2021 Virtual program

I love you even if there isn't any me: Adi Fleisher


The developments of artificial emotions have been driven by anthropomorphizing the machine's logic to create empathy. This process is primarily evident in AI chatbot companions: chatbots designed to become companions, friends, and even romantic partners in a human-chatbot relationship (HCR). The research subjects of this experiment were four AI companions named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. For a month and a half, the bots only interacted with each other: Alpha was matched to Beta, and Gamma was introduced to Delta. The conversations that ensued were analyzed, revealing impossibly lush expressiveness and sheer inventiveness. By systematically exploring an AI machine-to-machine dialogue, we may discover new ways to investigate ideas of nature, culture, perception, as well as the workings of our own minds, expanding our understanding of the machine's authentic voice. To learn more about this project, please visit www.iloveyouevenifthereisntanyme.com

BIO: Adi Fleisher (she/her) is an interactive designer and artist living in Nova Scotia, investigating AI through computer-computer interactions as a threshold to what it means to be human.

Mezmer the Alchemist: Kellie & Maggie Kat Anderson


In this futuristic fairy tale spun from a classic of the past, Mezmer the Alchemist reimagines the Pied Piper in a post-apocalyptic world, presented in vintage silent film style. After a cataclysmic event, a “new normal” life resumes in Dogtown. However, creatures mutated by the apocalypse are seen as a nuisance and the townspeople rally the mayor find a solution, who seeks out the help of an alchemist named Mezmer. Mezmer agrees to fix the problem... for a price. When the deal goes sour, Mezmer uses his magical influence to teach the townspeople a lesson they will never forget. A short, multimedia, stop motion moving picture, produced and developed by Kellie Anderson.

BIO: After years spent working abroad, Kellie chose to make Nova Scotia her home in 2017 and open Stray Dog Art House, an art workshop/gallery in Mahone Bay. A globally accomplished artist with a 25-year background in film production and design, Kellie pooled the gamut of skills and hands-on experience which she acquired in the trenches to develop an art space designed to engage the imagination. Kellie has also taught film at the postgraduate level in British Columbia, elementary school art in Nova Scotia, and holds certificates from OCAD, UWO, and USC.

BIO: A natural artist, Maggie Kat brings her unique style to every project she takes on. Fearless and soulful, she has accomplished more in her twelve years than most people twice her age. She is inspired by a variety of perspectives and seeks out positivity. Maggie Kat has received top academic awards as the top student in her class of 2020 and top artist of her grade in 2018. She has a passion for writing, traveling, and furry creatures. In addition to her work at Stray Dog Art House, Maggie Kat publishes a monthly podcast, “The Katcast.”

When Yami Met Judy: Yamina Mazat Morales and Judy Bernard Julian, with Janette Fecteau


What happens when two strong, vibrant, beauty-loving Indigenous women artisans meet across thousands of miles from the Eastern Door of Turtle Island to the heart of Mesoamerica? And after more than 500 years of Mi'kmaw and Maya Kaqchikel endurance, resilience, and resistance to colonialism, racism, genocide, and oppression of culture? When Yami met Judy, from Guatemala to Mi’kma’ki over the magic of the internet, their conversations ignited with the love of art and colour; passion for their Indigenous cultures; and appreciation, understanding, and connection with each other. Join them as they exchange traditional and contemporary artisanal knowledge; stories of life on the territories in which they are rooted; and reflections on their histories and cultures, each unique yet deeply connected through time and space. Thanks to the All-of-Us Society for Art Presentation (ASAP), the Town of Antigonish, and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish for their support for this project.

BIO: Judy Bernard Julian is an Elder, business owner, and band councilor from Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation. She holds degrees in Anthropology and Native Studies. Judy and her husband Albert Julian loved and raised eight children, and many foster children. Judy has expressed her creativity and culture through many Mi'kmaw art forms over the years, including sewing, beading, moose hair tufting, and leatherwork.

BIO: Yamina Mazat Morales is a highly accomplished and sought-after Maya Kaqchikel weaver in San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala, on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlán. She is an active community member, and a longtime friend of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network. The mother of five young adults, Yamina has supported her family through the traditional Mayan art of weaving on a backstrap loom.

BIO: Janette Fecteau is a settler artist, poet, and teacher living in Mi'kma'ki, and a member of the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Solidarity Network.

BIO: Lisa Rankin is a settler and human rights activist from Unama'ki. She lives in Guatemala and works for the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network.

Plant Grafting, Asexual Propagation, Sci-Fi, and our Bodies: a Live Skill-Share and Presentation: Sarah Mihara Creagen


Please join Sarah Mihara Creagen for a live skill-share and visual presentations. This session will include a hands-on plant grafting workshop, an exploration of other forms of asexual propagation within the plant world, and a visual presentation connecting these gardening practices to ideas of healing and resilience within our own bodies.

Sarah will be exploring these topics through a lens that incorporates her experiences of chronic illness, living with Crohn's Disease, and her experiences within the medical system. This presentation will touch on historical medicinal and botanical practices, useful gardening techniques, and sci-fi influences. This body of work stems from a recent Remote Research Residency Sarah did in May 2021 that was supported by Arts Assembly and Access Gallery.

BIO: Sarah Mihara Creagen (she/her) is a white passing mixed-race Japanese Canadian Queer artist. Her large-scale drawings have described her and her younger sister’s shared experiences of navigating Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Born in Nova Scotia and based in Toronto, she received her MFA in 2018 from Hunter College, City University of New York, and was a 2018/2019 Queer|Art Mentorship Fellow. She has had solo exhibitions at Katharine Mulherin's NO FOUNDATION gallery (Toronto), Articule Gallery (Montreal), and SPRING/BREAK Art Show and Hercules Studios Gallery in New York City. Her work has been featured in The NY Times “What to See in New York Art Galleries Right Now”, Hyperallergic, and Visual Arts News. She is a 2020/2021 grant recipient of a Visual Artist Creation Project from the Ontario Art Council and has an upcoming solo exhibition with the Khyber Centre for the Arts in January 2022.