2015 Vector Festival

FEBRUARY 18TH-22ND, 2015

The Vector Festival is a participative, not-for-profit, and community-oriented initiative dedicated to showcasing experiments in digital games and interactive experiences. New media art is a diverse field characterized by a wide variety of creative practices; the works shown at Vector act as a critical bridge between digital games and the larger worlds of new media art practice. The 2015 festival is running at multiple venues over four days from Feb 18 to 22 in Toronto, Canada. Vector 2015 will feature exhibitions, screenings, workshops, performances and  discussions, all with the ambition to create a critical dialogue focusing on digital games and new media art.



To Utility and Beyond
Interface Experiments in New Media and Game Art.

@ InterAccess (9 Ossington Avenue)
February 18th – March 13th.

Featuring works by: Connor Campbell (CAN), Kieran Nolan (IRL), Juliana Riska/Dorian Reunkrilerk/Loriane Stary/Kim Boldt (FRA), Kara Stone/Nadine Lessio (CAN), Kim Hoang/Ben Swinden/Zachary Soares/Hamish Lambert (CAN) and Jochen Zeirzer (AUT)

What makes an interface? What characterizes a successful (or a failed) attempt to interface with a game, a machine, an algorithm, or another human? What are the politics of interface design, and what are its aesthetics? How are desires, hopes and fears expressed in interfaces? To Utility and Beyond surveys recent works by a selection of international new media artists and game makers who explore these and other questions through playful, critical, and self-reflexive experimentation. The works featured in the exhibition include machinima, kinetic sculptures, experimental videogames, interactive installations, and text adventures.



@ InterAccess, 9 Ossington Ave
Thursday, February 19th, from 7pm-10pm.

For this year’s festival, we’ve decided once more to bring back our very successful glitch.jam workshop! We’ve held this workshop each year during Vector, and it’s always a packed to capacity, lively and engaging time!

What’s a Glitch.Jam? It’s part-workshop/ part jam, where Team Vector will walk you through the basics of circuit bending battery operated / plug and play gaming devices. We’ll show you how to crack them open, and how to employ a variety of techniques to create your own game glitches!

We supply everything you need: the game consoles, tiny screwdrivers, alligator clips and leads, potentiometers,wires, soldering irons (and will help you with soldering if you need it), old TVs, and some VCRs to record your glitches.


Panel Discussions:

Interface Experiments in New Media and Game Art.
Friday, February 20th, from 7-9pm
@ InterAccess

Featured Artists: Connor Campbell, Kara Stone, Nadine Lessio, Kieran Nolan, Kim Hoang and Ben Swinden.

This year’s panel discussion revolves around our exhibition: To Utility and Beyond. Interface Experiments in New Media and Game Art.Team Vector (Martin Zeilinger and Skot Deeming),and a selection of artists from the exhibitions, in an engaging and critical discussion all about interfaces.

What makes an interface? What characterizes a successful (or a failed) attempt to interface with a game, a machine, an algorithm, or another human? What are the politics of interface design, and what are its aesthetics? How are desires, hopes and fears expressed in interfaces? How are they made transparent/ obfuscated? How do commercial discourses embedded in technology cultures shape our understanding of the interface? How do we break from these discourses to create new critical works while focusing on interface design? How do we move beyond the concept of utility when discussing the interface?



Variations on a Theme: Computer Music{s}
Saturday, February 21st, at 8pm
@ InterAccess (9 Ossington Avenue).

This year’s performance night at Vector reflects our curatorial and scholarly fascinations with the use of gaming and new media technologies in the composition of live music. This evening’s program explores a wide array of interpretations of the theme “Computer Music,” for which, in our curatorial opinion, no single definition does (or, indeed, should!) exist. Accordingly, the performers touch on manifold compositional and performance practices that use the computer as a primary expressive tool.

The performance night features three Canadian artists whose approaches to computer-based composition and performance are remarkably different. frAncIs (Toronto) will be performing using live coding environments, creating live electronic music on-the-fly based on algorithms composed in real time. Devon Hansen (Montreal) employs the computer in the creation of sample-based and acousmatic soundscapes. Finally, JefftheWorld (Toronto), a staple of the Toronto chipmusic scene, will be performing using music tracking software for vintage computational platforms including MS-DOS and the Commordore Amiga.



10 Print “Hello World”: A screening of early home computer animation.
Sunday, Feb, 22nd. 7pm.

It is our pleasure to have Vector co-founder, artist and screening programmer, Clint Enns, back for Vector 2015! This year’s screening, “Hello World” was intended to be an extension of last year’s highly successful Code in Motion, a program presented by Vector featuring early computer animation made from 1951-1974. “Hello World” is the direct result of informal research into why the “teapot” has become an iconic symbol for computer art and features early examples of moving images produced on early home computer systems.

Tony Conrad, Cycles of 3s and 7s (1976, 3 minutes (excerpt))
Manfred Mohr, Cube Transformation Study (1972, 30 seconds)
Larry Cuba, Calculated Movements (1985, 6 minutes) on 16mm
bpNichol, First Screening (1984, 10 minutes)
Canadian Artists and Telidon (1984, 20 minutes)
Arnait Video Productions and Mary Kunuk, Aqtuqsi (My Nightmare)(1996, 5 minutes)
John Whitney – A Personal Seach for the Complementarity of Music & Visual Art
Loren Carpenter – Vol Libre (1980, 2 minutes)
+ Various home computer commercials from the era.


Community Partnered Events:

Friday, February 20th, 9pm-Late.
@ Bento Miso

Over the years, we’ve worked closely with Dames Making Games, offering co-presented game jams and socials during and around the festival.  To celebrate our ongoing collaboration, Vector teamed up with DMG to present the Killer Interfaces Party! Kyle Duffield’s live-action laser game, the L.E.A.P. Engine, will be installed for one night only.

DMG x VECTOR: FEB FATALE 3: Killer Interfaces Speaker Social
Saturday, February 21st @5pm.
@ Bento Miso

For the third year in a row, we partnered with Toronto’s Dames Making Games to present their Feb Fatale Game Jam and Speaker’s social! This year, the theme is “Killer Interfaces”. The Game Jam took place on the weekend of February 7th, where participants have 48hrs to create games featuring: “rampaging anthropomorphic vehicles, deadly robotesses and remote-controlled humanoid vigilantes, amazing / unusual / weird / big user interfaces, death and disempowerment to the machines.”



Vector 2015 follows the formula of other editions of the festival, featuring a variety of both free and ticketed events.


Schedule and map:

View the full 2015 schedule and map.



Presenting Partner
Since Vector began we have been very fortunate to receive support from InterAccess. For Vector 2015, we are excited to announce that InterAccess has come on board as a full programming partner! Team Vector and InterAccess will be co-presenting all of Vector 2015’s event taking place at the gallery and in the I/A workshop/studio. More than this, InterAccess is Vector 2015’s primary venue, hosting the bulk of our events, including our exhibition, workshop, panel and evening of performance. We’re grateful for their ongoing support and look forward to our ever-increasing ties with InterAccess. Without them, the Vector festival would still be an idea, rather than an actual thing entering its third year. We would like to thank the staff and board members of InterAccess to their ongoing commitment to the festival, and this valuable partnership.

Community Partner
Dames Making Games
Founded in 2012, DMG is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to women, non-binary, gender nonconforming, trans and queer folks interested in games. DMG hosts an number of events, including workshops, monthly speakers’ socials, game jams, and more. Vector 2015 was the third year in a row that we partnered with DMG, co-presenting the 2015 DMG speakers’ social for the Feb Fatale 3: Killer Interfaces game jam.

Promotional Partner
Musicworks Magazine
Musicworks magazine has been Canada’s leading voice for experimental music since 1978. It is the only English-language magazine that explores new ideas in electronic music, sound installation, instrument design, avant jazz and improvisation, new concert music, and interdisciplinary arts. Each issue comes with a companion CD highlighting the work of featured artists. Musicworks Magazine was a promotional partner for Vector 2015, helping to get the word out about the festival.

From our friends at MusicworksSave $5 on your subscription by applying promo code “VECTOR”. Subscribe online at musicworks.ca/subscription or by calling 416-977-3546. Student discounts available.

Venue Partner
Videofag is a storefront cinema and performance lab in Toronto’s Kensington Market dedicated to the creation and exhibition of video, film, new media, and live art. The space is run by Jordan Tannahill & William Ellis, who converted it from an old barbershop in October 2012. For Vector 2015, the third year in a row, we once again partnered with Videofag to present our closing festival event, the screening “Hello World,“ curated by Clint Enns.

Venue Partner
Bento Miso
Located in Toronto’s Queen West District, Bento Miso is a coworking space and thriving community of 150+ creators making video games, starting good food businesses, producing films, designing Web applications, running not-for-profit organizations, skill sharers. As partners for Vector 2015, Bento hosted our Dames Making Games co-presented events, including the Killer Interfaces Game Jam and Speakers Social, as well as the Killer Interfaces Party!