Participants’ Biographies click on thumbnails to view large images
Jesper Alvaer is a Norwegian artist based in Oslo and Prague. Since 2013 he has been a research fellow at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts with the project Work, work: Staging dislocation in artistic and non-artistic labour. He holds a MFA in from the Academy of Fine Art in Prague (2004) and CAGS from the Arts, Health and Society Division of the European Graduate School, EGS (2014). In addition to showing his art at a number of international exhibitions, Alvaer has also participated in numerous study, residence, and research programmes both in Norway and abroad.
Sean Caulfield is a Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta. He has exhibited his prints, drawings, installations and artist’s books extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include: The Flood, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; Firedamp, dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton; The Body in Question(s), UQAM Gallery, Montreal; Perceptions of Promise, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA/Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta; The New World, The Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art, Debrecen, Hungary.Caulfield has received numerous grants and awards for his work including: The Special Award of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Krakow Triennial, 2015; SSHRC Dissemination Grant: Canadian Stem Cell Network Impact Grant; SSHRC Fine Arts Creation Grant; Canada Council Travel Grant; and a Visual Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois, USA. Caulfield’s work is in various public and private collections including: Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA.
Patrick Fafard is an Associate Professor of Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He has had an extensive career in both academe and government. His public service career includes several years as an executive with the Government of Canada and work for three provincial governments including serving as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Commission on Medicare (2000-2001). Patrick is the author, co-author and editor of several publications dealing with health, trade and environmental policy as well as a series of studies on federalism in Canada. His work has appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, International Journal, Canadian Public Administration, and the Journal of Urban Health. His current heath-related research includes work on the role of science and advocacy in public health agencies in Canada and other countries; the merits of conceiving of public health as a social movement; and the possibility of using art to foster policy change for global public health.
Steven Hoffman is the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, a Professor in the Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health. He holds courtesy appointments as an Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Part-Time) at McMaster University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health & Population at Harvard University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research integrates analytical, empirical and big data approaches to craft global regulatory strategies that better address transnational health threats, social inequalities and human rights challenges. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, development assistance, health misinformation, health systems, maternal health, pandemics, technological innovation and tobacco. Currently he is co-principal investigator of a large $4.6 million CAD research consortium on “Strengthening International Collaboration for Capitalizing on Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Commodities (i4C)” with John-Arne Røttingen at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Artist-researcher Kaisu Koski studied media and performance art/theory in Finland and the Netherlands. She earned her doctoral degree with a dissertation on interactive performances in 2007 in the University of Lapland. In her practice she focuses on the dialogue between art and biomedicine, arts-based medical education and the methodology of arts-based research. Between 2011-2013 Kaisu conducted a postdoctoral research project, exploring the various representations of the body in medical education. These representations included anatomical models and drawings, as well as written patient-case narratives. During 2015-2020 she works as an academy research fellow in the University of Tampere, with a project investigating and developing arts-based trigger videos for problem-based learning in medical curricula in Finland, Denmark and the U.S. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland.
Alison Humphrey plays with story across the fields of theatre and digital media. After starting her career as an intern at Marvel Comics, she joined science fiction author Douglas Adams’s company The Digital Village, producing one of the first ever web-based alternate reality games for Starship Titanic, whose community-created storyworld has continued to evolve for nearly two decades, as featured in a 2011 article in The Economist, “Emergent systems: The forum at the end of the universe.” She wrote on 115 episodes of Global TV’s Train 48, initiating one of the earliest transmedia in-fiction blogs in a TV series; assistant directed at the Royal Court Theatre, English Touring Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, and Stratford Shakespeare Festival; directed at the Old Red Lion Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company Fringe Festival; and most recently co-wrote and directed two interactive, live-animated sci-fi theatre projects: Faster than Night, for Harbourfront Centre HATCH in Toronto, and The Augmentalist for Augmented World Expo in Silicon Valley. Alison earned a BA in American studies and studio art from Wellesley College, an MA in interactive multimedia from the Royal College of Art, and an MFA in theatre directing from York University, where her thesis production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream used motion-capture technology to weave real-time 3D computer animation and digital effects into live performance. Shadowpox forms part of her research-creation PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York University, where she is a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar. www.alisonhumphrey.com
Natalie S. Loveless Natalie S. Loveless is a Canadian conceptual artist, curator, writer, and assistant professor of contemporary art history and theory in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, where she specializes in feminist and performance art history, art as social practice and artistic research methodologies (research-creation). Her dialogic and instruction-based wall-drawing installations, performance actions, and video works have been presented in festivals, galleries and artist-run centers in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Curatorial projects include “Participatory Dissent” (Western Front/LIVE Biennial, Vancouver, 2008), “Intervene, Interrupt: Rethinking Art as Social Practice” (University of California, Santa Cruz, 2008), New Maternalisms (Mercer Union/FADO, Toronto, 2012), New Maternalisms- Chile (MNBA and MAC, Santiago, 2014), and New Maternalisms Redux (FAB Gallery, Edmonton, 2016; newmaternalisms. com). Recent projects include: "Maternal Ecologies: An Autoethnographic and Artistic Exploration of Contemporary Motherhood" (funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; www.maternalecologies.ca). She is the director and founder of the Research-Creation and Social Justice CoLABoratory (www.researchcreation.ca). For more information please see: www.loveless.ca.
Mkrtich Tonoyan is an Armenian artist, co-founder and current president of the AKOS Cultural NGO, founder of the “Art Centre of Social Studies” (ACOSS) international artists-in-residence program (2006), and co-founder of the ACSL NGO’s artists-in-residence program “Art Commune” (2008) and co-founder of “Microresidence ” worldwide network of Artists residencies, based in Japan. In early 90s Tonoyan participated in the Karabakh War, experiencing all the horrors and suffering of death, destruction, injury and despair, events that continue to have profound impact on the direction of his creative and social practice. Tonoyan turned to contemporary art as a space of possibility to address crisis and change in all its dimensions: personal, political, ideological and social. He works in a new direction of conceptual art, called “Military Art”, founded by Alexander Melkonyan. Active in the professional realm of contemporary art since graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Yerevan in 2002, Tonoyan has regularly presented his work, projects and lectures on Armenian contemporary art and had talks at numerous national and international art events, galleries and universities. As president of the AKOS Cultural NGO Tonoyan collaborates with organizations internationally to develop cultural exchange opportunities, and locally to develop socially engaged projects in the peripheries of Armenia. In 2010, Tonoyan was awarded a mobility grant from the Euro Cultural Foundation to research models of artist residencies in the UK; in 2011 he was awarded professional development funding from the Open Society Foundation to research artist residencies management practice in the USA; and 2014 was awarded research residency from Youkobo Art Space to continue research on the theme of “Microresidence” and participate in the Microresidence Forum 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. In 2015 was awarded grant from Cleveland Foundation to be in Cleveland Ohio as an artist of Creative Fusion residency for research and community engaged projects.
Julia Belluz is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist covering medicine and public health for Vox.com. She was a 2013-14 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. Her writing has appeared in Maclean’s, the British Medical Journal, the Medical Post, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Slate, the Times (of London), the Economist, and other publications. Outside of reporting, Julia speaks regularly at health care and journalism conferences the world over. She holds an MSc. from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism.
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. Over the past several years he has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research endeavours that have allowed him to publish over 300 academic articles. He is a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation and the Principal Investigator for a number of large interdisciplinary projects that explore the ethical, legal and health policy issues associated with a range of topics, including stem cell research, genetics, patient safety, the prevention of chronic disease, obesity policy, the commercialization of research, complementary and alternative medicine and access to health care. Professor Caulfield is and has been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees. He has won numerous academic awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He writes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two recent national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012), Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015), and The Vaccination Pictures (Penguin 2017).
Caitlin Fisher directs the Augmented Reality Lab at York University where she held the Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture for the past decade. A 2013 Fulbright Chair, Fisher is the recipient of many international awards for digital storytelling including the Electronic Literature Organization Award for Fiction and the Vinaròs Prize for AR poetry. She serves on the international Board of Directors for both the Electronic Literature Organization and HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Science, Alliance and Collaboratory. Currently she is engaged in a four year SSHRC-funded research project exploring the potential of long-form interactive narrative in virtual and augmented reality.
Annemarie Hou serves as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Most recently, she oversaw the communications and advocacy portfolio at UNAIDS where she was responsible for positioning HIV and development issues in the global landscape. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Ms Hou worked in the philanthropic field—with a focus on health and children’s issues. She was the Communications Director at Casey Family Programmes, an operating foundation dedicated to child welfare issues started by the founder of UPS.Ms Hou served as the first Global Health Communications Manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and also as the family’s spokesperson. An award-winning writer she started her career as a television journalist. She serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Board of Grassroot Soccer and as an advisor to the Graça Machel Trust. Ms Hou also curates the UNAIDS Art Collection.
Johan Holst is a Senior Scientist with basic academic training as a pharmacist from the University of Oslo, and research experience in the field of development, characterization and evaluation of vaccines. He works at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in Oslo and has in the past seven years mainly been involved in a collaborative project with Novartis Vaccines (now gsk) dealing with evaluation of vaccines against serogroup B meningococcal disease. The collaboration between NIPH and Novartis grew out of relationships founded during an earlier public health intervention in New Zealand. Dr. Holst’s career in vaccinology began in the area of Bordetella pertussis research where he characterized pili and their potential use in modern vaccine development. From 1988 to 1998 he was Head of Control at the Department of Vaccinology at NIPH, with a primary focus on the characterization, Quality Control and Quality Assurance for the Norwegian vaccine against serogroup B meningococcal disease, MenBvac®. He has participated in numerous clinical trials, including the pivotal placebo-controlled double-blind efficacy trial of MenBvac® in 180.000 teen-agers from 1989 to 1991. His clinical trial experience also includes investigations of mucosal vaccines. Since the early 1990s Dr. Holst has served as an advisor to various WHO research programs, PAHO and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he has served as a consultant for different vaccine companies such as Chiron, Novartis and Wyeth; as well as giving assistance to several biotechnology groups. His list of publications includes about 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, a couple of book chapters and being a co-inventor of three various patents. Johan Holst recently joined the secretariat of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) in Oslo; where he serves as a vaccine specialist.
Vicki S. Kwon is a PhD candidate in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta and an emerging curator. Funded by SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, Kwon’s doctoral research explores socially engaged art and public participation in conflict-driven contact zones. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Semiotics and Communication Theories and a Master’s degree in Art History at the University of Toronto, she worked as a curator, administrator, and researcher for non-profit art, education and cultural organizations in Toronto. Her recent curated exhibition, “Mass and Individual: The Archive of the Guyanese Mass Games,” at the Arko Art Centre in Seoul, fall 2016, garnered the largest of the 2016 Korea Arts Council’s exhibition grants. Kwon is participating in <Immune Nations> as a project manager as well as an artist. For more information, please see www.vickiskwon.ca.
Patrick Mahon is an artist, writer, and a Professor of Visual Arts at Western University, in London, ON. Mahon’s artwork has been exhibited widely in Canada at: Museum London, The Hamilton Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery; and The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; in recent exhibitions in China, France, Ecuador, and Japan in 2017; and at numerous print biennales. Patrick was in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, (New York); Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium); and at La Maison Patrimoniale Barthète, in France. The SSHRC-funded project, Art and Cold Cash, which involved Mahon and other artists from southern Canada and Baker Lake, Nunavut, was produced and exhibited between 2004 and 2010 (MOCCA, Toronto; McLaren Arts Centre, Barrie; Platform, Winnipeg: Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina), and a book was published by YYZ in 2010. Patrick’s collaborative SSHRC project, Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, on the theme of water, began in 2010 and included a residency in Niagara Falls and at the Banff Centre. A related group exhibition, The Source: Reconsidering Water through Contemporary Art, presented at Rodman Hall Art Centre, opened in May 2014. Other recent Canadian exhibitions include McMaster Museum of Art (2013); Wilfred Laurier University (2013); Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg (2014), Katzman Contemporary (2015). Patrick lives in London, Ontario.
Rachelle Viader Knowles is an artist, researcher and educator. She is currently Senior Lecturer and Course Director for Fine Art at Coventry University in the UK, and previously Head of Visual Arts at the University of Regina in central Canada. Her practice-led research investigates translocality, dialogue as art, and artistic practices/methods developed through participation, collaboration and networks. Her works have been performed, screened, found or encountered in numerous international venues including: MilaKunst Gallery in Berlin; Conflux, and the Experimental Text Festivals in New York; Three Walls Gallery in Chicago; the MacKenzie, Mendel, YYZ galleries in Canada; Residencia Corazon Gallery in La Plata, Argentina; Chapter Gallery in Cardiff, Wales; the Kwangju Biennale in South Korea; the Gyumri Biennale in Armenia; and the Can Gelabert Cultural Centre in Mallorca. She is an active member of the international advisory board for the Armenian Art Centre of Social Studies based in Yerevan, Armenia.
Lathika Sritharan is a Research Coordinator at the Global Strategy Lab. She has completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of Saskatchewan and her Hon. Bachelor of Science (HBSc) degree from the University of Toronto. Her research interests include immigrant health, health policy and chronic disease research. Her passion for public health has led her to be actively involved in the Tamil Health Association (a not for profit organization in the Greater Toronto Area) as a project coordinator for their Healthy Food Program.