Pinays in SFU Contemporary Arts Graduate Symposium

Kwyn Aquino (left) and Maria Filipina Palad present their works at symposium. (Photo: Kwyn Aquino by Hannah Campbell,   Maria Filipina Palad (Provided)).

Vancouver, B.C.

Understanding the rapidly changing nature of media: “Visual Becoming”

By Ted Alcuitas

Two Filipino graduate students of Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts are among seven graduates participating in a symposium on December 11 to present their research.

Kwyn Aquino and Maria Filipina Palad present their take on the past, present, and future of moving images in the symposium Visual Becoming.

Kwyn Aquino is a writer and editor. As the digital features editor of Town&Country Philippines, she covered the arts, style, and pop culture. She also worked as the acting editor in chief of Lomography’s magazine on photography and as an associate managing editor at Summit Media, the Philippine distributor of Hearst titles Cosmopolitan and Esquire. Beyond her work in magazine publishing, Kwyn also writes poetry, fiction, and essays on film. Her research interests include movie screens, the essay film, beauty, and postnationality in contemporary art.

Maria Filipina Palad is an independent art curator, writer, and former gallery and digital product manager. She has a background in UX and interaction design, and has a deep interest in digital art, specifically interactive art, aesthetics and viewer experience. She holds a master’s in arts management and a BA in communication. Her previous projects include an interactive sound exhibition in Florence, Italy; a talk series on the role of contemporary art in Rome; an exhibition of works by masters of Philippine modern art; and a Vancouver exhibition of migration stories as told through poetry and art.

The 6th Annual M.A. in Contemporary Arts Graduate Symposium will present students take on the past, present, and future of moving images. Graduates from diverse backgrounds pulls together new methods for aesthetic analyses that challenge ocularcentrism and welcoming the exciting of synergy of touch, taste, affect, spatial perception, gender identity and philosophy,


In this free symposium, you will join scholars and artists as they roam through the historical milieus of rickshaw art in Bangladesh, taste the delicious visuals of Korean cinema, immerse in the sensorial possibilities of VR aesthetics, uncover the animistic energy of a Weerasethakul film, and debunk ill perceptions of documentary reenactment. The symposium also examines cinema’s move from big to small screens and presents autoethnographic queer walking as a method for performance documentation and creation.

Presenters include Cindy Chan, Lea Ashelia Hogan, Michelle Kim, Negar Ipakchiazimi, and Mohammad Zaki Rezwan.

“Our fabulous graduating M.A.s have supported each other generously as their research has matured in creativity, rigor, and originality,” says Contemporary Arts professor Laura U. Marks. “The symposium is our time to celebrate their accomplishments, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of what graduate students do in the program.”

We encounter moving images continually, in varied forms: animated GIFs, Snapchat videos, instagram stories, online video streaming, video games, and the more traditional TV and film formats. New relationship dynamics are emerging between humans, the image, the concept of time, and technology. Digitization makes it easy to consume moving images in new formats while maintaining them in traditional ones, even as digital media’s materiality and carbon footprint are ever more apparent. The portability of digitized images also supports the transnationalization of art. The symposium discovers new intersections between moving images and non-visual modalities such as folk art, cuisine, and non-Western aesthetic theories. It offers insights into how gender, viewer identity, and human-technology relationships aid us in the analysis of phenomena. As such, “Visual Becoming” draws from multifaceted perspectives beyond the predominant visual appreciation of images, and offers a path to understanding the rapidly changing nature of media.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top