All posts by David Bobier

Exhibition hosted by Thames Art Gallery


VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility, Art and Communication

Exhibition Dates: May 5 – July 2
Opening Reception: May 19 @ 7:00PM
Location: Thames Art Gallery, Chatham

VibraFusionLab (VFL) began in 2014 in London, Ontario, growing out of an artist residency and collaboration between media artist, David Bobier and the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University. The vision, to provide access to emerging inclusive or adaptive technology and design, to artists of all disciplines and abilities, will be illustrated in the upcoming retrospective: VibraFusionLab: Bridging Practices in Accessibility, Art and Communication. The Thames Art Gallery is proud to host this immersive exhibition, which will feature educational ephemera on the mezzanine level, and works by seven artists involved in the residency program: Marla HladyGordon MonahanLindsay FisherAlison O’DanielEllen MoffatLynx Sainte-Marie, and David Bobier.

The works specialize in the exploration of “vibrotactility” in technology, investigating it as a creative medium, with a capacity to combine visual, audio and tactile elements into a highly emotional and sensorial art practice. Viewers can expect wearable devices, and new approaches to art making that champion the senses beyond vision and hearing, to build new methods of communication and language. Tours for the hearing impaired and/or visually impaired are scheduled periodically throughout the exhibition; please visit our website to find out dates.

The exhibition will run from Friday, May 5, to Sunday, July 2, 2017. An opening reception and website launch will take place Friday, May 19 at 7pm, audio and visual interpreters will be present. All are welcome to attend the free and all-inclusive reception. VibraFusionLab and The Thames Art Gallery would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support. The Thames Art Gallery is located at 75 William Street North, Chatham, and is open 7 days a week, from 1-5pm. Contact Emily Cadotte, Assistant Curator at or 519.360.1998 or visit our website for more.

Image credit: Marla Hlady, Soundball (Dancehauling), 2013, sound (in collaboration with Eric Chenaux), 2 custom guitar amps, 2 custom soundball stands and 2 soundballs (stainless steel rice ball, microprocessor, sound board, accelerometer, LEDs and cable), software design by Wild Rhombus Software. Image courtesy of the artist.

 Tangled Art Gallery

by Deirdre Logue in collaboration with VibraFusionLab. 

April 7 – June 30, 2017Co-presented with Images FestivalGallery 44, and A Space Gallery, Tangled will host an exhibit of new work by Deirdre Logue in collaboration with VibraFusionLab.

Logue pulls in close, withdraws, and attempts to go into the fabric of everyday spaces and objects.

Private tests become public in these performative self-portraits, which push beyond the limitations of the screen. Logue’s personal experiments explore repetition of movement, sound and tension in ways that allow us to think about the multifaceted complexities of our own bodies.

Logue’s collaboration with VibraFusionLab’s David Bobier invites multi-sensorial exchanges between the audience and the work. Vibrational haptics set the backdrop to a polyphonic soundscape integrating tactile audio and video extensions to engender disability art aesthetics. The audience and artist’s interactions in this work are distinguishing features of Deaf and disability art, exploring the space concerning our embodied experiences and the world.


Jesse Stewart is an award-winning composer, improviser, percussionist, visual artist, instrument builder, researcher, writer, educator, and community activist dedicated to re-imagining the spaces between artistic disciplines.

Jesse spent 5 memorable days at VibraFusionLab in April, 2016. Here is a short video of Jesse by Pam Haasen of London Fuse.

Stewart’s style of percussion–and most tangibly drumming–is a blend of control and loose, jangly improvisation. His use of the drum kit as more than a 4-on-the-floor time-keeper is remarkably engaging to witness. The meld of jazzy twitches and taiko-style booming war drums has the kind of influence on time that a really good kiss does. You get lost, you stop thinking about your daily woes, and you live presently for the time being.

What’s really intriguing is his addition of the Reactable in his performance. Reactable

is an electronic musical instrument with a tabletop Tangible User Interfaceand backlit display facing up. The user places tangible objects on the surface of the table which creates a virtual modular synthesizer, creating music or sound effects.

Like, whaaaaa…?

Thank goddess for David Bobier at the Vibrafusion Lab for inviting Jesse to bring his travelling instruments to London, Ontario for a week in residence at 355 Clarence Street from April 12th – 15th. Jesse will also be performing live at VFL on Friday night alongside Transmorphous Ensemble and Timothy Glasgow and as a special treat for Londoners, he will be playing a short set on Thursday April 14th as part of Cailen Dye’s Open Mic for Original Performance (also at Vibrafusion Lab).

Jesse’s website is


Perfect World by Barbara Greene Mann exhibition


Thursday March 3 to April 3, 2016

Opening Reception – March 3, 7-9 pm

355 Clarence Street

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Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

Palace Theatre

Friday March 4, 2016

710 Dundas Street

7-9 pm

Tickets: Free Here




The ARTS Project

203 Dundas Street

A movement workshop with Peggy Baker Dance Projects

Saturday March 5, 2016

2-4 pm





The Mighty Rhino Live


355 Clarence Street

Saturday March 5, 2016

8:30-12:00 am

Tickets: $7


VibraFusionLab is hosting 2 of Tangled London events and we are hyped!!!


Tangled London 2016 is presented by “Tangled On Tour”: an annual series of disability arts events in cities across Ontario.



March 3 – April 3
Perfect World
by Barbara Greene Mann

Opening reception: Thurs, March 3rd
7-9 PM
355 Clarence Street

My Art comes from subconscious thoughts, dreams, and unseen possibilities. I paint in watercolour and love the flowing qualities of this medium. Sometimes by adding collage I increase the novelties I may discover. Guided by My Muse, I can transform these images into new attainable achievements, discovering the tales I am here to tell…..see more at
Friday March 4
7-9 PM
Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement
Palace Theatre
710 Dundas St

From bionic limbs and neural implants to prenatal screening, researchers around the world are hard at work developing a myriad of technologies to fix or enhance the human body. FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement takes a close look at the drive to be “better than human” and the radical technological innovations that may take us there.What does “disabled” mean when a man with no legs can run faster than most people in the world? See more at
Saturday March 5
2-4 PM: FluxDelux
A Movement workshop with Peggy Baker Dance Projects
The ARTS Project
203 Dundas Street

In 2014 Peggy Baker devised Flux, in which a simple set of guidelines followed by dancers, non-dancers, and wheelchair users instantly creates a spontaneous, ever-evolving, and gloriously eventful group choreography.

FluxDelux is literally the deluxe version of Flux, and marries contemporary dance with cutting-edge new media technology through a tailor-made iOS app, designed by creative technologist Jacob Niedzwiecki. Movement instructions are delivered to pedestrians and wheelchair users via the app, though earphones. Tangled Art + Disability and students from Rosedale Heights School of the Arts have partnered with us throughout the creation of FluxDelux. See more at
The Mighty Rhino live
Saturday March 5
8:30 PM-12 AM
355 Clarence Street
Tickets: $7
Buy tickets here:

Rhino is a game-spitter par excellence, with a knack for that special turn of phrase that cuts to the quick and makes you scrunch your face up like, ‘Damn!’. Building on that reputation, He Whom The Beat Sets Free Is Free Indeed, intertwines the sacred and the profane, with Rhino’s persona equal parts restless intelligence and foul-mouthed insanity……see more at

647 725 5064

Funders: Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Arts Council

Partners: Disability Studies at Kings, VibraFusionLab,The Independent Living Centre London & Area (ILCLA), UnLondon

The Peggy Baker Phase Space production is  astonishing and the vibrotactile chairs are right there with her!

Check out the last paragraph for review.

Peggy Baker’s Phase Space

By // Theatre (Toronto)


Sahara Morimoto & Ric Brown (Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh)

Acclaimed icon and synonym for Canadian modern dance, Peggy Baker, lights up the Betty Oliphant stage yet again with her newest work, Phase Space. The concept for the piece is intriguing— looking at how memory belongs in space and time, and exploring the place of memory within the body. We have all heard the term ‘muscle memory’, and Mrs. Baker has drawn on this in her choreography. The four individual pieces in this full-length show are comprised of reworkings of steps deeply ingrained in the dancers’ physicality from past works with the company. They are in charge of “excavating memories” with their bodies. As a dancer, I was so excited to hear this idea explained in the pre-show talk, as I can even now recall movements and feelings of dances from my youth, such the steps I performed in my first-ever modern dance, set to ‘Sledgehammer’ by Peter Gabriel.

True to style, there are so many more aspects to this performance than dance alone. The audience is nudged to pay specific attention to the lighting, design by Marc Parent, and it truly becomes an extra character in the space. The creative use of lighting, from harsh to warm, geometric to flooding, completely changes the mood of each piece as they develop. The musical score, as well, is intensely unique. Fides Krucker had joined the company in rehearsal and helped develop a vocal score for the dancers. Having seen vocalizations and text used in dance to varying degrees of success, I was blown away with the work created for the Peggy Baker Dance Company. The dancers’ voices are amplified with such finesse, that sometimes it is unclear who was generating a certain noise, and the sound scatters so interestingly throughout the space. I often find that vocalization speaks deeply to an audience, and Fides Krucker understands this explicitly, developing a soundscape that at once draws you in, makes you uncomfortable, and speaks to you on a personal level. The final layer of Phase Space is the music, performed live onstage and improved each night by John Kameel Farah. Specifically designed to be generated electronically and expelled through wires and speakers, Farah’s sound complements the dancers’ work, and its nature of improvisation makes aligned moments special and wonderful. Although I found the music at times too dissonant and not especially relatable (coming from someone who does enjoy electronic music), I understand and respect the work. Farah’s space onstage, above the dancers, was an interesting way to show his inclusion and mandatory presence to the performance’s makeup.

The dancers for the evening, Ric Brown, Sarah Fregeau, Sahara Morimoto, Andrea Nann, and Kate Holden, were all spectacular. What else is to be expected of Peggy Baker’s dancers, let’s be honest. I found myself at times, though, distracted from their incredible skills due to the immensity of other aspects in the performance. I would be lost in thought and passive watching, and suddenly be taken with how beautiful each dancer is, how unique, how fluid and sinewy and just plain magical. The articulation of hands, hips, and ankles all blow me away and the years of dedication and study are evident in each body on the stage. The moments of stillness in each piece were equally as wonderful as the movements. The intention is so clear within each dancer, and their eyes just blaze with passion, depth, and vulnerability. There are endless images that are evoked in combination of movement and vocal soundscape, from chittering squirrels and giggling children, to animal rage, and cooing, sobbing sirens on the sea. Not only was I impressed with the individual skills, but also with the way all participants came together and interacted to create what really feels like something significant on that stage.

Finally, I want to address an aspect of the performance that I was not aware of coming in, but that is such a fantastic development for all genres of live theatre. The first row of the Betty Oliphant Theatre is rigged with interesting chairs— Tactile Audio Relative Dimension in Sound seats, or vibrotactile chairs for the deaf or hard of hearing. These chairs are implanted with speakers that are connected to the electronic music of the performance, allowing participants to feel the music with their skin. Hearing Peggy Baker talk about these chairs and the opportunities they present is so exciting, and she gets flushed with enthusiasm. More information on the mechanism of the chairs and the creators can be found here. Phase Space brings together wonderful aspects of the senses, and is a truly thrilling and intellectually complex performance to see. I am excited to see how the company expands from here, and am grateful for an evening of complex thought.

Phase Space is playing at the Betty Oliphant Theatre January 22-24 & 27-31.



six extraordinary dancers excavate embodied memory
a surreal and elegant fusion of contemporary dance and live music

Tactile Audio Displays and VibraFusionLab are pleased to have been invited to install 4 vibrotactile chairs in the Betty Oliphant Theatre, Toronto, for this remarkable production.

January 22-24 & 27-31
Wed – Sat 8:30pm, Sun 4pm
Pre-show chat with Peggy Baker
30 minutes prior to each performance

Betty Oliphant Theatre
404 Jarvis Street, Toronto

Tickets:$28, $23 (seniors, CADA, students)

For each performance of Phase Space we are installing four TAD-TARDIS  (Tactile Audio Relative Dimension In Sound) seats by Tactile Audio Displays with the help of VibraFusionLab. The TAD-TARDIS  is an eight channel tactile sound system for the body. Feel the music improvised live by John Kameel Farah while watching our six extraordinary dancers!

If you are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, book one of these four seats today using the promotional code VIBE20 for $20 tickets! Following the performance, we will contact you for feedback, because we would love to know about your experience!

Watch an example of one of these systems on the video link below.

A new full-evening work by acclaimed Canadian dance artist, Peggy Baker (Audience Choice for Best Choreographer, NOW Magazine 2014 and 2015) Phase Space extracts fragments from across the impressive spectrum of Baker’s repertoire, and then expands, compresses, and reassembles those fragments to create thoroughly new and unique dances, in which actions that were originally unrelated fold in on one another in striking, startling, and fascinating ways.

created by choreographer: Peggy Baker
music: John Kameel Farah
vocalography: Fides Krucker
lighting: Marc Parent
dancers: Ric Brown, Sarah Fregeau, Kate Holden, Sean Ling, Sahara Morimoto, Andrea Nann

“…there are certain elements one expects in a Peggy Baker show. Wall-to-wall movement executed by top-of-the-line dancers. Music of substance. Dance pieces whose themes run deep. The overall productions buffed to a high gloss. In other words, Baker is a class act.”                                       – Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail



Orchestra of the Tactile was an innovative audio/tactile experimental concert presenting new compositions and works exploring tactile or vibratory modalities of sound and music by media artists Marla Hlady, Gordon Monahan, David Bobier, and Alison O’Daniel. It took place at the Music Gallery in Toronto, Ontario on April 23, 2015.

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Through the project, InterAccess along with the VibraFusionLab explored creative means of sensitizing audiences to new perceptual registers between vibration and sound – literally through their skin. InterAccess expanded this engagement to be open to hearing-abled, deaf and hard of hearing audiences alike. The ambition was to expand the already interdisciplinary field of experimental sound and music to include the vibrotactile forms and aesthetics. The motivation for forming this event as an “orchestra” was to offer an open and stretchable concept for the artists to work from, to take the form of an orchestra as a laboratory space that allows the alteration of materials and processes throughout.

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A number of diverse tactile systems were set up at the Music gallery to offer a fully accessible and complimentary vibrational experience of the entire audio visual presentation. Monahan invited us into his magical world of invention through the innovation of seeing, hearing and feeling the heating up and boiling of water particles; Hlady presented the opportunity of feeling the manipulation of sound distortion through a variable-speed rotating microphone and her signature technical craft; through heightened colour and carefully emphasized sounds O’Daniel intensified her film presentation to provide the unique additional emphasis of the vibratactile; Bobier’s ‘faux’ projection/sound instruments, through the employment of programmable music boxes, ‘punchable’ music score strips and LED helmet lights, transformed braille script into modes of vibration, visualization and sound.

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Photos by Stefan A. Rose


The first week of February at VibraFusionLab was a very active and exciting week with Artists-In-Residence Marla Hlady and Gordon Monahan creating new works in preparation for the upcoming Orchestra of the Tactile performance. Alison O’Daniel, from Los Angeles, joined us later in the week in preparation for the performance as well.

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Photos by Stefan A. Rose