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Welcome to the second edition of our newsletter! The Bodies In Translation (BIT) project is about partnerships, activism, art, technology, and access to life. Our newsletter, Found in Translation, provides a springboard for BIT collaborations and highlights the amazing work that we have underway.


David Bobier is to the left side of the photo, wearing glasses and a black sweater with his hair in a ponytail, adjusting a vibro-projector machine on a wooden table.
David Bobier is a hard-of-hearing media artist and the parent of two deaf children. He is a collaborator on Bodies in Translation (BIT) and co-leads the "Accessing the Arts" stream. David conducts research into employing vibrotactile technology as a creative medium at VibraFusionLab in London, Ontario. He is also founder and co-chair of Inclusive Arts London and has been conducting research and collaborative initiatives with the Deaf and Disability Arts communities in the UK. BIT is proud to have both VibraFusionLab and David Bobier as partners on the project. 

The image is a colour photograph of David Bobier, with his hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a black sweater and glasses. His right hand is extended and adjusting a Vibro-projector. 
What drew you to Bodies in Translation?

I was drawn to the comprehensive scope and vision of BIT. I was pretty much in awe of the amount of time and energy that was committed to the formation of such a project and to the gathering of such an elite group of researchers, academics, artists, elders, etc. It was also the affinity that I felt for the ambitious embrace of the project through its activism, its desire for change and its passion for nurturing a more inclusive society that hooked me. In the life work that we do around justice, accessibility and creative practices it can often be a solitary path. Through VibraFusionLab we have tried to carve a small ‘space’ for change. I saw Bodies In Translation as an exciting and humbling opportunity to join the incredible diversity of people and energies that make up the project and that will prove to be an instrumental force and a legacy in redefining the art of activism and the access to a creative life, in all its manner, for everyone.

In what ways does VibraFusion's work push the boundaries of accessible artistic practices for creators and audiences?

With increased awareness through the Deaf and Disability Rights movements, the aging of the Boomer population and increased funding for research and development in Deaf and Disability Arts in Canada, the interest in sensory-based technologies in the arts is increasing. Through the creation of VibraFusionLab I have been able to provide access to some of these technologies to many artists from both the disabled and non-disabled communities. There is an evolving investigative interest in diversifying artistic practice to incorporate other-sensory or multi-sensory and other-modality or multi-modality experiences.
This project furthers my own personal desire of exploring, developing and integrating alternative sensory methods, stimulation and ‘languages’ such as the use of human biofeedback technologies, digital recording and software coding of natural phenomena. As well, the reimagining of existing inclusive technologies as alternative methods of communication and emotional connections through artistic practice will attract and accommodate a more diversified and integrated audience. I believe that other sensory technologies, while developed for very practical inclusive use and for improved and enhanced life experiences, have enormous potential in providing more accessibility to art making and to greatly improved and more immersive access to art of all disciplines. This belief and artistic focus is the framework for this project and will form the singular basis for this research and the future development of my own artistic practice.  

What do you think are the most important future actions for accessible arts practice?

First and foremost, we need to provide opportunities for the voices of those who are experiencing inaccessible art practices and arts venues to be heard. We need to reach out into the alienated communities to identify and hear those who desire creative opportunities and those who are struggling to access arts education, art making facilities and arts organizations.

Along with this we need to develop trusting and healthy relationships with the people behind those voices to build best practices in breaking down these barriers and allowing those voices to be heard in the broader mainstream arts communities. We need to work with our broader communities on the social model of inclusionary arts.
We need to recognize and honour those before us and their ambitious and innovative spirits that pushed the boundaries in accessible arts practices in Canada and those who have been instrumental in challenging us to acclaim who we are and to celebrate what we have to say as artists. We need to allow and to encourage a political as well as the personal voice within accessible arts practices.

For the full interview with David, please visit our website.


Preview image for Admiring All We Accomplish video, with the Tangled Art + Disability art gallery logo.
This video explores the installation and exhibition, Admiring All We Accomplish, by video artist Deirdre Logue in collaboration with VibraFusionLab. The exhibition was held April 7 – June 30, 2017 at Tangled Art + Disability 401 Richmond Street in Toronto and was was co-presented with Images Festival, Gallery 44, and A Space Gallery, in partnership with Bodies in Translation. 


Five people sitting at a table with a black table cloth in front of a white screen on which "What do you see? Tell me out loud" and other unreadable words are written. Anne Taylor (Curve Lake Cultural Centre), Michael Coyle (University of Western Ontario), Karen Drake (Osgoode Hall Law School), Johnny Mack (University of British Columbia) and Natalie Oman (Moderator, UOIT).
Photo by Maha Khan

This image is from the plenary panel called Treaties as Technologies of Justice? It shows a panel of 5 people sitting side by side at a table. There are microphones on the table and a white screen behind it that has handwritten text on it. The text says, "What do you see?" and "Tell me out loud" as well as other words that aren't clear in the image. The people seated at the table are, from left to right, Anne Taylor (Curve Lake Cultural Centre), Michael Coyle (University of Western Ontario), Karen Drake (Osgoode Hall Law School), Johnny Mack (University of British Columbia) and Natalie Oman (Moderator, UOIT).
On January 26th & 27th, the Legal Studies program at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) hosted   “Technologies of Justice,” a conference that aimed to develop a more holistic understanding of the relationships between law, technology and (in)justice. Organized by Dr. Jen Rinaldi, BIT co-applicant, and a team of collaborators, the 2-day event featured over 75 legal and interdisciplinary scholars presenting work with wide-reaching implications for access, decolonization, and justice. It examined the interface between law and technologies and how together they generate social experiences of (in)justice.
Topics ranged from the physical and digital aspects of how technology interacts with the legal and justice systems, technology as a method of social regulation—a “mode of governmentality,” to use a Foucauldian term, to how technology impacts the kinds of disclosures and violence that people with disabilities encounter.

One highlight of the conference was the plenary panel on treaties as a
technology of injustice (pictured above). Members of the panel discussed the role that treaties have played in maintaining systems of colonialism and in stripping Indigenous peoples of their territories, culture and rights. Artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher offered a performance piece in which she projected images onto her body, bringing to mind the impacts of legal and social restraints, both Indigenous and colonial, on her family, herself, and her body.  

The conference was well-attended, with about 150 attendees over the two days. It provided multiple lenses for considering how technology is understood and used in our day-to-day lives and in the organizing structures of them. 
Bodies in Translation recorded and captioned the Technologies of Justice conference to provide future access to those who were unable to attend and to archive the material presented. The video will soon be available in the BIT archive. 

For more images of the Technologies of Justice conference see Snapd Oshawa's coverage.


This image is of a group of people in a semi circle with Dolleen Manning standing up and speaking. Behind Dolleen is a large painting entitled “What Comes From Above” (1997) by artist Shelley Nero. The painting depicts large blue circles within circles with multicoloured plant and sky details around it.
Photo by Tracy Tidgwell

This image is of a group of people in a semi circle with Dolleen Manning standing up and speaking. Behind Dolleen is a large painting entitled “What Comes From Above” (1997) by artist Shelley Nero. The painting depicts large blue circles within circles with multicoloured plant and sky details around it.
ArtsEverywhere: A Festival of Ideas is an annual festival in Guelph, Ontario that explores the junction of artistic thinking and critical inquiry in contemporary life. ArtsEverywhere is a program of Musagetes, "a philanthropic arts organization founded on a deep belief in the transformative power of the arts," and creates a space for dialogue about the value that art brings to all life. This year's festival ran from January 18th to January 21st and featured lectures, conversations, music, artistic performances, literary readings, and film screenings.

Bodies in Translation was pleased to co-present with the International Institute on Critical Studies in Improvisation a conversation between artist-scholar-activists Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning, BIT co-applicant and lead on the Cultivating the Arts stream of the grant, and Amanda Cachia, called Art As Activism / Activism as Art, moderated by Andrew Hunter, Senior Curator at the Art Gallery of Guelph. The discussion explored artistic creation and curation for social change, embodiment, valuing different knowledges, productive failure, and artist and curator roles in intervening into the social, political and cultural spheres of life.
ArtsEverywhere has two core principles: art must be the centre of individual and collective thinking and experience, and art must be a vital part of our social and political institutions. Following this, ArtsEverywhere strives for change in our institutional organizations, collective opinion, and critical thinking though fellowship and solidarity with communities. The Art As Activism / Activism as Art conversation provided an opportunity to dig into these principles.  
Watch a recording of the live stream of Dolleen Manning and Amanda Cachia's conversation, Art As Activism / Activism as Art.
Melita Belgrave and Robin Rio presented "A Storm in the Desert" in their sound workshop at Create/Change: AZ Institute: Transforming Elder Care Through Creative Engagement in May 2017. Create/Change is a 3-day intensive institute developed by Anne Basting and the TimeSlips team, who focus on transforming care for elders through creative engagement.   Melita Belgrave is pictured in the video.

Video by Tracy Tidgwell

Melita Belgrave and Robin Rio presented "A Storm in the Desert" in their sound workshop at Create/Change: AZ Institute: Transforming Elder Care Through Creative Engagement in May 2017. Create/Change is a 3-day intensive institute developed by Anne Basting and the TimeSlips team, who focus on transforming care for elders through creative engagement. 

Melita Belgrave is pictured in the video. 

TimeSlips is a non-profit program that infuses elder care with creativity and meaningful connection. A storytelling method developed for people living with dementia and memory loss, it privileges imagination over memory, providing a space for stories to be inventive and unconstrained by remembering events of the past. 

Established in 1998 in Milwaukee, WI, by Anne Basting, gerontologist and Professor of Theatre, TimeSlips was inspired by improvisation and drama techniques. Basting wondered about their application to older adults for whom memorization is not a viable approach to storytelling. 

The TimeSlips method provides simple and effective prompts to facilitate storytelling. It provides images to discuss, creative questions, Creativity Journals, and a variety of other tools
that encourage imaginative thinking and creating stories.  

This person-centered, creative engagement program provides meaningful and fun ways to reflect, create and socialize. TimeSlips has held over 12,000 storytelling sessions to date. It also offers online or in-person individual certification for facilitators, family care givers, care staff, students, volunteers, and educators. TimeSlips certification can be embedded in high school and college courses.
TimeSlips has been described as a joyful experience for all those involved. By reducing the marginalization that memory loss may induce, TimeSlips creatively encourages “replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.”
For more information about TimeSlips, visit the website:


This month, BIT co-conspirators are asking: How do I create space for multiple layers of accessibility in my work? If you have a curiosity or an answer to this month’s collective curiosities, please feel free to submit in written, visual, or audio form to Andrea LaMarre at
  • Tangled Art + Disability has extended their call for submissions from mad and disability identified artists for the campaign "Human Flourishing in Worlds of Disability, Frailty and Suffering" which brings together arts, research, and education until March 31st. Visit their website for more information.
  • Call for Papers: Contemporary Music Review special edition on music improvisation and Inclusion. 300-word abstracts due April 2nd. See the full call for more information on the journal's website.
  • Dolleen Manning will give a public talk, Off the Cuff: Mnidoo Infinity Squeezed through Finite Modulations, on mnidoo-worlding or mnidoo-consciousnessing, its temporal bending interrelational ethics and its implications for disability studies. April 5, 2018, 3pm-5pm, Art Gallery of Guelph.
  • Mysterious Entity, a BIT partner, presents Wreck Wee Em from May 2nd-4th at Market Hall in Peterborough, ON. This one-person show is written and performed by Em Glasspool, directed by SCTV alumni Linda Kash.
  • Creative Users is getting ready to develop a central online resource hub that will serve to highlight accessible arts in cities across Canada! Visit for more information
  • Our Bodies in Translation website is in the process of a refresh! We'll be continuing to populate the site with exciting developments over the coming months
Thank you to David Bobier and Jen Rinaldi for the interviews.
Poster for the ArtsEverywhere festival, in pink and purple with the list of sponsors and the dates, January 18-21 2018
Amanda Cachia
Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning

Image from Deirdre Logue's show with Vibrafusion Lab. It has a grid-like pattern atop a green background with and indiscernible yellow protrusion.
Deirdre Logue
David Bobier
VibraFusion Lab

About This Newsletter

Found in Translation is a newsletter for, by, and about the Bodies in Translation partnership grant. Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life is a research project that creates collaborative partnerships between artists, arts organizations, activists, scholars, and educators. We cultivate activist art produced by disabled, d/Deaf, fat, Mad, and E/elder people with the goal of expanding understandings of vitality and advancing social justice. Bodies in Translation has its home at Re·Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph. It is co-led by Dr. Carla Rice and Dr. Eliza Chandler.

A Note About Accessibility

We recognize that accessibility is a dynamic process. If you found any part of this newsletter to be inaccessible to you or if you have any suggestions for how we might make Found in Translation more accessible in content, language, tone, style, etc., we would love feedback. Please email Andrea LaMarre at with feedback.


This newsletter is edited by Andrea LaMarre and Charlotte Hopkins, with oversight by Tracy Tidgwell.

Andrea LaMarre is knowledge mobilization coordinator for BIT. She is also finishing up her PhD in Family Relations and Human Development at the University of Guelph under the advisorship of Dr. Carla Rice. Her research focuses on eating disorders, embodiment, and critical feminist, qualitative, and arts-based methods. In her spare time, Andrea is a dancer and dance teacher, writer, aspiring film editor, and social media enthusiast.
Charlotte Hopkins is the former Research Intern at ReVision: the Centre for Art and Social Justice who now interns with Age Friendly Guelph. She is completing her 3rd undergraduate year as a Bachelor of Applied Science student at the University of Guelph, with a major in Adult Development and a minor in Psychology. Her possible honours thesis interests include habits and cognitive dissonance, gender diversity, or kinship across the lifespan. In her leisure, she enjoys writing, reading, camping and textile work.
The content of this newsletter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-Sharealike license. This means that others may build on or alter content when it is re-shared. The content must be only used for non-commercial purposes and the original work must be attributed to the BIT Found in Translation newsletter. Users must also license the new work under the same license. For more information about Creative Commons licensing, please visit: Content that is shared here but created by others (for example, found on external links) may be subject to different licensing.
This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
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