We are currently working on three research themes: Digital Subjectivities and Inequalities in the Anthropocene, Media Art Histories from the South, and Feminizing the Archive (scroll down for more details).


Digital Subjectivities and Inequalities in the Anthropocene

In our highly mediated lives, we are constantly negotiating between disembodied and embodied forms of socialization.  This line of inquiry investigates how emergent digital technologies mediate and shape our sense of self. It understands the body as a site of gender, cultural, social and bio-political inscriptions. Informed by a post-humanist and multi-species perspective this line of inquiry seeks to understand shifting ideas of what it means to be human in relation to other humans, things, objects and non-humans, keeping in mind that “human” is a category with a history.

Current research projects in this area include:

  • Mothering Bacteria/ Mitchochondrial Ontologies  (developed in collaboration with prOphecy sun, Freya Zinovieff and Steve DiPaola)
    This project complicates the idea of the ‘other’ and enfolds within it a discourse that rejects the idea of the self as a singular entity existing apart from the multi-species, multi-organism entanglement that is nature. The work references the unequal power structures by which women’s bodies have been, and are, subjugated and simultaneously acknowledges the act of mothering as a performative process in which motherhood is sensed and embodied as a political act. Drawing on de-colonial and posthuman narratives, this interactive multidisciplinary work illuminates the boundaries between the political, the biological and the ecological. Through the physical act of immersion, through time, light and sound, it transcribes the alien bacterial bodies within us all, to eviscerate the conceptual demarcation between self and other.
  • Sound in the Anthropocene (led by Freya Zinovieff)
    In the age of the Anthropocene, all ecosystems, no matter how remote, are influenced by the power relations between humans, technology, and other organisms. Within the contact zone these power relations can be understood as geopolitical entanglements between species and technologies, played out amongst the landscape. I present a framework for listening that explores the contact zone as a site of human, technology, and multispecies relations. The framework is constructed of five enquiries for listening. The enquiries situate the listener as a dynamic actant within the soundscape and invite them to attend to the agential and political entanglements therein, via the lived sensations of their body. The enquires ask, how might the fleeting experience of sound be savoured through its ability to elicit experiences of embodiment, placing the listener within a web of relations between species and the systems of Earth.
  • We Move Together or Not at All (led by Sasha Kleinplatz)
    This is a research-creation project that seeks to broaden ideas of unison and consent in choreographic practices by looking at concepts of multi-species interdependency, responsibility and care.   Working with dance, choreographic scores, architecture,  and organic matter, this project aims to make legible the connections between humans and plant life, through the use of a greenhouse as a site of choreographic action and development.  We Move…also aims to speak to concepts of the archival in dance.  Proposing an expansive understanding of the trace in performance.
  • Collective Housing and New ideas of Home (led by Joanne Shin)
    This is an ethnographic study that explores how people living in collective households in the Vancouver lower mainland area approach ownership and every day sharing in these their home. Collective households are a housing model made of multiple, often unrelated, residents within a single dwelling seeking to share limited personal living space and resources in order to create a home-based on collectively agreed values, rules and
    community vision. Often diverse by design and values, collective households challenge conventional assumptions of domestic space design and research by presenting non-normative living configurations. This project is developed in collaboration with Professor William Odom.

Media Art Histories from the South 

This line of research seeks to answer the following research questions:

  • How did networks of artists, scientists and technology enthusiasts forged outside US and Europe contributed to the development of media arts during the 1960s?
  • What do these networks tell us about alternative forms of knowledge production regarding global media art? And to what extent have the geopolitical and cultural contexts of the Cold War in combination with colonial frameworks and gendered biases in the production of knowledge have prevented the inclusion of artists from the global south in narratives of media arts?
  • How do the perspectives on race, gender and ideology that emerged in different parts of the world during the Global Sixties vary? What might these variations contribute to the wider project of de-centering the Euro-US biases in media arts and practices?

Current research projects in this area include:

  • Weaving the Electric Wave: Latin American Composers, 1914-1989
    This project examines the significance of Latin American female avant-garde composers in the global histories of experimental art, and the histories of music and women and technology in 20th Century Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Towards other Histories of Immersive Arts and Technologies
    Bringing together recent insights by media archaeologists (Huhtamo and Parikka 2011, Parikka 2012),
    decolonial thinkers (Mignolo 2011a, b), feminist and indigenous media scholars (Zylinska 2014, Todd 1996, Todd 2015) this project seeks to give visibility to diverse genealogies of immersion, outside the dominant western art historical canon, to contextualize our current interest for embodied and multi-sensorial experiences.


Feminizing the Archive

Feminizing the Archive is an ongoing and multifaceted project that expands Dr. Aceves Sepúlveda’s doctoral research and investigates the role of women as agents and producers of the archive. Considering the ways in which digital technologies are transforming conceptions of what constitutes an archive and practices of knowledge production and dissemination, this project looks at a diverse array of female-led archival practices. It seeks to unpack the tensions between performative forms and recorded forms of transferring knowledge and the ways in which such practices play a role in shaping political subjectivities.

Current research projects in this area include: