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Event Report: GEM Lab Open House

On January 31, 2018, the Global Emergent Media Lab (GEM Lab), a community and research platform that focusses on the critical study of new digital media, held its Open House event.

The event debuted with a presentation by GEM Lab director Joshua Neves concerning ongoing research projects, technologies, and equipment available at the lab. Neves explained that the main goal of the GEM Lab is to connect researchers and practitioners around specific issues. This includes a cluster of initiatives, some of them entirely site specific while others are very theoretical.

The GEM Lab tries to intervene and debate in global and digital media studies through different types of approaches. One is to take seriously specific aspects of emergent media forms, spaces and practices that are not often accounted for when we do perform these types of work. The other is to account for contexts beyond the dominant West. To broaden our view and consider different theories of media and cultural practices, as an epistemological framework and object of study, we need to adopt a distinctly regional view.

These two ways are applied through a range of workshops, lectures, master classes and other collaborative projects.

Neves then gave us a short report of the activities that happened since the birth of GEM Lab in 2017. During its summer institute in Sicily, students were given the opportunity to work with video archive, a collective project to stabilize and reactivate the collection, and with the goal to participate in the regional video festival. Last Fall, Neves taught a first course on digital media employing the Lab’s resources, which will be offered again in fall 2018.

He concluded his presentation with the introduction of GEM Lab’s future projects and plans, such as a series of residencies for artists and researchers, a partnership with la lumière collective to support these type of curation, and the general programming.

The event continued with presentations by other initiatives and researchers, which were:

Synoptique: An Online Journal of Film and Moving Image Studies Populist Media Reading Group Film Scanning Group Work-in-Progress (WIP) Workshop Series Life-Streaming Working Group Cinema in the Midst of Struggle Screening Series

For more information about these groups, you can visit the website:

For upcoming events, check the Montreal Media Calendar.

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