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A visual artist who grew up in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Gwen Boyle’s work explores movement, history, and place. The granddaughter of a Pender Street jeweller, Gwen draws inspiration from the sights and sounds of her childhood — the clinking of beads on an abacus, the hammering of jade, the melting of gold. Gwen is in conversation with host Am Johal about experiences from her Chinatown upbringing. She shares what led her to pursue a lifelong career in art, and her fascination with the Arctic. She also speaks to some of her particular works, including the public art installation, “Abacus (Suan Phan),” an interactive sculpture symbolic of “merchants and old social fabric of Shanghai Alley and Chinatown.”
Date created: 2020-10-29
Am Johal is joined by Derek Woods, an assistant professor of Media Studies at the University of British Columbia. They discuss Derek’s intersecting expertise in media studies and ecotechnology, examining what he deems the three defining characteristics of ecotechnology: artificial ecosystems, media archaeology, and the cultural imaginary through science fiction. They also problematize the term ‘Anthropocene,’ which proposes a new geological epoch marked by the significant impact humans have had on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including climate change. Derek takes issue with the idea as it universalizes the human species, ignoring how colonialism and capitalism drove the transformation of the earth system.
Date created: 2020-11-04