2014 Vector Festival

FEBRUARY 19TH-23RD, 2014

With a growing influence that is spreading across many cultures and sub-cultures throughout the world, video games are a pervasive medium that influence a wide range of social and cultural practices.

Vector 2014 features exhibitions, screenings, workshops, performances and round table discussions, all with the ambition to create a critical dialogue around the medium of games and its expressive potential as a contemporary art practice.

Vector 2014 addresses creative practices that unpack the culture of gaming in its many forms, positing games as tools and inspiration for contemporary art-making and social critique. The festival features works by emerging as well as established artists from local, national and international backgrounds. The works presented engage the culture, politics, technology, and aesthetics of games playfully and/or critically. They cover a wide spectrum of media, including sculpture, film and video, installation, new media, print, textiles, and performance. Team Vector is committed to paying artist fees to all individuals and groups contributing to the festival, and to keep the festival events broadly accessible.

Nearly 70 artists and curators contributed to Vector 2014.


Festival Opening and Closing Events:

Vector Opening Reception.
Thurs, Feb. 20. 7pm-11pm.
Our Vector X Punk Arcade Exhibition space at OCAD University (49 McCaul St) was the official opening reception venue of Vector 2014. The evening featured an introduction by members of the game/ art communities, Team Vector, OCAD U and a brief curatorial introduction to the Punk Arcade by curator Sarah Brin and Lee.

Closing Screening/ Reception.
Feb 23. 7pm-11pm.
Our the final evening of Vector 2014 (Sunday, Feb 23rd) took place at Videofag for an intimate closing reception and machinima screening. Featuring Film / Video by: Angela Washko, Eric Schockmel (Luxembourg), Marieke Verbiesen (Norway), Hye Young Kim (North Carolina), S_ara and a live performance by Oratorio Tangram (live cinema piece, featuring live manipulation of animated gifs and electronic music). (Admission cost of $5)



Impedance: Games + Resistance
Feb 8-23 at InterAccess
Wed 12-8pm / Thur 12-6pm / Fri 12-8pm / Sats 12-6pm

Featuring works by: Molleindustria w/ Jim Munroe (Pittsburgh/Toronto), Alex Myers (Pittsburgh), Kent Sheely (Los Angeles), Lucas Pope, Soha El-Sabaawi (Santa Monica), Martin Le Chevallier (Paris), Gordan Savicic (Czech Republic), RuneStorm (South Africa), Andy Campbell (UK) & Mez Breeze (Australia), Oscar Raby (Australia).

Impedance: Games + Resistance is an exhibition featuring works by artists who use the medium of games to comment, reflect, and provoke. Addressing the politics of surveillance, warfare, race, mass media and propaganda, privacy, violence in games and media, and more, these works challenge visitors to engage with difficult issues by interacting with interactive installations, text adventure games, art games, and game modifications.

Net.Works 2.0: Emergence + Experimentation.
(@Videofag) 187 August Ave.
Exhibition Open Daily from Feb 20-23rd. 12-5pm

Our second annual survey show, Net.Works 2.0 is an exhibition which highlights the work of emerging artists alongside established experimenters in the world of experimental games + game based artworks.  While we are still putting the final touches on the works for this exhibition, visitors can expect to see a variety of works, from textiles, print, sculpture, experimental games, mods and more.

Featuring works by: FOCI + LOCI (NYC), Eric Powell, Brandon Edgar Allan (Toronto), notendo (Baltimore), Eddo Stern (Los Angeles), UCLA GameLab, Jeff Thompson (Jersey City), Florent Deloison (Paris), James Kirkpatrick (London, Ontario), Stephen Ascher, Connor Campbell & Corey Dean & Jeremy Nir.

Vector X Punk Arcade!
(@OCADu) 49 McCaul St.
Exhibition open daily (from Feb 20-23rd). 12pm-6pm.

Punk Arcade is a games blog and exhibit focused on works that are independent, minimal, offbeat, and sometimes gritty. All the featured games have been constructed rapidly, by one person or a small team, outside of the AAA world of mainstream videogames. These works are the product of increased access to game-making software tools which have opened up the field of game-making to publics who had previously never had the necessary skills.  These new designers, or “video game zinesters” (as dubbed by game designer Anna Anthropy), are shifting the pre-existing paradigm for the creation and distribution of games by creating radical work that can be distributed online for free. Punk Arcade first started as an exhibition at Little Berlin Gallery in Philadelphia, and has since reached over 100,000 people through interventions online and across the country.

Featuring works by: Merrit Kopas (NYC), Ben Esposito/Arcane Kids (Los Angeles), Ilya Zarembsky (NYC), MajorBueno (Benedikt Hummel and Marius Winter)(Germany), Daniele Guevara (Toronto), Jason Corace (Baltimore), Michael Wilde (Vancouver), Benedict Fritz (Wisconsin), Simon Wiscombe (San Francisco)



Code In Motion
Wednesday. February 19. 7pm.
@CineCycle 129 Spadina Ave.
The works in this program explore both the mathematical precision of computer graphics, as well as the uncontrolled, the uncontrollable and the random. Early examples of both experimental and narrative computer animated films will be shown including work by John Whitney, Sr., Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, Mary Ellen Bute, John Stehura, James Whitney, Stan Vanderbeek and Kenneth Knowlton, Lillian Schwartz, Pierre Hébert and Peter Foldès. As an added bonus, innovative computer generated commercials produced by Robert Abel and Associates will be shown between each film.

Featured Films:
Around is Around – Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, 1951, 10 minutes
Abstronic – Mary Ellen Bute, 1952, 7 minutes
Catalog –John Whitney, Sr., 1961, 7 minutes
Cybernetik 5.3 (1960-65) – John Stehura, 1965, 8 minutes
Lapis – James Whitney, 1966, 10 minutes
Poemfield no.2 – Stan Vanderbeek and Kenneth Knowlton, 1966, 6 minutes
The Artist and The Computer – Lillian Schwartz, 1976, 11 minutes
Around Perception –Pierre Hébert, 1968, 16 minutes
La Faim – Peter Foldès, 1974, 11 minutes
Various Robert Abel Commercials, Various Dates, 7 minutes

Saturday, February 22nd @7:30 pm. @ VideoFag
Guest curated: Isabelle Arvers

Originally created as an exhibition for the 9th incarnation of the Gamerz Festival in October 2013, Vector is presenting this programme in the form of a screening!Made purposely or not by the artist, beauty comes accidentally, from a bug. The art of glitch stems from manipulation of the medium, programming experiment, playing with graphic cards… experimenting with all the « back-stage » setting of a fixed or moving image just to see what happens, exactly as Nam June Paik did with video art and the cathode ray-tube.Beauty might come also from the multiplication, leverage or double-exposure of shapes.When hyper-realism ends in unreal representation of a non-perfect reality, Glitch brings about poetry : it brings analogue to the digital, like a speck of dust into the perfect coded reality. Machiniglitch is an ode to the Glitch Aesthetics!

Featured Works:
Jupiter and Beyond the Blocks – Félicien Goguey & Benjamin Bartholet
Machinhuma – Edouard Taufenbach
Bitsplit – Florian Dieude
Metropolis – Chris Hawlett
Prepare to Qualify – Clint Enns
Glitch Kungfu – Entter, Goto80
Borders: boulders at la rotonda – Mary Flanagan
The Fall girl – Georgie Roxby Smith
8000 people – Knut LSG Hybinette
Dust 2 dust – Kent Sheely
Memory of a broken dimension – Datatragedy
30 seconds or more 01 – Beyond the magic mushrooms – Victor Morales
Knightshift – Anita Fontaine
Remember when we walked to the edge of the world? – jonCates
Formation VI – Baden Pailthorpe



Saturday, February 22nd. 9pm-Late.
@InterAccess. 9 Ossington Ave.
An algorave is a type of dance party. Instead of music being spinned by DJs or other forms of live electronic performance, music at an algorave is performed through live coding algorithms that produce electronic music. This evenings group of performers create music live by either manipulating the circuits of electronic toys, through coding on video game hardware, or in live code computer environments. For this evening, we have selected a number of performers, who bring a unique perspective to electronic music and visual production through the manipulation of Code and Circuitry.

Featuring performances by: Thesis Sahib, the Cybernetic Orchestra, Partytime! Hexcellent!

Avatar Orchestra Metaverse: Special Matinee Performance
Sunday, February 23. 2pm. @InterAccess (9 Ossington Ave)
Using the world of Second Life as a spatial sound environment, the members of the AOM perform live via Second Life using a variety custom coded objects, sound and visual instruments and animations to create a telematic sound art performance that has to be seen to be believed.

The AOM’s Humming Pera (aka Tina Pearson) will be conducting the performance live at InterAccess, with seven other members of the Orchestra dialing in from around the world to perform with virtual helicopters and custom designed audiovisual instruments inside a whimsical virtual environment. This special performance will feature new collaborations created by the Orchestra specifically for the Vector Game Art Festival, and will include a live video stream of the audience on screen within the virtual environment, inviting interaction and awareness between the telematic performers and their spectators.The performance within Second Life will be accessible to a small number of audience members, so that those unable to attend the performance in person, may attend virtually inside of Second Life.


Panel Discussions:

Machinima + Contemporary Art
Friday, Feb 21st. 6pm-8pm.
@Bento Miso, 862 Richmond St. W
Often associated with gaming fan cultures, machinima (the practice of using video game footage in films and animation) has seen the rise of a critical practice, employed by contemporary artists. At one point does machinima move from fan cultures to artistic discourse? How are the aesthetic/ narrative/ commentaries different between fan employment of machima and artists’ employment of machinima? What are the common tools used to accomplish such works?

Panelists: Eddo Stern,  Clint Enns, Foci + Loci (Chris Burke + Tamara Yadao), Isabelle Arvers, Angela Washko
Moderator: Emma Westacott (OCADU)

Impedance Exhibition Panel.
Sat, Feb 22nd 3:00pm-5:00pm
@Bento Miso, 862 Richmond St. W
This panel featured artists whose work was also  exhibited in the Impedance exhibition at InterAccess during Vector 2104. With the medium of games becomming increasingly pervasive, it is no wonder that games makers have begun to employ the medium as a means of engaging in political discourse. However, what considerations are made by these artists when undertaking such work? What aesthetic and critical conditions must be made in order to achieve political engagement through the medium? How does this kind of work impact above ground gaming cultures?

Panelists: Jim Munroe, Alex Myers, Kent Sheely, Soha El Sabaawi.

Curating Games and Game based Artworks
Sunday, Feb 23rd, 4:30pm-6:30pm.
@Bento Miso, 862 Richmond St. W
This panel, populated by a collection of curators who specialize in games and game based artworks, will discuss the practice of game / game art curation. What are the critical criteria for selecting such works? What kinds of spaces are most appropriate for showing such works? How does one deal with the technological considerations of such curatorial practices.? Join us as we discuss these considerations, and more, with a variety of curators, each with their own unique perspective on the art of game curation.

Panelists: Cindy Poremba (Kokoromi, XYZ, Joue le Jeu), Sarah Brin and Lee Tusman (Punk Arcade), Marie Foulston (Wild Rumpus).
Moderator: Skot Deeming (Team Vector/DPAD/Ghost Arcade).



glitch.jam 2.
Saturday, February 22nd @ 12pm. 
@ InterAccess.
Led by NYC artist notendo and former Team Vector, this year’s workshop sees Clint Enns return to lead participants in the basic techniques of circuit bending on plug and play video game devices.  Using a variety of tools and techniques, including alligator clips, resistors, leads, wires, solder , and more, Clint will show participants how to open up these battery operated game devices, and how to search for the perfect bend. Get hands on experience creating your very own glitch video work!

Creating and Collaborating with Sound in Second Life.
Saturday, Feb. 22nd. 1pm-5pm.
@Bento Miso
Lead by Tina M. Pearson of the Avatar Orchestra Metaverse, this workshop focuses on the basics of listening, soundmaking and creating live group audiovisual and soundart performances inside a virtual world. Tina shares her experience and knowledge as a sound artist, giving attendees hands on knowledge for creation and play within the workshop and beyond. The workshop touches on connection spaces between virtual, dream and other worlds, mixed reality and hybrid performance practice, and making soundart in the contexts and cultures of social networking and game art. The virtual world of Second Life is explored as a conceptual space, an instrument, a venue and a collaborative interface that gives a framework for inquiries into identity, belonging, perception, perspective, and other themes concerning the extension of mind and body into and through technology.


Community Partnered Events:

With the wealth of talent in Toronto’s game communities, we’re happy to work i partnership with other groups that support critical game production in the city. This year, we have several events that Vector is a community partner in, run by the Hand Eye Society, as well as Dames Making Games, we believe that the inclusion of events by these groups during the festival weekend of Vector provides a wonderful cross section of the game design practices and support structures in place in Toronto for game based creators.

DMG Game Jam: Feb Fatale 2: The Glitch is Back!
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 10:00am, to Sunday, February 2, 2014, 8:00pm.
Following last year’s highly successful Game Jam, Feb Fatale,  DMG is bringing the Feb Fatale jam back, with a glitchy twist! Feb Fatale 2: The Glitch is Back, plays on noir, revenge and glitch themes, in a unique way that only DMG is capable of.

Dames Making Games’ February Speakers’ Social.
Sat, Feb 22nd 5pm-7pm.
@Bento Miso (862 Richmond St. W)
What is a DMG speakers’ social? Each month DMG invites female members of the local game making community to give presentations about their creative and critical undertakings. In addition, this social will feature a showcase of over a dozen games made at the Vector sponsored game jam: Feb Fatale 2, the Glitch is Back.

Hand Eye Society 5th Anniversary Celebration (Fancy Videogame Party)
Friday, Feb, 21st. 8pm-12am.
@ The Art Gallery of Ontario. (317 Dundas St. W)
This event is held in celebration of the 5th Anniversary of Toronto’s Hand Eye Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local independent game production, and critical dialogue surrounding the medium of games. The work the Hand Eye Society has done over the past five years has acted as a catalyst for many of the creative endeavours in video games that has happened in Toronto since their founding, and we wish them a happy birthday!



View the full 2014 schedule and map.