Where does ART go from here:
Data, Innovation and bringing Community into Art

Join us for a Lunch and Learn conversation that examines where art goes from here.

When: Friday, May 27, 2022 @Noon
Where: Capitol Theatre, Port Hope (Sculthorpe Room)

This speaker panel includes talks from arts leaders – Jessica Thompson, Ryan Stec, Lee Jones, and Alyssa Warmland. Together, we will explore the role and significance of data, innovation and bringing community into art!

As we emerge from a few years of social unrest, and a global pandemic, Critical Mass is also coming into its 10th year and planning for our future growth. We are hosting a series of discussions with arts leaders to explore where art goes from here.

We are hoping to take some of the learnings from these discussions to help inform our strategic planning process, as we explore options for how a small arts organization in a small town like ours can stabilize, inspire, and help lead a community through recovery.

This discussion is funded through an Ontario Trillium Foundation Resilient Communities Grant, and is hosted in association with The Capitol Theatre.

All welcome. Free to attend. (or PWYC to support future arts programming).

Light boxed lunch and refreshments provided.

Please note the Capitol Theatre COVID SAFETY MEASURES:
* All guests entering the Capitol Theatre must provide proof of full vaccination, accompanied by a personal photo ID.
* All guests will be required to wear masks, except when eating or drinking. If not eating or drinking, masks must be worn.
* All guests are expected to have reviewed and understood the Capitol Theatre COVID-19 Safety Policy posted on their website.

For all inquiries, contact:
Debbie Beattie (she/her)
Program Director
Critical Mass Art


In her talk, Jessica Thompson will discuss 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 and forms of citizen engagement that listen to the ears on the ground.

Ryan Stec will share how Artengine, a small artist-run arts centre in Ottawa, has weathered the pandemic through innovation, sharing some recent successes and challenges, and he will share what’s next for Artengine as they explore avenues for different kinds of art-making.

Lee Jones will share how she is designing a data visualization project with Critical Mass (where technology and art intersect) and with the input of the Port Hope community.

Lyss Warmland will explore how honouring unique experiences of collective expression from a place of radical compassion is innovative and where art ought to go from here.


Jessica Thompson is a media artist working in sound, performance and mobile technologies. Her interactive artworks have shown at venues such as 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.

Ryan Stec – Beyond his role as a cultural producer as Artengine Artistic Director, Ryan Stec, also has a wide ranging background including community activism, 15 years experience as a practicing artist, professional design training (Masters of Architecture) and is pursuing advanced studies in art and design through a PhD at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University. He is also a part-time professor in the Visual Arts Department at the University of Ottawa where he teaches both history and theory and studio practices in media arts.

Lee Jones uses participatory design and creates easy-to-use toolkits so that individuals can build prototypes and have a say in the direction of their own technologies. She also loves running e-textile workshops in makerspaces, art galleries and community organizations under the name Electro-Stitches. She is currently hacking a knitting machine for Critical Mass with collaborator Greta Grip to document a visual record of a Year in the Life of a Small Town (arts organization).

Alyssa Warmland is an interdisciplinary artist and activist. Her work utilizes elements of radical vulnerability, restorative justice, mindfulness, performance, and direct action.

She is a mother, writer, podcaster, producer, director, performer, content creator, and abstract visual artist. Lyss is a strong advocate for fumbling towards an ethic of care. Most of all, she’s interested in the way people choose to tell their stories and how that keeps them well.

Lyss is a 31 year old white, queer, disabled woman who lives with her partner and their son, in a Small Town on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga/Eastern Anishinaabe (Ojibwa) peoples.

Bonus! Artist-led SOUNDWALK with Jessica Thompson and Kevin Bonnell – Saturday, May 28 @ 11AM

On May 28th, Jessica Thompson and Kevin Bonnell will lead a soundwalk through downtown Port Hope using the Borderline mobile app.

Location: Meet at 11AM under the Capitol Theatre marquis

Accessibility: The soundwalk will last approximately 20 minutes with 5-6 scheduled stops in the downtown core. Terrain is mainly flat. If there is anything we can do to make your participation more enjoyable, please contact debbie@criticalmassart.com.

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. In her talk, Thompson will discuss 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 and forms of citizen engagement that listen to the ears on the ground.

Download the APP

Borderlines Port Hope Map

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

This map was created by Kasope Okubadejo, based on demographic data from the 2016 Census of Canada from Statistics Canada. The data was collected 09/02/2022 and published 10/03/2022. 

Borderlines in Port Hope – Map Description

This map investigates race, ethnicity and Indigeneity in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. We created this map to highlight demographic composition based on race, and how this data changes over Dissemination areas, the smallest available geographic unit for which data is available.

This map covers the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe Waki, Mississauga, and Wendake-Nionwentsïo, and was was produced at the University of Waterloo which is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes ten kilometres on each side of the Grand River. As a team of researchers led by a Black Canadian, we acknowledge our participation in colonization and recognize our responsibility to engage in reconciliation as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action. To learn more,visit native-land.ca. As we engage in critical map making, we acknowledge the colonized and racialized history of mapping including how maps have been used to dominate Indigenous people and places while reproducing the power of the Europeans and the differences between them and the various peoples they subordinated. We also acknowledge that this statement is only a small step in the process of decolonization, and we understand that reconciliation requires systemic change.