XR Program 2022-23

We are excited to announce the return of the New Works XR Program. Centering artists with an embodied practice, New Works XR encourages new voices in the development of creative technology.  Building on our XR Pilot, this year’s program will support a group of dance and movement based artists interested in integrating extended reality (XR) technologies into their existing movement practices through workshops, mentorship, and residencies. 

XR (extended reality) is an umbrella term encompassing augmented (AR), virtual (VR), and mixed reality technologies. Supported by Mitacs and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, New Works XR is in partnership with New Media Gallery and a team of consulting artists and technologists working at the intersection of performance and XR technologies.

The program provides support for dance makers and embodied practitioners in the early stages of creation involving technologies that fall under the umbrella of XR. The XR Program will resource the development of up to 4 XR projects with skills building workshops, mentorship with senior artists, consultation with technologists, access to gear and studio space, and XR resource sharing.  

The New Works XR Program will place a focus on process, research, and capacity building. Participants will have the opportunity to work closely with the New Works team and XR mentors to develop their project. Participants will engage in one-on-one consultations with New Work’s XR network (including the New Works team, mentors, workshop facilitators and technologists), and learn alongside peer artists. Participants will gain sustainable skills and knowledge over the course of the 8 week residency. 

A final product or presentation is not intended as part of this year’s program, however, there will be the opportunity to share in-progress work with audiences at the culmination of the residency.

Join us for the XR Open Sharing on March 30th! 

New Works welcomes you to a public work-in-progress showing of this year’s XR Program on March 30th, 2023.

XR Artists danielle Mackenzie Long, James Albers, Sarah U, and Simran Sachar will share their artistic research and works-in-progress with the community.

Thursday, March 30 | 6 – 9pm at Emily Carr University of Art + Design’ s Integrated Motion Studio D1400

  • 6-7pm | Open sharing with XR artists
  • 7-8pm | Interactive live performance +audience and artist talk-back
  • 8-9pm | Open sharing, demos and mingling

Meet the Team

Gemma Crowe (XR Program Director) is a new media artist and recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s full-residency MFA program. Crowe holds a bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance and has ten years of professional experience in filmmaking and video art, which influences how she approaches an audience of viewers and listeners. Her thesis research is concerned with the illusory potential of sound and the sensory apprehension of movement. Crowe received Canada Council and British Columbia Arts Council funding for her research into spatial sound and the bodily experience as well as a research award through Emily Carr University. Crowe completed a residency at Lobe Studio working with world-class 4DSOUND spatial sound software and delivered a presentation on embodied sonic design at the 2022 International Seminar on Sonic Design. Crowe will continue her research in embodiment, virtual theory, and audience perception in her role as New Works XR Program Director.

Sierra Megas (XR Program Manager) is an emerging artist and arts administrator living and working on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam (xʷməθkwəy̓əm), Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaɬ) Nations. She has experience with production assistance, front of house management, educational and community programming, administration, and outreach. She is grateful to have worked with Here For Now, Vancouver New Music, The Dance Centre, New Works, Still Moon Arts Society, and EDAM Dance – where she is currently serving as Equity Program Coordinator. Supporting artists is at the centre of her work and brings her great joy.

2023 Program Artists

Sarah Hin Ching U 余衍晴 (she/her) is a Chinese-Canadian emerging dancer, choreographer, and creator in live, digital and multimedia performances. My main intention is to create performance experiences that are engaging, reflective and community-oriented. I gravitate towards stories in human desire, identity, relationship; and is grounded in experiences that have touched me deeply and personally. Collaboration is essential to my practice, and I prioritize hosting and creating space to share knowledge and skills in between, and outside of art forms.

My work has been presented by National Arts Centre, Capsule: Video series (Ottawa), The Dance Centre (Vancouver), NewWorks (Vancouver), DanceWorks (Toronto), Impulse Theatre (Victoria, BC), Free Flow Dance Theatre (Saskatoon), SpringWorks (Ontario) among others.  In 2022, I received the Professional Performing Artist Award from BC Arts Council and is 1 of the 3 annual Artist-In-Residence at ArtStarts Gallery. Other notable performing credits include Dancing on the Edge Festival 2019 with Danse Carpe Diem/Emmanuel Jouthe (Montreal); Nuit Blanche 2021 with Jackie Latendresse (Saskatoon); and Dancing on the Edge Festival 2022 with Kylah Powell (Vancouver). I hold a BFA in dance and kinesiology from Simon Fraser University.

I use a lowercase “d” because I desire to navigate the world by easing into spaces. I go by my full name to acknowledge my maternal lineage.

danielle Mackenzie Long, a queer emerging contemporary dance artist and filmmaker, resides on the stolen and unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations. Fascinated by moments of mundanity, danielle reimagines what simplicity is and isn’t throughout their interdisciplinary artistic practice, to better understand their ever-evolving identity. danielle is currently an artistic intern with “Vancouver” based new media collective Chimerik. They are simultaneously expanding their interdisciplinary practice through various studies at the University of British Columbia after having graduated from Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program under the direction of Tiffany Tregarthen, David Raymond and Kate Franklin. In 2021 they were a commissioned artist for the 6th annual Festival of Recorded Movement (F-O-R-M). Their work has been presented internationally at Birmingham International Dance Festival, and within Canada at Capsule (in partnership with National Arts Centre/F-O-R-M), Digit Carnival Z, Screen:Moves, NextFest, IGNITE! and F-O-R-M. danielle is fascinated by bike mechanics, and hopes to build a bike one day.

James Albers is an emerging artist, curator, writer, organizer, performer, and drag artist based on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. They recently graduated from the department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver with a double major in Visual Arts and Art History. During their final year, they were the Assistant Director of the Hatch Art Gallery, UBC’s only student run art space. Conceptually, their practice often adopts collaborative and community oriented approaches as they see this as a productive way to subvert singular and limited perspectives within artistic spaces and worlds. James is interested in exploring the queer potentials of revisionist histories and chooses to believe in the magic of fiction. Recently, James has been thinking through the truth that a perfect lie may hold.

Simran Sachar (she/her) is a Canadian East Indian/Punjabiexperimental contemporary and street dance artist, and writer. Simran deeply prides herself in experimentation through versatility and is currently interested in the value of memories, imagination, and our deepest desires shaping our own unique dance. Simran’s versatility has allowed her to train and perform in multiple shows across the Philippines, New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. She prides herself on being an open minded melting pot working in Film/TV, contemporary spaces, street dance spaces, teaching youth of all levels, and producing her own work. Simran is in the process of her most recent work with XR technology, titled “Mere Andar.” Her film entitled: “No Alarms” was chosen to be presented for “Isol-art,” by Teddy Tedholm and Sara Richman. In 2020, her first film “LUNACY” premiered at FORM Film Festival and won the Official Selection of the 2020 Audience Choice Award. Simran’s interest in XR and dance research sparked from her wanting to enter another realm, and because we physically cannot, she’s decided to create one through imagination and memories, using dance to step into it. She is excited to further her experience and learn about all the possibilities and limitations of different XR mediums. 

2023 Program Mentors

Freya Björg Olafson is an intermedia artist who works with video, audio, animation, motion capture, XR, painting, and performance. Their praxis engages with identity and the body, as informed by technology and the Internet. Olafson’s work has been exhibited and performed internationally at the Bauhaus Archiv (Berlin), SECCA – SouthEastern Center for Contemporary Art (North Carolina), LUDWIG museum (Budapest), and The National Arts Center (Ottawa). Olafson has benefitted from residencies, most notably through EMPAC – Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (New York), Oboro (Montreal), and Counterpulse (San Francisco). In spring 2020 Olafson was one of the longlist ‘Sobey Art Award’ recipients through a nomination by Video Pool Media Arts Center and in July 2021 she was selected for the Lumen Prize for Art & Technology longlist. Olafson holds an MFA in New Media from the Transart Institute / Donau Universität. In 2017 Olafson joined the Department of Dance at York University as an Assistant Professor. As of July 2021, Olafson is an Assistant Professor in Digital Media at the University of Manitoba School of Art.

Ian Garrett is a designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture.  He is the director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University, where he is Graduate Program Director for Theatre and Performance Studies. He is also producer for Toasterlab, a mixed reality performance collective. He maintains a design practice focused on ecology, accessible technologies and scenography.
Recent work includes I am a Child of… with Keaja d’Dance at the Harbourfront Centre, the exhibition design for World Stage Design 2022 in collaboration with Patrick Rizzotti., and the most recent versions of the locative immersive media projects Parkway Forest Time Machine and STEPS’ From Weeds We Grow both in Toronto Parks. Other XR projects include multiple works with DLT Experience, including: Spectators Odyssey at TO Live, The Right Way at the Venice Biennale and The Stranger 2.0 at the Columbus Centre Toronto. HIs documentary Groundworks which broadcast nationally on PBS in the US through October and November 2022, looking at four of the contributing artists to the locative and site-specific performance of the same name presented on Alcatraz on San Francisco’s first Indigenous People’s day with Dancing Earth Creations. Other creative interactive projects include the mixed-reality project Transmission at the FuturePlay Festival in Edinburgh and Future of Storytelling Festival in New York, Theatre Panik’s durational performance, Peep, at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche; Erika Batdorf’s Micro-theatre for Burnish at the Theatre Centre and Venice Biennale, the set and energy capture systems for Zata Omm Dance Projects’ Vox:Lumen at the Harbourfront Centre, and Silo No. 5 on Maria Island, Tasmania. He has worked on installations such as DTAH Architects’ Ravine Portal and on the lighting team for the Crimson Collective’s Ascension, a 150’ wide, origami-style crane sculpture at the 2010 Coachella Music Festival.

Nancy Lee 李南屏 is a Taiwanese-Canadian interdisciplinary media artist, curator, filmmaker, DJ and cultural producer. Their work stimulates and enlivens space, making a provocative statement about how inescapably interconnected we are with our surroundings. In 2017, Nancy directed the first contemporary VR dance film “Tidal Traces” in collaboration with Emmalena Fredriksson with the National Film Board of Canada. Nancy’s interdisciplinary works have been presented at Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, MUTEK, IX Symposium, Berlin International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, ISEA, and more. They are an XR instructor at IM4 Media Lab at Emily Carr University, board director of Love Intersections Society and artistic mentor at Festival of Recorded Movement. They also run a small DIY studio in Vancouver Chinatown hosting cross-genre shows, workshops and residencies. As a Sundance Institute New Frontier Alumni, Nancy has been collaborating with Kiran Bhumber on a speculative sci-fi exhibition “UNION”, exploring 3D scanning/printing, XR, and multi-channel sound and video installation. Nancy recently finished a sci-fi writing program at the School for Poetic Computations in NYC and an XR artist residency, SATELLITE, at Society of Art and Technology in Montreal. They currently are co-directing “HOLD_xyz”, a dance-sculpture-XR research series with Fakeknot. 

In the Community

New Works XR Program is championed and supported by an exceptional community of artists and arts organizations.

To create with unrestricted freedom. To make the unrealistic a reality. To imagine environments unbound by the laws of physics. To imagine our people and stories in the future.

Casey Koyczan is a Dene interdisciplinary artist from Yellowknife, NT, that uses various mediums to communicate how culture and technology can grow together in order for us to develop a better understanding of who we are, where we come from, and what we will be. He creates with whatever tools necessary to bring an idea to fruition, and specializes in sculpture, installation, 3D/VR/AR/360, video, and audio works such as music, soundscapes and film scores.

He is an international artist that has participated in many residencies, exhibits, festivals and collaborations in parts of the world such as Finland, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, The Netherlands, The USA, and the UK. He is also a musician, producer, filmmaker, actor/narrator, and advocate for future generations of artists and musicians.

He has a Multimedia Production diploma from Lethbridge College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Thompson Rivers University, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba.

XR Project 2023: Casey Koyczan delivered an introductory workshop on Blender.

Artistic Producer of Boca del Lupo since 2001, Jay Dodge was also part of the founding collective in 1996. During his tenure, the company has won the peer-assessed Alcan Performing Arts Award, and several Jesse Richardson Theatre Awards including seven nominations for the Critic’s Choice Award for Innovation and the Patrick O’Neill Award for best anthology with Plays2Perform@Home. Jay is a passionate set and video designer with Jessie Richardson Awards in both of those categories as well as a published playwright including a contribution to Boca del Lupo’s Red Phone project. His artistry is one of innovation and daring and his one man show, PHOTOG. featured interactive video, stunt rigging and verbatim text, touring to World Stage, Prismatic, Festival Trans Amerique and PuSh. Currently serving on the national board of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, Jay also has special interest in creative space making including as co-founder of celebrated colocation space PL1422, co-founder of the Granville Island Theatre District, and as project consultant for Video In/Video Out and Left of Main.

XR Project 2023: Carey and Jay Dodge of Boca del Lupo hosted the XR artists at the Fishbowl on Granville island for a workshop on 360 video.

Carey Dodge, Technology Director of Boca Del Lupo, is a board member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. Carey is a multidisciplinary artist and technologist whose work focuses on sonic arts, interactivity, installations, sound design and performance. He studied Electroacoustics at Concordia University and received a Masters at the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast. He has collaborated with hundreds of artists in the creation of works mostly in Vancouver but also Montreal, Toronto, the USA, UK & Ireland.

Through his work with Boca del Lupo in the unique role as a full-time technology director for a theatre company he as worked with the core creative team to continually expand, challenge and grow what is possible and what are impactful uses of technology for expressing artistic vision and connection with each other.

XR Project 2023: Carey and Jay Dodge of Boca del Lupo hosted the XR artists at the Fishbowl on Granville island for a workshop on 360 video.

Emmalena Fredriksson is a contemporary dance artist living and working in Vancouver, as a guest on the ancestral unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples. Her practice is defined by choreography as a relational practice in the expanded fields of dance, often collaborating with artists of other disciplines, creating choreographic experiences and dance for social events, film, galleries and performance. Born in Sweden, she received her training at Balettakademien in Umeå and at SEAD in Austria. Emmalena has presented choreographic work, performed and taught internationally with Daghdha Dance Company (IE), Canaldanse (FR), Malta University (MT), Pact Zollverein (DE), and Falmouth University (UK) among others and have been based in Vancouver since 2013. Emmalena holds an MFA degree from Simon Fraser University and is currently a term lecturer on the SCA dance and theatre programs.

XR Project 2023: Emmalena gave an artist talk.

Caroline MacCaull (she/they) is a queer emerging interdisciplinary artist living and working on the unceded and stolen territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First nations. Through the amalgamation of movement, video, new media and technology, her practice questions, experiments, and converges ideas between different art forms to rediscover how they can cohesively coalesce. She holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts and has had her work presented by Shooting Gallery Performance Series, Co.ERASGA’s Salon Series, Gallery Series 258, Vines Arts Festival, New Works, K.Format/documenta 15 (Kassel, Germany), Chaos Emblematic (Berlin), FOUND festival (Edmonton), Festival International de Danse Animée (Réunion) and the Scotiabank Dance Centre for three of their different programs 12 Minutes Max, Digital Dance and currently the DanceLab program for their 2022-2023 season. She has been artist-in-residence at What Lab (Vancouver), LEÑA (Galiano Island), Dance Victoria (Victoria, BC), ArtStarts Ignites (Vancouver), DeerLake (Burnaby) and NKK Dance Centre (Siem Reap, Cambodia). As a movement artist she has had the opportunity to collaborate and interpret movement with Peter Chin/Tribal Crackling Wind, Okams Racer, The Falling Company, Oksana Augustine and Restless Productions. Caroline is currently the Associate Artistic Director of the Chimerik 似不像 Collective which has given her the opportunity to work as a New media/Projection Designer on various projects with many different artists/organizations. Some of these include: Veronique West(Rumble Theatre), Mily Mumford (PTC), Jasmine Chen(Rice and Beans Theatre), Zahra Shahab, Restless Productions, Affair of Honor, Ralph Escamillan(Van Vogue Jam), Luke Reece(Theatre Passe Muraille), Arts Club, Active / Passive, Indian Summer Festival and Mayumi Lashbrook(Aeris Korper).

XR Project 2023: Caroline gave an artist talk.

Sammy Chien 簡上翔 is a Taiwanese-Canadian immigrant and queer artist-of-colour, who’s an award-winning interdisciplinary artist, director, performer, researcher and mentor in film, sound art, new media, performance, movement and spiritual practice. With over 500 collaborative projects, his work has been exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia including Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Beijing), worked with pioneers of digital performance: Troika Ranch and Wong Kar Wai’s Cinematographer Christopher Doyle, and active in projects engaging various underrepresented communities. Sammy has been featured on magazines, TV and commercials such as Discorder, Keedan, CBC Arts and BenQ. Sammy is currently leading a dance research project “We Were One” and media arts project “Ritual-Spective 迴融”, both funded by Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council. Sammy is the official instructor of Isadora, Member/Council of MotionDAO and Artistic Director of Chimerik似不像 collective, an award winning interdisciplinary arts collective/design team. www.sammychien.com

XR Project 2023: Sammy gave an artist talk.

Community Partners

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

New Media Gallery

New Works XR Program 2022-23 is supported by: