09 September – 01 October 2022
With works by Kasra Goodarznezhad, Matt Nish-Lapidus, Taylor McArthur, Wei Li, and Zebv Diez
Focal Points features the winners of the 2022 Emerging Digital Artist Award. This year’s selected projects explore the complexity of specific narratives, places, and peoples, drawing from a unique vantage point to reveal what might otherwise be taken for granted or hidden beneath the surface.
While Goodarznezhad and Diez’s works situate personal histories to shed light on the biases and colonial power structures embedded in our systems and material culture, Li reimagines consumer objects to comment on personal experiences of cultural hybridity, femininity and motherhood. On the other hand, works by Taylor McArthur and Matt Nish-Lapidus explore visual narrative formats to honour foundational knowledge systems that have left a lasting impact.
Together, the five works employ a breadth of digital artmaking practices to expand upon personal niches that deserve our greater attention. Each artist brings their own approach to the screen-based medium, integrating nuanced perspectives into new visions for the world.
Image credit: Kasra Goodarznezhad
Click here to view the online exhibition.
Kasra Goodarznezhad is a Tehran-born, Toronto-based new media artist. He holds a BFA in Integrated Media from OCAD University and is the co-founder of two QTBIPOC collectives: Komite and Displaced. Reflecting on growing up in Iran and immigrating to Canada in 2015, Cassraa’s performance and installation practice deals with concepts of displacement, repression, memory, and censorship.
Matt Nish-Lapidus is an artist, writer, and musician. He makes software, sounds, and texts probing the myth that computers need to be useful rather than beautiful. Matt’s interests lie in the poetics of computation and its proclivity to create meaningful relations through iteration and recombination, and how computation can be a source of identity and resistance.
Taylor McArthur (Pogé hąská wašté wiyá/Hummingbird Woman) Nakoda, Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation, Saskatchewan, is a digital artist working with 3D animation, game design, and video. Her digital works aim to create space for tactile interaction and human connection. Taylor’s practice is informed by Indigenous Futurism and seeks to situate her culture within modern and future world visions.
Wei Li is an emerging Chinese Canadian artist. She holds a BFA from the University of Alberta and her work has been included in exhibitions across Canada and the United States. Wei’s dual cultural background challenges her to integrate different cultural perspectives into her work, drawing on the tensions inherent to her identity and informing a new hybrid artistic practice.
Zebv Diez is a Filipino Canadian artist based in Toronto. His work explores the intricacy of identity and precarious navigation of western spaces as an Asian Minority. Born in the Philippines, he draws on his experience of immigration to produce 3D environments which rely heavily on Asian aesthetics to convey the struggles of generational trauma, fetishization, assimilation, and othering.