute of the Arts. He has taught at the Center for Media Study, Buffalo; Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; and the Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle.

His installations and tapes have been seen throughout the world, in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Documenta 8, Kassel, West Germany; Long Beach Museum of Art, California; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Video Sculpture Retrospective 1963-1989, Cologne, West Germany, among other festivals and institutions. Hill's work has also been the subject of retrospectives and one-person shows at The American Center, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; 2nd International Video Week, St. Gervais, Geneva; Musee d'Art Moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Read More....
Source:Blackwood Gallery

November 22nd -Beckett Conference

beckett.jpgl8:Beckett is an interdisciplinary project organized to mark the centennial year of Irish writer Samuel Beckett’s birth. The title refers to the eighteen years since Beckett’s death and the eighteen sites where this project will take place in Mississauga and Toronto. These sites are an opening public lecture, eight artist projects, six weekly film/video events, a film screening evening, a symposium and performance, and a publication.

November 9 to December 2l, 2006
Blackwood Gallery (UTM)
Eight international artists will present their work in and around the Blackwood Gallery. The exhibition highlights formal and conceptual strategies that artists are exploring in relation to Beckett’s work.
Martin Arnold (Austria)
Dorothy Cross (Ireland)
Stan Douglas (Canada)
Gary Hill (USA)
Bruce Nauman (USA)
Gregor Schneider (Germany)
Ann-Sofi Siden (Sweden)
Zin Taylor/Allison Hrabluik (Canada)
Artist Talk with Gary HillNovember 8, 4:00 pml37 Kaneff Centre (UTM), adjacent to Blackwood Gallery
Participating artist Gary Hill discusses his work with curator Séamus Kealy.
Opening ReceptionWednesday November 8, 6:00 to l0:00 pm
November 9 to December 2l, 2006
Blackwood Gallery (UTM)
Week l & 2: Films of Samuel Beckett’s plays including Eh Joe, Krapp’s Last Tape, Happy Days, Endgame, Waiting for Godot, Not I, Play, Come and Go, Footfalls, Rockaby
Week 3: Documentary films
including Samuel Beckett: Silence to Silence (l987), Check the Gate: Putting Beckett on Film (2003), Waiting for Beckett (l994), The Making of Rockaby (l982)
Week 4: Film and teleplays by Samuel Beckett including Film (l965) and Beckett Directs Beckett (l985)
Week 5 & 6: Contemporary video art including work by Stephane Gilot (Canada), Kelly Mark (Canada), Nikos Navridis (Greece), Daniel Olson (Canada), Hans Op de Beeck (Belgium), Michal Rovner (Israel), Anri Sala (Albania), Magdalena Szczepaniak (Poland)

November 22, 2006, l0:00 am to 5:00 pm Mist Studio Theatre, CCT Building (UTM)
Lecturers will examine recent art and theatre projects and the conceptual frameworks that have compelled engage­ment with the work of Samuel Beckett as a means of reactivating avant-garde production.
Moderator: Dr. Alison Syme Assistant Professor of Modern Art,
University of Toronto at Mississauga
l0:00 Opening Remarks Dr. Louis Kaplan, Director, ICC
l0:l0 Dr. Lois Oppenheim Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, Montclair State University
Art as Rhetorical Interrogation (“less the rhetoric!”)
ll:00 Patrick T. Murphy Director/Curator, Royal Hibernian Academy On Organizing I NOT I
ll:20 Judith Wilkinson PhD Candidate, Goldsmiths College Beckett in Contemporary Art
l2:00 Tour of 18:Beckett exhibition with curator Séamus Kealy
2:00 Dr. Alan Ackerman Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Toronto
New Media, Old Ghosts
2:30 Dr. Linda Ben Zvi Professor of Theatre, Tel Aviv University
Beckett and McLuhan
3:l0 Dr. Tim Conley
Assistant Professor of English and Com­parative Literature, Brock University
Performing Beckett Online
3:30 Walter Asmus Film and Theatre Director, Berlin
Directing After Beckett
4:l5 Dr. Gerhard Hauck Professor and Chair, Drama and Speech Communication, University of Waterloo
Live, new media performance of Cascando

Source: Blackwood Gallery

December 1st - Chantal Zakari

“Show-n-tell” was trained as a graphic designer and also as an artist. She has been designing personal work for the medium of the Web practically since its inception the early '90s. She grew up in Turkey and upon graduation from high school came to the U.S. to continue her studies where she has lived and worked ever since. Since 2001,“Show-n-tell” has been working on the project webAffairs, documenting and commenting on her participation in the culture of adult video chat rooms. She is currently teaching and residing in the Boston area.
Read More
Source: Chantal Zakari

December 13th - Faculty Holiday Party

holiday_invitation.gifProfessor Louis Kaplan invites all faculty and staff to celebrate the year end holiday party. Please join us from 3-5pm for cake and refreshments in room CCT3000

January 17th - Media Generator Launch

Students who are seeking innovative methods to engage in the development and study of media and techno-culture should look out for some upcoming launches. The Institute of Culture and Communication (ICC) and Knowledge Media Design Institute has launched the new Media Generator at UTM. The Media Generator is designed to foster and promote student production, distribution, and experimentation with digital media with assistance from of four University of Toronto graduate student facilitators. These graduate media facilitators are: Karen Louise Smith (coordinator), Joseph Ferenbok, Todd Harris, and Dave Kemp. The Media Generator will use CC T Room 3135 and the Astra-Zeneca Technology Room in the new Academic Learning Centre as its point of operation and it will begin operation in early October. The Media Generator views the members of the CCI T Club, the PWC Club, and the Oracle as its primary target audience. “The Media Generator and at UTM will be a part of an experimental lab, part broadcast/pod casting facility, and part production studio. It will give students the chance to participate in a co-curricular activity that is geared to the digital media age,” according to ICC director Louis Kaplan and KMDI director Gale Moore.

Articles of Interest

By: Justin Ahmad Hanif

The Visual Culture and Communication program at the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM) is already making waves across North America. VCC is a part of Communication, Culture, and Information Technology program at UTM. Students who are looking for a foundation in both visual cultural and communication studies (history, theory and criticism) and practical digital communication practices which is taught in conjunction with Sheridan College's Institute of Advance Learning and Technology in Oakville. Currently sixty five students are enrolled in this highly competitive specialist program. The VCC program is addressing the changing demands of today's workforce by enabling students to acquire the advantages of studying at both a research university and Polytechnical Institute. Internship opportunities further push practical digital communications into the real world by providing insights into a company's every day operations and to establish networking circles and future employment contacts from companies in their area of expertise. Graduates of VCC are highly employable and are receiving jobs in a multitude of sectors including leading advertising firms and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The successes of VCC are widespread, not only are employers happy to hire graduates but other educational institutes are already recognizing it as one of the best in Canada. A recent invitation to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s “Trans” conference has placed UTM's VCC program alongside ten other top American Universities.

"We are very pleased to be recognized as one of the leading programs in Visual Culture and Communication in the English speaking world," said Professor Louis Kaplan, the founding coordinator and now director of the Institute of Communication and Culture. "It is very fitting that the conference is dealing with “Trans-effects” in visual culture because our joint program transits between the two worlds that are necessary for our students to be successful in today's market."

Zainah Alsamman, a fourth year VCC student, finds the wide array of practical and theoretical courses helps provide a solid foundation for post-graduate study. "I really appreciate the ability to learn in an environment which fosters practical learning methods, cutting edge technology, and where it’s easy to talk to professors.” Students are reacting positively to the new spin on more traditional theoretical based degree programs.

“CCIT students have the opportunity to build a unique balance of hands on application, critical creative skills, and conceptual knowledge, in turn developing a fluency and ability to transition between these often separate spheres of knowledge,” said Kathleen Hearn, talented professor and artists.

Sheridan's Institute of Advanced Learning and Technology allows for the exploration of digital media practices and video production. Some courses include, The Still Image (CCT357), Digital Media Movement and Sound (CCT353), and Theory and Practice in Animation (CCT351). "Our goal is to prepare students to critically intervene in the current visual mediascape, by offering them a program that combines the latest theoretical debates in visual studies, historically-informed perspectives on modern and contemporary issues and events, and internships and research initiatives that afford opportunities for creative experimentation and practical training," said Professor John Ricco, the new program coordinator of VCC.

Students who are seeking innovative methods to engage in the development and study of media and techno-culture should look out for some upcoming launches. The Institute of Culture and Communication (ICC) and Knowledge Media Design Institute has launched the new Media Generator at UTM. (www.mediagenerator.com) “The Media Generator and at UTM will be a part of an experimental lab, part broadcast/pod casting facility, and part production studio. It will give students the chance to participate in a co-curricular activity that is geared to the digital media age,” according to ICC director Louis Kaplan and KMDI director Gale Moore.

Unifying the Mississauga Campus of the University of Toronto: The Communications, Culture and Information Technology Building

By: Meena Nijhawan, a fourth year architecture student (good friend) at Ryerson University - She gives an external perception of the CCIT Building...a good read! Go CCIT!

The University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM), formerly known as Erindale, is undergoing an expansion in facilities to accommodate the growing number of students. Currently there are 8,000 students enrolled and this number is expected to expand to 12,000 by 2010 (Wikipedia, 2006). For many years the satellite campus set in the suburb existed as essentially a few scattered buildings surrounded mostly by forest. The university has recently invested in developing a new student centre, library, gym, and other buildings for their specialized programs, beginning to fill in the site. The school is highly recognized for the social science courses they offer and their business and science programs are also well established. One of the future plans for the university is to open the first Forensic Science Institute, in Canada, by 2008.This program is unique to UTM. Communications, Culture and Information Technology (CCIT) is a new and innovative program initiated by this institution in association with Sheridan College (Wikipedia, 2006).

The construction of the CCIT building was completed in time to open at the beginning of the fall term in 2004 (Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, 2006). The project was designed by Saucier and Perrotte Architects. The firm has an office in Montreal and Toronto and has worked on several similar institutional projects, related to arts and science, in both Ontario and Quebec (Saucier + Perrottes Architectes, 2006).The location and orientation of this project provides a link between the existing buildings as well as a connection to the natural landscape of the site. The CCIT building is situated west of the library and east of the student centre. It is located between the North and South buildings. There is an enclosed pathway at ground level currently under construction that connects the library to the CCIT building. The facility also links to the South building on the second level through the staircase, visible from the front façade and through the courtyard. The paved walkway in this courtyard appears incomplete since it ends abruptly along the east wall of the CCIT building with a short but steep grass hill. The path picks up again at the bottom, and leads to the South building. The pathway becomes enclosed as it approaches the South Building with translucent glass. Although this link is functional, the experience of walking through is not impressive, nor is the destination, a plain narrow corridor of the older building.

This facility includes auditoriums seating 500 people, classrooms, study rooms, a gallery, rehearsal rooms, multimedia studios, offices and student lounges (Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, 2006). One common criticism heard by students who use this space regularly is that there is simply not enough room to study. Judging by the number of students crammed into the adjacent library, where it is difficult to find a spare table, it may have been beneficial to the students if the CCIT building included more programmed space for the purpose of independent and group work, as opposed to the vast crush space. The ground floor tends to have traffic and the noise echoes through the levels open above so the seating area is not always suitable for quiet work. There are only 6 small private study rooms provided on the second and third floor. Also, the fact that the couches and benches are bolted to the ground works against having this large open space that could be more flexible if the furniture could be moved.

One of the appealing qualities of the space is the play of light that occurs through the curtain wall, leaving various patterns of shadows on the ground which acts as a blank canvas. The floor is concrete, painted a tone similar to the natural colour of the building material. Another pleasant feature is the framed views of the forestry along the west wall. Being inside an educational building with a clear focus on information technology, the incorporation of these scenes of the surrounding landscape creates a balance between the built and natural environment. The building envelope is mostly transparent, with the use of three types of glass incorporated into the curtain wall, clear, translucent and reflective. Using glasses with varying opacity on the west façade makes the wall appear to dematerialize, especially at the ground level which is mostly transparent. Also, decision to have the glass panes stagger seems to interact with the uncontrolled forest, just as the flat curtain wall on the east side relates to the maintained internal courtyard. The exterior condition continues from the forest, through the building’s floor plane that gradually changes in grade, following the contours of the land, out into the courtyard (Phillips, 2006). The movement through the space is not entirely straight since it fluctuates in elevation.

Since the main circulation path is linear, and all the levels follow the same orientation, maneuvering through the building is straight forward. All of the four floors are visible from above. All of the classrooms, labs and offices are arranged along long straight corridors that come to a dead end. The linear form of the building is emphasized by the motion through the space, as there are hardly any opportunities to make a turn.

The underground parking consists of five levels. The elevator takes the users from the parking to the student lounge area on the ground floor, where they view a large screen television, and the underside of the lecture hall one level above. The screen displays random documentaries, as background noises and images to the informal seating space. The volume of the lecture hall above slopes down into the ground level, creating an area that is not usable due to the clearance height, but creates an interesting form none the less. This angled mass also acts as a partial barrier between the open computer lab on one side and the linear main circulation space along the west wall. The lecture hall is accessible at both the ground and second level. The E-gallery is where contemporary art work is shown. This space is clearly separated from the other programmed spaces by the green translucent walls enclosing it. Inside, the gallery is completely white, and the lighting is set based on the type of exhibit on display. The room is intended to be flexible, to suit any type of visual or acoustic installation.

This design is true to Saucier and Perrotte’s general style. Similar to the Pavilion for the Orford Art Centre, both projects have a strong horizontal linear form. (Saucier and Perrottes) Comparing the layouts of the stairs in relation to the curtain wall the two buildings are practically mirror images. The Cinemateque Quebecoise was another project where television screens were used as a part of the interior design. The sloped concert hall was also above ground with space below available for limited circulation, as it occurs in the CCIT with the auditorium. The black grey and lime green colour palette is common to Saucier and Perrotte’s design competition submissions and projects such as the Perimeter Institute for Research in Theoretical Physics at the University of Waterloo. The bridges in this structure are similar to the stairs at the CCIT building, in terms of scale, form, and colour. Both are bold and black against transparent walls and grey floor planes.

Saucier and Perrotte create signature design features and use common elements so their projects can be easily recognized as their work. These features are usually embedded in the circulation systems of the buildings. The paths, bridges, ramps and stairs all define the public spaces within the building. (Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, 2006) This firm is generally successful in designing a building suitable for its context. The CCIT building is no exception, as it recognizes and interacts with its natural and built surroundings. By connecting to the South Building and newly constructed library, it begins to close in the gaps of the university grounds. By framing views of the forest landscape around the structure, it creates a clear connection between the interior and exterior environments of the site. Being an institutional facility, this design follows the recent trend of this building type, appearing transparent, visibly accessible to the students and the public with a more open layout, as opposed to the older buildings on the site that were designed to be more opaque for the sake of the schools privacy. If the future projects take a similar approach to Saucier and Perrotte in creating links between the facilities and the landscape, these developments will continue to unify the campus site.

Reference List

Phillips, R. Multi-layered Landscape. Building. August/September, 2006, vol 56, no. 4. ABI/INFORM Trade Industry. p. 28.

Saucier + Perrottes Architectes. Retrieved on November 20, 2006 from http://www.saucierperrotte.com/

Wikipedia. The University of Toronto at Misssissauga. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Last Modified November 23, 2006. Retrieved on November 26, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Toronto_at_Mississauga