Port Hope Borderlines




Image design: Kasope Okubadejo, Race and Ethnicity ‘borderlines’ in Port Hope, Ontario, 2016 Census. (2022)

JESSICA THOMPSON – Port Hope Borderlines

2022 theme: Where do we go from here – Artist Innovator – Jessica Thompson

Jessica Thompson is a media artist working in sound, performance and mobile technologies. Her interactive artworks have shown at venues such asHer artworks have shown at the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), NIME (Oslo), Artists’ Walks (New York), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), the Art Gallery of Windsor Triennial, InterACTION (Kitchener), HASTAC (Vancouver), Re:Sound (Aalborg), and Entorno Encuentro Exploración (Pamplona). She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Government of Ontario. She is an Associate Professor in Hybrid Media at the University of Waterloo.

2022 Community engagements:
May 27 – Speaker Series, Lunch & Learn – Data, Innovation & Community
May 28- Soundwalk with Jessica Thompson
June 26 – Borderline Workshop at the Little Station on Lent Lane (10AM)

Port Hope, Ontario

Connect with Urban Borderlines:
Twitter: @BorderlinesLab
Website: borderlineproject.ca

Borderline is a sound mapping tool for iOS that uses urban sound to create new understandings of place. Using algorithms trained to identify ~100 common sounds, the project enables users to map sounds in their environment and place them in dialogue with other forms of urban data. The tagged recordings play back in their original locations, which creates an interactive acoustic footprint that changes as you move among them.

Artist Jessica Thompson was invited to Critical Mass to lead two activities, funded through a resilient communities grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation. Her first activity involved identifying and mapping uneven geographies in our community.

On Friday, May 27th Thompson gave a talk which discussed how cities reveal themselves through sound, how interpretations of sound are closely aligned with systems of power, and how intersectional approaches to listening and feminist approaches to data can create new forms of citizen engagement that listen to the ears on the ground.

On Saturday, May 28th, Jessica Thompson lead a soundwalk through downtown Port Hope using her Borderline mobile app. If you have an iPhone, feel free to download the app.

The second activity that Thompson proposed was to facilitate a community-led workshop to look at how Port Hope has changed since the pandemic.

The purpose of this second workshop is to use fictional, speculative scenarios to guide a series of short, collaborative design sprints, which will help us to begin to imagine innovative, equitable futures for this community. 

On Sunday, June 26th at 10am (at the Little Station on Lent Lane), Thompson will lead a speculative design workshop with research assistant Kevin Bonnell, for the Port Hope community to envision what an equitable Port Hope could look like in 50 years from now. All are welcome to attend.

What are borderlines

Borderlines are invisible boundaries that can affect social and economic mobility in urban spaces. They can also be marked by areas of difference that can show up in our physical environments.

Look out for our Borderlines Mailboxes in your neighbourhood and fill out the anonymous comment cards.

How could our neighbourhoods be more equitable? What services are lacking? What improvements could be made?

Thompson’s Research team also put together an online tool for us – a Borderlines Community Notebook for the Port Hope community to leave comments or notes where community improvements to food access, housing, transportation, healthcare and financial services are needed / wanted.