Ideas Digital Forum 2018: Art Now + Art Next

Published October 12, 2018

Ideas Digital Forum 2018: Art Now + Art Next

Ideas Digital Forum 2018: Art Now + Art Next

October 12 – October 13, 2018
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

The Ideas Digital Forum 2018 took place from  October 12 to 13, 2018 at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. This two-day symposium was organized in response to the ever-evolving digital ecosystem within contemporary Canadian art. Senior leaders from across the sector, including art galleries, funding agencies, artists, and curators gathered to learn how to effectively use digital technologies to help create, engage, and deliver on the core business of public art galleries. This symposium provided an opportunity to pause, pivot, and reimagine how artists and galleries can respond more effectively to the challenges, issues, and opportunities of the digital era. Digital novices and digital natives alike gathered to find answers to some of the medium’s more precarious questions. Together, participants collaboratively addressed how the medium affects artists’ practices; how it is curated, collected, archived and written about; and how it can be used to engage with public art galleries’ audiences.


  • Faisal Anwar (contemporary interactive artist)
  • Scott Benesiinaabandan (Anishinaabe intermedia artist)
  • David Bobier (VibraFusionLab founder and media artist)
  • Steve Daniels (Associate Professor and Director of New Media, RTA School of Media Ryerson University)
  • Liane Davison (Director, Surrey Art Gallery)
  • Gordon Duggan (Director / Curator,  New Media Gallery, New Westminster)
  • Jean Gagnon (independent curator, critic, and arts administrator)
  • Alison Humphrey (theatre and digital artist)
  • Sarah Joyce (Director / Curator, New Media Gallery, New Westminster)
  • Rozemin Keshvani (Independent curator and art critic)
  • Srinivas Krishna (Founder & CEO AWE Company Ltd.)
  • Caroline Langill (Associate Professor and Interim Vice-President Academic and Provost, OCAD University)
  • Zach Pearl (American-Canadian designer, curator, and post-secondary educator)
  • Niranjan Rajah (Faculty at the School of Interactive Art and Technology, Simon Fraser University)
  • Mohammad Salemy (Co-organizer of online art & theory platform The New Centre for Research & Practice; Berlin and New York-based Canadian artist, critic, and curator)
  • Nell Tenhaaf (electronic media artist and writer; Professor in the Visual Arts Department of York University)
  • Jessica Thompson (media artist working in sound performance, and mobile technologies; Assistant Professor in Hybrid Practice at the University of Waterloo)
  • Zainub Verjee (Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries).

Ideas Digital Forum 2018 Toolkit

A toolkit was developed to assist public art galleries, museums, institutions, and professionals from the visual arts sector to navigate the intersections of art and digital technologies. This toolkit provides the necessary resources to effectively curate, collect, and conserve new media works, and use them for education and audience engagement purposes. The toolkit is an extension of the discussions that took place during the two-day symposium.

An English Version of the Toolkit can be found here

A French version of the Toolkit can be found here

Partners for Ideas Digital Forum 2018 include the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and Durham College. The event is supported by EQ Bank and Surface Impression. Ideas Digital Forum is grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts for funding the event.