Ghosts Of The Machine Summer Programming

The Polygon is pleased to present our 2022 Summer Programming. Always by donation, courtesy of BMO Financial Group, you are invited to enjoy performances, talks, film screenings, tours, and VR experiences that build on ideas presented in our exhibition Ghosts of the Machine. Events take place primarily on Thursday evenings, and your donation also includes admission to our outdoor movie night Deckchair Cinema. Produced in partnership with Love Intersections, a media arts collective made up of queer artists of colour dedicated to collaborative filmmaking and relational storytelling.

Banner Image: Alger Ji-Liang


Ghosts of the Machine Film Programme # 1: Bodies In Flux
Thursday, June 30
7:00pm-8:00pm

Three short films that expand the possibilities of the body. Across these films, the body is treated as an empty vessel to be customised; as a terrain on which we build our digital identities; and as a powerful force for connection and understanding. By pushing the boundaries of the body, these artists centre artificial, virtual, and nonhuman subjects, raising provocative insights around who, and what, is deserving of personhood.

Post-screening talkback with Ghosts of the Machine Curator Elliott Ramsey

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Image: Andrew Thomas Huang, Flesh Nest, film still


OSMOSi: 422 Unprocessable Entity
Thursday, July 7
7:00pm – 8:00pm

OSMOSi: 422 Unprocessable Entity is a new solo interdisciplinary performance by Nancy Lee. Personifying working subroutines in service apps, this performance reflects on the religion of workism and precarity of gig economy labour.

Post-performance talkback with Nancy Lee 

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Image: Clarence Tang

Art & the Blockchain: A Conversation between Elliott Ramsey and !Kona Katranya
Thursday, July 14
7:00pm – 8:00pm

In this discussion, The Polygon’s Curator Elliott Ramsey is in conversation with !Kona Katranya about new, boundary-pushing forays into digital art. Inspired by the themes of Ghosts of the Machine, their ranging conversation will consider how artists are appropriating the new blockchain technologies, the possibility for artistic intervention on these emergent and arguably neoliberal platforms, and whether NFTs will ever be any good.

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Image: Elliott: Lauren Zbarsky / !Kona – Jen Sungshine

VR Film Showcase with IM4 Lab + Tea Ceremony
Thursday, July 21
4:00pm – 8:00pm

Audiences will have an opportunity to experience live VR in this special showcase featuring curated VR films from the IM4 Lab, with members of IM4 in attendance. IM4 was created by Indigenous filmmaker, Loretta Todd, alongside media matriarchs Doreen Manuel, Cease Wyss, and Tracey Kim Bonneau. IM4 is dedicated to Indigenising emerging XR (VR/AR/360) technologies by enabling Indigenous communities to find effective ways to incorporate these technologies into educational, cultural, language, artistic and commercial applications.

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Image: IM4 Media Lab

Indoor Plant Tour & Artist Talk with Cease Wyss
Thursday, July 28
7:00pm – 8:00pm

Join Skwxwú7mesh ethnobotanist and artist Cease Wyss in a guided plant tour of her indoor garden installation in Ghosts of the Machine. This original commission features local plants in Wyss’ garden: huckleberries, conifers, blueberries, red osier dogwood, cascara, and various low-growing plants. The garden also features augmented-reality elements that, when scanned using a smartphone, allow users to view original virtual artworks by five Indigenous artists, developed with the support of the IM4 VR/AR Lab.

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Image: Alison Boulier

Ghosts of the Machine Film Programme # 2: Touch/Screen
Thursday, August 4
7:00pm – 8:00pm

This second curated programme of short films, presented in conjunction with Ghosts of the Machine, traces the material imprint of digital technology on the physical world. These films transport us from undersea ecosystems under threat from human activity, to a hypothetical nonprofit trying to convert “likes” on social media into tangible assets, to a dreamlike vision of a future Congo, in which the rare earth metals mined there – rather than being exported en masse – enrich and transform their country of origin.

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Image: Kordae Jatafa Henry, Earth Mother, Sky Father, film still

Ghosts of the Machine Closing Tour with special guests, The Darlings
Saturday, August 13
1:30pm

For the final Saturday of Ghosts of the Machine, curator Elliott Ramsey will lead a guided tour of the exhibition, featuring a new piece of live performance art by The Darlings. The Darlings will inhabit the immersive installations of Ghosts of the Machine for one afternoon only, responding in real time to the works on view.

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Image: The Darlings