The Milieux Institute is proud to announce the recipients of undergraduate fellowships for the 2022-23 academic year. This year’s cohort of students embodies the creative diversity and critical social engagement that are at the heart of our mission. Hailing from over nine academic departments and many more disciplines, the Fellows bring a wide range of backgrounds and research interests to their clusters, enriching Milieux at large. It is with great pride that we welcome them as the next generation of critical and creative researchers.
During these times of multifaceted global crises, it is of note that so many of the Fellows’ practices and projects share a common concern for nurturing relationships of care with their communities and their environments. We are inspired by their commitment to engage in interdisciplinary and collaborative research at the intersection of arts, technology and culture, and to imagine and forge shared alternative futures.
The fellowship recognizes undergraduate students who are already engaging in compelling work in their respective research clusters. Each student, nominated by Milieux’s faculty affiliates, receives a monetary stipend, as well as access to Milieux’s resources to develop their projects over the 2022-2023 year. In January, we’ll be organizing an informal event to introduce the fellows to the Milieux community, open to all of our members and staff. We will ensure that Fellows are supported and uplifted, and feel warmly welcomed to the Institute!
Anika Nochasak Pigott (Indigenous Futures)
Anika Nochasak was born in Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador but her home community is Nain, Nunatsiavut on the northern coast of Labrador. Anika’s first language as a child was Inuktitut, which she learned from her Inuk mother who raised her with traditional Inuit knowledge. As the youngest of five in her family, Anika was the only child to learn Inuktitut as her family wanted to preserve and revitalize the Inuit language for younger generations. Currently entering her final year studying film, Anika has a deep passion for films and documentaries. She is inspired by other Inuk filmmakers, such as Althea Arnaquq-Baril and Zacharias Kunuk, and has dreams of creating her own films and documentaries from her Inuk perspective. Interested in oral history and stories that have been passed down through her family, Anika would like to document her family and her community’s history. With Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership, Anika would like to start her creative journey.
Heather Anderson (LePARC)
Heather Anderson (she/they) describes themselves as a dancer, poet, daydreamer, curious person, and lover of all things slow, from Treaty 7 territory (Calgary, Alberta). They are in their second year of undergrad studies for a double major in Contemporary Dance and Human Relations. Heather’s educational interests lie in the composition of creative group processes as relational containers for sites of transformation. Their fellowship project aims to investigate the body’s means of sensing and perceiving non-linear time, or rather, how embodiment practices can become a technology for time travel. How can dance act as a portal into the conscious and unconscious embodiment of diverse timescales, histories, and lineages? They hope to develop a rigorous anti-colonial and anti-capitalist ethic that awakens ecologies of time inside of the body, imagining futurities that cannot be separate from a re-posturing of the past.
Michael Zajner (LePARC)
Michael Zajner is a Canadian composer and artist residing in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, Canada, currently studying Electroacoustics. A multipotentialite, he is actively engaged in a multitude of research projects ranging from uroscience to physics and anthropology to ecology—all of which is embodied in technological design and realized through his artistic practices. An active member of the Fine Arts and Music communities, he works closely with Live Your Music at Concordia facilitating open jam sessions and serves as chair of the electroacoustic student association at Concordia University. As a producer he has composed pieces ranging from ambient to electro, mixing and audio/visual composition from a multidisciplinary perspective. Zajner’s fellowship project will focus on algorithmic composition using repetitive figures and tape styled looping. The project’s design is to allow for slight changes in the algorithmic composition and the spatialization to affect the sounding and overall perception of the piece, the objective being to determine the psychological reactions and creating an ambient space for rest and relaxation.
Alice Cloutier-Lachance (Post Image)
Alice Cloutier-Lachance is an undergrad student in Fine Arts with a major in Photography, whose work explores the cohabitation of humans and their environments through the medium of photography. She strives to convey moments that bear witness to the relationships between humans and their surrounding environments, particularly within the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, where she spends multiple months of the year. With the spirit of dreaming and naiveté at the core of her work, Alice oscillates between romanticized tableaux and observational encounters with people and spaces within Quebec. Favoring a slow and relational approach, Alice focusses on medium and large format photography. These tools allow her to capture the essence of the moment and its atmosphere, responding to the organic and intimate nature of the materiality of film. During the fellowship, Alice will continue producing her work within the regions of Quebec, using the photographic medium as a meeting tool, an aide-mémoire, and a notebook, with the intention of creating a coherent body of work that guides her and her audience through questions pertaining to society’s mainstream contemporary values.
Oliver Hardinge (Post Image)
Hi my name is Oliver, I am a third year student majoring in Photography. My path to photography wasn’t straightforward, previously I was studying Business Management at JMSB. After five years there, my heart finally told me it was time to make a change, and I’m so glad I did. I discovered that the camera became a tool to express myself, be it my feelings, my family history, or just the nuances of everyday life. Photography has allowed me to stay focused on what’s in front of me and find the beauty in everyday life. I love photography’s ability to tell a story, and I know that my family history has a rich and important story that should be told. For the last couple years I have been working on my project Molson, which aims to document industry, heritage, legacy and future. Most recently, I have been able to work with my family archives, documents, photographs and artifacts. This project is both a duty and passion for me, as I want to represent my family in this artistic spotlight. During my time at Milieux, I hope to solidify the direction of the project and create a cohesive story to document my family’s story. My sincere gratitude goes to everyone who has given me this opportunity to work with these incredible resources.
Reuel Goins (Media & Materiality)
Reuel (he/him) is an undergraduate student in Communications with previous experience in anthropology, who is interested in utilizing interdisciplinary methods and creative problem-solving in order to tackle various social issues. Reuel’s current research involves using artificial intelligence for generative composition in order to assist with music therapy. Reuel’s goal is to develop a product that is helpful for youth who are struggling with mental health issues and are in desperate need of a creative outlet.
Jessica Marshall (Media and Materiality)
Jess Marshall is a third year Honours Literature student with a background on Graphic Design, Photography, and Media Studies. Jess is curently focusing her research on media studies and contemporary fiction, but she has previously studied the creation and implementation of tabletop role playing games from both an academic and practical perspective. During the fellowship, Jess plans to use her experience to research “Quest for the Rings”, a mixed video and tabletop role-playing game from 1981. By playing the game on its original console and adapting it to contemporary technologies and settings, Jess hopes toexplore the effects of nostalgia and adaptation through a textual and physical analysis.
Ava Weinstein-Wright (Speculative Life)
Hello, my name is Ava, I am a fourth-year Honours Anthropology Undergraduate student. I am currently working on my honours thesis that tackles TikTok’s unique platform and its effects on larger conversations of gender. My passion for Anthropology is deeply rooted in its methodology and my specific love for engaging with people. I look forward to being a part of the Ethnography Lab to further understand the utility of ethnographic practices and their interdisciplinary function. I am interested in examining spatial politics and the impacts urban planning has on individuals and communities.
Joshua Spatzner (Speculative Life)
Josh Spatzner is in the final year of Communications and Cultural studies and has a background in Political Science and History. A Montrealer by birth, Josh is interested in the intersection of politics, history and culture in media. He is also similarly passionate about gaming, livestreaming, social media production, media policy and their intersection with politics and history on new platforms in the digital age. Josh is currently interested in researching political livestreaming, media policy, para social relationships, and the presentation of history in digital media production and social media.
Chip Limeburner (Technoculture, Art & Games)
Chip Limeburner is a designer and researcher, currently studying Computational Arts. Chip has a background in Neuroscience (B.Sc) and several years of experience as immersive scenographer. They are interested in exploring questions at the intersection of interactivity and sensory experience in themed entertainment. During the fellowship, Chip hopes to continue researching emerging tech integration in theme parks and how these trends necessitate a rethinking of established design paradigms within the industry.
Étienne Racine (Technoculture, Art & Games)
Hi, I’m Étienne. I am currently in my third year of Computer Science along with a minor in Game Design. I hardly consider myself an artist and I’m not sure how I ended up here. I’m a programmer by trade and I simply believe that variety is the spice of life. Game making is especially appealing to me for that very reason, as the discipline encompasses so many fields. As corny and generic as it sounds, what I strive for is to create interactive experiences that can be enjoyed by others. Lately I have noticed that while almost every game these days is released with great music, only a few use it as more than just an audio background. Not to say there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but I want to figure out ways to engage players with the game’s audio in a more direct (and hopefully meaningful) way.
Gillian Richards (Textiles and Materiality)
Gillian (She/her) is a Montreal-based artist, currently studying Design. Gillian’s artistic investigation focuses on tactile creations such as sewing, bioplastics, and print media. She specializes in textiles and graphic design and through her work attempts to make design playful, accessible and sustainable. She is currently working with milkweed and exploring the many ways it can be used, and she hopes to continue to work with native plants. Outside of school, Gillian co-runs a screen printing and graphic design studio, French Press, with 4 partners. The studio hosts workshops in an attempt to share knowledge and make screen printing more accessible. Gillian is member of the Biodesign Research Collective.
Amanda Jacobs (Textiles and Materiality)
I am a second year Art Education student in the community route. I am a mother and a career caregiver. My daughter and motherhood is the subject of much of my work. I explore feminism, craft-work, ”womens-work” and modern day parenthood. My medium of interest is in fibers with specialty in needlefelting small sculptures. For my project this year, I will be exploring girlhood and puberty from a intersectional and personal perspective. I am working to create a series of needlefelted sculptures showcasing this experience and breaking multigenerational taboos. Sustainability and materials is important to me so I will be exploring ways to source my materials in an ethical way.
Alix Chartier-Lazartigues (Textiles and Materiality)
In my final year of the Design bachelor program at Concordia, my interests as a designer are mainly focused on the research and development of various materials from the world of living organisms in the interest of developing materials that are easily accessible to other designers and architects by inserting them into a system linked to circular economy. Photography, research, prototyping and speculative design is at the heart of my practice. Alix is member of the Biodesign Research Collective.
Andrée Uranga (Textiles and Materiality)
Andrée Uranga is a BFA Design and Computation Arts student and member of the Biodesign Research Collective. In both theory and practice, Uranga engages in multisensorial, speculative, situated explorations of material agency beyond human-centred perspectives. Such interventions range from eco-dyeing, scent-making, and bio-composite explorations, to critical theory – all of these seeking to delve further into the interwoven dialogues and kinship between matter.