Melissa Shiff is a Research Associate at Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology at York University.
Shiff is a video, performance, and installation artist whose work engages Jewish cultural memory, repurposing museum collections, animating the archive, as well as exploring the relationship between religious ritual and performance art. Her highly acclaimed video sculpture ARK was the keynote project for the Jewish Museum in Prague’s centennial year celebration in 2006.
Her expertise at building and designing large-scale multi-media installations in collaboration with others enables her to direct the Mapping Ararat team as well as to conceptualize and direct this multi-faceted project. Her works have been exhibited internationally at such prominent venues as The Israeli Center for Digital Art- Holon, The Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, The Jewish Museum New York (where her work is in the permanent collection), Beit Hatfutsot Tel Aviv, Concordia University Montreal, as well as Nuit Blanche in Toronto. In 2009, she was the Roberts endowed lecturer in Jewish Art at Fairfield University.
Louis Kaplan is Professor of History and Theory of Photography and New Media, University of Toronto, and Chair, Department of Visual Studies, University of Toronto, Mississauga.
He also holds graduate cross-appointments at the Cinema Studies Institute, the Centre for Jewish Studies, and the Knowledge Media Design Institute. His breadth of knowledge and academic scholarship in modern Jewish studies as well as in the fields of art history, photography and new media history and theory make him the ideal chief researcher for the Mapping Ararat project.
Kaplan has published eight books, three exhibition catalogs, and approximately fifty scholarly essays and articles. His book Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Biographical Writings (Duke, 1995) was also translated into Chinese and published by the Zhejiang Photographic Press in 2010. Other books include American Exposures: Photography and Community in the Twentieth Century (Minnesota, 2005) and The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer (Minnesota, 2008) nominated for the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association. He sees his current research on augmented reality as an extension of his long-standing interest in hauntological studies. Professor Kaplan has published and lectured widely on contemporary Jewish art and he curated the highly acclaimed exhibition Command J: Jewish Laws, Digital Arts in 2005.
John Craig Freeman is a public artist with over twenty years of experience using emergent technologies to produce large-scale public work at sites where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities.
His work seeks to expand the notion of public by exploring how digital networked technology is transforming our sense of place. He has produced work and exhibited around the world including in Xi’an, Belfast, Los Angeles, Beijing, Zurich, New York City, Taipei, São Paulo, Warsaw, Kaliningrad, Miami, Bilbao, Havana, Atlanta, Calgary, Buffalo, Boston, Mexico City, London and San Francisco. In 1992 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He has had work commissioned by both Rhizome.org and Turbulence.org. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, El Pais, Liberation, Wired News, Artforum, Ten-8, Z Magazine, Afterimage, Photo Metro, New Art Examiner, Time, Harper’s and Der Spiegel. Christiane Paul cites Freeman’s work in her book Digital Art, Second Addition, as does Lucy Lippard in the Lure of the Local, and Margot Lovejoy in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age. His writing has been published in Rhizomes, Leonardo, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Exposure. Freeman received a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of California, San Diego in 1986 and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. He is currently an Associate Professor of New Media at Emerson College in Boston.
Mapping Ararat Creative Support Staff
Sarah James – Graphic Design
Reena Katz – Soundscape
Elizabeth Hirst – 3D Modelling
Ultan Byrne – 3D modelling
Niki Sehmbi – Photoshop
Stev’nn Hall – After Effects
Website Matthew Pereira