David Rokeby, Director, BMO Lab
David Rokeby is an artist who works with a variety of digital media to critically explore the impacts these media are having on contemporary human lives. David Rokeby’s early work Very Nervous System (1982-1991) was a pioneering work of interactive art, translating physical gestures into real-time interactive sound environments. He has exhibited and lectured extensively internationally and has received numerous international awards including a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2002), a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art (2002), and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts “BAFTA” award in Interactive art (2000).
Professor Pia Kleber, co-founder, BMO Lab
Pia Kleber has been Professor and Director of the University College Drama Program at the University of Toronto since 1988. She has an M.A. in costume design from the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. In 1999 she was awarded the Helen and Paul Phelan Chair in Drama.
Professor Kleber is the organizer of two major international theatre festivals and conferences: Why Theatre: Choices for the New Century (1995), and Brecht: 30 Years After (1986), both held at the University of Toronto. During these conferences she brought two famous German Theatre Companies to North America for the first time: the Berliner Ensemble (1986) and the Berlin Schaubühne (1995).
She has published extensively on Bertolt Brecht, Roger Planchon, Giorgio Strehler, Robert Wilson and Robert Lepage.
Professor Tamara Trojanowska, co-founder, BMO Lab, Director Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
A graduate of the Drama Centre at the University of Toronto (PhD) and of Theatre Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (MA), Tamara Trojanowska has also formerly held an Oxford University scholarship and an internship at the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. She has taught at universities in Poland, Canada, and the United States, returning to University of Toronto as a faculty member in 1998. Since then, she has directed the Polish Language and Literature Program at the Slavic Department, strengthening in strides its profile and presence in North America , as well as the University College Drama Program (2008-2012). In 2012, together with Stephen Johnson, then director of the Graduate Drama Centre, she integrated the two units to form the Center for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, with which she is cross-appointed.
Douglas Eacho, Assistant Director, Academic, BMO Lab
Douglas Eacho is a performance historian, and Assistant Professor (CLTA, Teaching-Stream) at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the intersections between performance history, computational media, and political economy. Currently, he is working on a book on the problem of automatic performance, ranging from the Surrealist avant-garde, to commercial theatrical technology, to recent algorithmic performances. Originally from Washington, DC, he directed experimental performances for several years in New York City before receiving his Ph.D. in Theater & Performance Studies from Stanford University.
Professor Karan Singh, Department of Computer Science
Karan Singh is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He co-directs a globally reputed graphics and HCI lab, DGP, has over 100 peer-reviewed publications, and has supervised over 40 MS/PhD theses.
His research interests lie in interactive graphics, spanning art and visual perception, geometric design and fabrication, character animation and anatomy, and interaction techniques for mobile, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR).
He has been a technical lead for the Oscar award winning software Maya and was the R&D Director for the 2004 Oscar winning animated short Ryan. He has co-founded multiple companies including Arcestra (architectural design), JALI (facial animation), and JanusVR (Virtual Reality).
Jacob Gallagher-Ross, Associate Professor of English and Drama
Jacob Gallagher-Ross is the author of Theaters of the Everyday (Northwestern University Press, 2018). He is a contributing editor of Theater, guest coediting three special issues about theater and new technologies: Digital Dramaturgies (2012), Digital Feelings (2016), and Spectatorship in an Age of Surveillance (2018). His writing has also appeared in Theatre Survey, TDR, PAJ, TheatreForum, Contemporary Theatre Review, and Canadian Theatre Review. His article “Mediating the Method” (Theatre Survey, 2015) won the American Theatre and Drama Society’s award for the best article of the year.
He was for many years a theatre critic for the Village Voice—with over 120 published reviews. He worked for three seasons as a dramaturg at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and is the content consultant for Crash Course: Theater and Drama, a popular web series about theatre history produced by The Crash Course and PBS: Digital.
Xavier Snelgrove, Creative Technologist in Residence
Xavier is an artist, researcher and entrepreneur working primarily with computer science and machine learning. He uses computation to notice the world differently, and has brought this lens to diverse domains from the linguistics of emoji to biomedical imaging. He has worked as a researcher at institutions such as Disney Research and Element AI, and has presented work worldwide at major venues including SIGGRAPH Asia and CVPR. He has shown his art in Toronto, Montreal and Paris, and has organized computer vision art galleries which have brought artists into conversation with academic computer science at both the European Conference on Computer Vision and the International Conference on Computer Vision. (http://computervisionart.com) As an educator he both organizes and teaches workshops bringing computation and especially its artistic applications to new audiences, and has taught at art galleries, libraries, universities and bars. He lives and works in Toronto where he is a founding partner at Probably Studio (http://probablystudio.com).
Natalie Klym, Guest Programs Curator, BMO Lab
Natalie Klym is a researcher, writer, convener, and facilitator of multidisciplinary research and innovation initiatives. Her focus for the last 25 years has been on the implications of emerging technologies for business, society, and art. She spent the bulk of her career at MIT studying the disruption of the creative industries as part of an industry-sponsored program that included The Media Lab, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, and The Sloan School. Most recently she was at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, developing AI training programs for professionals. She is currently researching the role of art and artists in tech innovation and is the curator of the BMO Lab’s AI as Foil: Exploring the Co-Evolution of Art and Technologywebinar series.
Mengyu Yang, Intern
Mengyu is a 4th year undergraduate student in Engineering Science specializing in Machine Intelligence at the University of Toronto. Mengyu has worked at the Dynamic Graphics Project lab focusing on human-computer interaction. There, he used his background as a classical pianist to develop tools to improve the experience of learning musical instruments using computers. Beginning in his fourth year, Mengyu will be working on his undergraduate thesis with Professor Sageev Oore at the Vector Institute, exploring machine learning and computational creativity.
Boriša is a DJ, composer and researcher pursuing his DMA in music composition at The Faculty of Music, The University of Toronto where he studies with Prof. Norbert Palej. His interest in creative emerging technologies brought him to the BMO Lab where he researches under David Rokeby’s mentorship. Boriša is searching for new ways of artistic expression integrating technology with music and multimedia, ritual and trance, rhythmic entrainment and dialogical aesthetic.