A Light Footprint in the Cosmos

A Light Footprint In The Cosmos is a celebration of research methods and intercultural dialogue elaborated by the Substantial Motion Research Network (SMRN).

Inspired by 17th–century Persian process philosopher Sadr al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī, Azadeh Emadi and Laura U. Marks founded SMRN in 2018 for scholars and practitioners interested in cross-cultural exploration of digital media, art and philosophy. Sadra famously stated that each individual is "a multiplicity of continuous forms, unified by the essential movement itself," which describes how SMRN’s members inform each other’s practice and how those practices weave across artistic and scholarly work. Our collective method unfolds hidden connections: researching histories of media in world cultures, tracing paths of transmission, seeking models for media in world philosophies, studying vernacular practices, cultivating cultural openness, developing hunches, building imaginative and fabulative connections, and diagramming the processes of unfolding and enfolding. We fold South, Central, and East Asian, Persian, Arab, North and sub-Saharan African and African diaspora, Eastern European, and global Indigenous practices into contemporary media and thought. Our light footprint lies in seeking appropriate technological solutions, often from a-Western and traditional practices, to contemporary overbuilt digital infrastructures.

The SMRN Method. Our through-provoking thematic threads include Grounding New Media in Traditional and Vernacular Technologies, Media Archaeologies, Travelling Cultures, Points-clés/Portals, Talismanic Media, Collective Imagination and the Imaginal, Cosmological Diagrams, I Ching as Method, Vibration and Breath, Body and Breath, Sensory Archaeologies, Healing Media, Algorithmic Media Disrupt Figurative Thought Patterns, and Three Ecologies.
The exhibitions, performances, and curated film screenings are integral to the event. We are delighted to present exhibitions of The artworks explore, via a wide variety of analogue and digital media, the global circulation and connectivity of theories and technologies, addressing both historical inspirations and contemporary issues. They illuminate hidden connections and reveal diverse yet complementary concepts and practices. The musical performances literally draw breath from deep cultural sources. SMRN’s methods extend into the curated screenings Cinema of Breath: Rapture, Rupture and Cosmological Diagrams.
A Light Footprint in the Cosmos affirms the substantial movement of thought and practice by seeking to stage dialogues, provoke discussion and spark new collaborations in order to decolonize media studies, art history and aesthetics.

Symposium, exhibitions, performances, and screenings June 24 – 27, 2022

Celebrating the substantial motion of thought and/as creative practice,  A Light Footprint in the Cosmos will feature presentations by 60 scholars and artists, delivered both online and in person, at the acoustically sophisticated performance venue Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre.

The works of 17 international artists, are curated by Nina Czegledy and hosted by Vancouver contemporary art venues Or Gallery and Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, and Studio T at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Artists and Presenters:

Bahar Akgün, Julieta Aranda, Evan Barba, Steve Baris, Mansoor Behnam, Nathalia Bell, Brahim Benbouazza, Carol Bier, Joff P.N. Bradley, Ciğdem Borucu, Juan Castrillón, Millie Chen, Delinda Collier, Nina Czegledy, Henry Daniel, Garry Doherty, Navine G. Dossos, Stephanie Dossou, Siying Duan, Ron Eglash, Waèl El Allouche, Tarek Elhaik, Walid El Khachab, Mena El Shazly, Azadeh Emadi, Nezih Erdogan, Paul Goodfellow, Jan Hendrickse, Julian Henriques, Masayuki Iwase, Sunčica Pasuljević Kandić, Eyvind Kang, Bharati Kapadia, Pantea Karimi, Farshid Kazemi, Jessika Kenney, M. Javad Khajavi, Asad Khan, Somayeh Khakshoor, Michelle S. Kim, Lynn Marie Kirby, Keisha Knight, Olga F. Koroleva, Katie Kotler, Laura U. Marks, Nancy Mauro-Flude, Darija Medić, Matthew Melvin-Koushki, Narjis Mirza, Minoo Moallem, Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, Katya Nosyreva, Mahmoud Nuri, J.R. Osborn, Arzu Ozkal, Sheila Petty, Manuel Baldoquin Pina, Radek Przedpełski, Bettina Schülke, Kalpana Subramanian, Yvan Tina, Wolfgang Weileder, and Eldon Yellowhorn.

With films by Karel Doing, Ja’tovia Gary, Jason Livingston, Lynn Marie Kirby, Anna Kipervaser, Peter Rose, and Malena Szlam (Cinema of Breath), and Somayeh Khakshoor, Millie Chen and Arzu Ozkal, Mena El Shazly, Radek Przedpełski, Çiğdem Borucu and Nezih Erdoğan, Narjis Mirza, Mansoor Behnam, Javad Khajavi, Gilles Aubry and Abdeljalil Saouli, Azadeh Emadi, Laura U. Marks, and Juan Castrillón (Cosmological Diagrams).