Digital media exhibition showcases adventurous interactive works

Students in York University’s Digital Media Program, offered collaboratively by AMPD and the Lassonde School of Engineering, use computer code and programming as tools for creative expression. A selection of the innovative objects and experiences they’ve created over the past year are showcased in Play Palace, a juried exhibition running April 11-18 at Toronto’s InterAccess, an organization dedicated to emerging practices in art and technology.

Curated by York Visual Art Professor Nell Tenhaaf and Shauna Jean Doherty, programming coordinator at InterAccess, Play Palace spans a wide range of themes, formats and technologies. The digitally-mediated works in the show include games, digital storytelling, interactive physical objects, and experiences in augmented, virtual and mixed reality.

Here’s a preview of some of the inventive projects visitors will encounter in the exhibition:

Man wearing virtual reality headset plays a game called North Bear
Players wear virtual reality headsets to navigate Canada’s warming Arctic regions as a polar bear and to search for solutions through cooperative play in North Bear, a game about climate change developed by a team of 21 digital media students.

Two brightly coloured objects, one a 3D piece in a fluffy cloud formation, the other a geometrically-shaped projection
Weather Cloud (left) is a 3D object that draws on web data to allow users to see weather conditions in any location around the world. The media signal processing project DATT Stange (right) is a geometric installation experience that manipulates 3D objects with sound. Both works were created by Alexandra Martens, Kieran Maraj, Amirbahador Rostami Ravari and Samina Shroff.
Scene from a game showing the main character standing on a platform in space.
{Inversed} is a single-player game in which the user must navigate a maze by manipulating gravity on a space station. Created by Ann Arizapa, Shiyi Du, Jodi-Ann Hanson, Tim Yano and Jeremy Tantuco.
3D printed spherical puzzle with designs carved on both the inner and outer surfaces.
Inspired by an intricate puzzle sculpture he encountered in the National Museum of Taiwan, David Fisher created JA3DE Puzzle using 3D modelling and printing techniques.

Screenshot from a game called 'Above and Below" showing a first-person view holding a sword
Two players must cooperate and work together in order to navigate a maze in Above & Below, created by Vivian Cheung, Candice Ho and Benjamin Silverman.

Rover maneuvers desolate landscape
In the adventure game Rover Over, players collect missing parts to repair their ship after a crash landing on a hostile planet. Created by Anny Ky, Kaitlin O’Keefe, George Obafemi, Alan Wong and Gregory Wong.

The opening reception for Play Palace takes place Thursday, April 13 from 6 to 9pm. The digital media makers will be on hand to welcome the public at the reception and throughout the run of the exhibition.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am – 6pm. InterAccess is located at 9 Ossington Avenue, Toronto. Admission is free.