Constellations, Clusters, Networks

Participant Biographies

emilyEmily Bergsma, MA Art History, Concordia University

Emily Bergsma is an MA Candidate in Art History at Concordia University. Her thesis research, under the advisement of Dr. Nicola Pezolet, focuses on the writing and practice of Melvin Charney, a Montreal-based artist and architect, and the history of techno-utopian architecture in the 1960s. She is currently the Treasurer of AHGSA (Art History Graduate Student Association) and working as a teaching assistant to Dr. Steven Stowell. She is also a member of the editorial team for Spiffy Moves, an anthology of critical and experimental art writing to be published in Spring 2015.


amberAmber Berson, PhD Art History, Queens University

Amber Berson is interested in the idea of utopia and issues of labour, diversity and equality within artist-run centres. She is working on a PhD on that subject in Art History at Queens University. She works at SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art; is on the editorial committee of .dpi, a feminist journal of digital art and culture; and sits on the Board of Directors at SKOL. Most recently she organized the Montreal edition of the Art and Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon and curated TrailMix (2014) and *~._.:*JENNIFER X JENNIFER*:.~(2013) at Eastern Bloc; The Annual Art Administrator’s Relay Race (2013); and The Wild Bush Residency (2012-ongoing), in Val David Quebec and Amden, Switzerland.


AmandaBrownridgeAmanda Brownridge, MA Art History, Concordia University

Amanda Brownridge is an emerging art historian and artist currently completing her Master’s degree in Art History at Concordia University. She completed a BA with honours in Art History at McGill University in 2011. Her current research interests are centered on cartography, print culture, postcolonial theory, decolonizing methodologies, museum studies, and curatorial practice. Having been captivated by a series of maps containing a highly unusual and rather comical image of beavers building a dam at Niagara Falls, her current graduate research looks at the ways in which postcolonial theory and decolonizing methodologies can be used to deconstruct cartographic documents of New France E that is, to break down and understand the elements involved in their creation, as well as to critique the visual elements contained within their borders. Through an innovative approach that she terms cartographic contextualization, she hopes to work towards decolonizing the historical grand-narratives that these maps have for centuries reinforced. She currently works in a vintage poster gallery in Montreal and recently collaborated on an exhibition of contemporary posters. Past curatorial credits include several exhibitions hosted by the Fridge Door Gallery, a student-run art gallery at McGill University.


Gillian Canavan PhotoGillian Canavan, MA Art History, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Gillian Canavan is a Master’s candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts in New York. Her research interests focus on Minimalism and abstraction, including the Korean tansaekhwa movement. She is currently writing a thesis on reiterations of domestic structures in fabric, exploring the translation of identity, memory, and belonging within the wider paradigm of multicultural nomadism, as well as carried space and soft architecture. 


CarusoKatrina Caruso, MA Art History, Concordia University

Katrina Caruso is an M.A. candidate in Art History at Concordia University, where she has received a Faculty of Fine Arts Fellowship for 2014-2015. In 2014, she completed a BFA in Art History and Studio Arts, conferred with distinction, at Concordia. As a Canadian woman, curator, writer, and visual artist, she incorporates a feminist, post-colonial approach to her work, including spatial theory and institutional critique. Her proposed thesis will be on women in positions of power in Canadian art institutions. Katrina's writing has been published in Combine (2012) and Yiara Magazine (2013), and will published in Architecture Concordia’s inaugural journal (forthcoming). She has also edited for the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History (2011-2013) and the Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Sexuality (2014). Katrina has curated artistic ventures in Montreal at the VAV Gallery and at Galerie Jean Brillant.


Cliodna CussenCliodna Cussen, MA Art History, York University

Cliodna Cussen is a second year Masters of Art History at York University, concentrating on the history of Atlantic Canadian art institutions. She is a graduate of Concordia University’s Bachelor of Arts in Art History program.


nimaNima Esmailpour‏, PhD Art History, Concordia University

Nima Esmailpour is a former Tehran-based artist. He holds a Master of Art and Politics from Goldsmiths College (University of London), and is currently studying toward his PhD in Art History at Concordia University.


BeatriceGrenierBéatrice Grenier, MA Art History, Columbia University

Béatrice Grenier’s interest in the critical presentation of Asian contemporary art  in Euro American institutions stems from her knowledge of the Chinese language and her multidisciplinary training in East Asian studies and art history as an undergraduate at McGill University. As a graduate student at Columbia University, and recipient of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute MA Fellowship, she is presently writing her thesis on the advent of contemporary abstract painting in Shanghai in the years following the Cultural Revolution. Under the auspices of the 2012–2013 Canada-China Scholars’ Exchange Program Scholarship, she lived in Shanghai and had the opportunity to research the local history of contemporary art. She has delved into her subject of study through a curatorial perspective with internships at the Rockbund Art Museum in 2014 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012. She contributes to Yishu Shijie, the first journal dedicated to contemporary arts to make its appearance in China after the Cultural Revolution.


Sofia KofodimosSofia Kofodimos, MA Art History, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Sofia Kofodimos is a graduate student at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University and completed her BFA in the history of art at Pratt Institute. She has guest lectured about Ray Johnson at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College and her article “Unfurling Sari Dienes” appears on the IFA’s contemporary art blog. Prior to her graduate studies, Kofodimos worked as a gallery guide at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and has held internships at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the American Wing, The Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné Project, and The Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others.


annette lAnnette Lepique, MA Modern Art History, Theory, Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Annette LePique is an M.A. candidate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Art History, Theory and Criticism program. She holds an interest in investigating the meanings within feminized space, the fluidity of the fan girl archetype and gendered signifiers within the twenty first century.


loaderAlison Reiko Loader, PhD Communication Studies, Concordia University

Alison Reiko Loader applies her interests in old optical media technologies and scientific visual culture to making short animated films and media installations. A lapsed National Film Board of Canada filmmaker that specializes in 3d and digital animation, Loader explores connections between apparatuses, bodies, representation and spectatorship by applying research-creation, feminist theory and posthumanist concerns to media history. Her doctoral research explores the nineteenth-century founding of the Edinburgh Popular Observatories and Camera Obscura by Maria Theresa Short. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to pursue her terminal degree in Communications Studies, she has taught studio classes in Fine Arts (Design and Computation Arts and Film Animation) at Concordia University since 2001.


luterSamuel Luterbacher, PhD Art History, Yale University

Samuel Luterbacher is a PhD pre-candidate in Art History at Yale University specializing in the Global Baroque. He holds a B.A. from the University of Geneva, Switzerland and an M.A in late sixteenth and seventeenth century Netherlandish Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He is interested in Iberian artistic exchanges in the Pacific during the late sixteenth and seventeenth century, focusing particularly on the Jesuit missions to Japan.


LyonsSteve Lyons, PhD Art History, Concordia University

Steve Lyons is an artist and researcher based in Montreal, where he is pursuing his PhD in Art History at Concordia University. His dissertation studies the history of alternative art institutions in New York, with a particular focus on the term 'alternative' as it has been reformatted by, for and against neoliberalism. His writing has been published in various art journals and his artwork has been exhibited in Paris, Toronto and Montreal. He is a current member of Not an Alternative, a Brooklyn-based arts collective and non-profit organization.


corinaCorina MacDonald, Project Manager for e-artexte

Corina MacDonald is an information specialist and consultant. She completed a Masters degree in Library and Information Studies in 2008 at McGill University, with a specialization in knowledge management. Her professional interests include the role of open content, technologies and standards in community and capacity building, digital publishing and digital heritage. She worked as a heritage information analyst at the Canadian Heritage Information Network from 2008 to 2010 before beginning work as an independent consultant for digital cultural projects. In 2013 she founded Mat3rial, a small archive+design working collective, with Antonia Hernandez and Mél Hogan.


vincentVincent Marquis, MA History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art

Vincent Marquis is an art historian, writer and curator based in Montreal. He is currently the Assistant to the Artistic Director at Eastern Bloc. Vincent received an M.A. with Distinction in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2014, and a B.A. with Distinction in Art History and Philosophy from McGill University in 2013. His main field of research is contemporary visual culture, and in particular: engagements with time and temporality in video and installation arts; so-called “participatory” and “political” arts; queer visual culture; and theories of urban planning and architecture. Vincent’s writings have appeared in Canadian publications such as Invitation, Canvas, and Hirundo. He has held several editorial positions in Canada and the UK (notably within Critical Contemporary Culture, Postliminium, and Canvas) and has been involved in curatorial project at both McGill University and the Courtauld Institute.


neugebauer-355x400Tomasz Neugebauer, Digital Projects & Systems Development Librarian, Concordia University Libraries

Tomasz Neugebauer is an Associate Librarian, Digital Projects & Systems Development at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). His research interests focus on digital libraries, information visualization, photography and open source software development. He has published in various scholarly and professional journals, including Information Technology and LibrariesInternational Journal on Digital LibrariesInternational Journal of Digital Curation, Art Libraries Journal, and The Indexer


taienTaien Ng-Chan, PhD Humanities, Concordia University

Taien Ng-Chan is a poet, media artist, and scholar in the Ph.D. in Humanities program at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Her work investigates locative cinema and urban mobility, particularly the act of commuting. She has published two books of poetry, edited two anthologies, and shown her videopoems and media works internationally. For more info, visit her website:


christopher bioChristopher Plenzich, MSc Biology, Concordia University

Scientist, computer nerd, first-time artist, hypochondriac.
Currently working towards an MSc in Biology, with research concerning the foraging behaviours of the forest tent caterpillar, Christopher is a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-some kind of guy. In future endeavours, he hopes to utilize his seemingly random skills to explore the topics of crowdsourcing, using social media as a tool for geographic analysis, and most importantly, citizen science.


Dario ReDario Ré, MA Art History, Concordia University

Dario Ré is an interdisciplinary artist and musician from Spokane, Washington. He received a B.A. from Fairhaven College with a self-designed concentration in Visual and Natural Culture: Art and Ethnobotany. In 2014, he began an M.A. in Art History at Concordia University. His research investigates the intersection between contemporary art and mycology, focusing on artists who respond to the cultural complexity of mushroom organisms. He lives with his partner and two children in Montréal, Québec.


kseniaKsenia M. Soboleva, MA Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Ksenia M. Soboleva received her BA. in Art History at Utrecht University and is now a Graduate student at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. In her art historical research, she is focused on the social context of art, with a strong interest in “art as protest.” Her approach is informed by political, social and queer theory. She is particularly engrossed in the shifting boundaries between the private and the public spheres, and why such boundaries exist in relation to art. In her most recent and still ongoing research, she has been studying women artists that were active during the AIDS crisis in New York in the late 80s and early 90s.  


TaylerFelicity Tayler, PhD Humanities, Concordia University

Felicity Tayler is a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Doctoral Program at Concordia University, with a major field of study in Canadian Art History. She completed her Masters in Library and Information Studies at McGill University in 2005. As an artist, curator and information professional her research focuses on cultural infrastructure as the material substrate of our social imaginary. She has published in various scholarly and professional journals including: International Journal on Digital Libraries, C Magazine, Ciel Variable, Art Libraries Journal, Art Documentation and Montreal Review of Books.


SaelanSaelan Twerdy, PhD Art History, McGill University

Saelan Twerdy is a freelance writer based in Montreal and a PhD candidate in Art History at McGill University. He is a contributing editor at and his writing has appeared in venues such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, C magazine, Magenta, Blackflash, Bad Day, and The New Inquiry. He has also contributed to books and exhibition catalogues published by Concordia University's FOFA Gallery, Fogo Island Arts/Sternberg Press, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.


gracewoodspuckettGrace Woods-Puckett, PhD Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Grace Woods-Puckett is a PhD Candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, writing a dissertation “The Lure of Albion: American Artists and/in England, 1870-1907” under the supervision of Linda Nochlin.  Questions of national identity, masquerade, and myth inform her current research.  She has given invited lectures at Harvard University, managed a gallery for emerging artists in New York City, and acted as research consultant for the Arts of Africa at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.