This panel brings together artists, designers and researchers to discuss the roles of performance and imaging technologies, such as augmented reality, digital photography, video, and live stage effects, in connection with a variety of magical practices.
Mariza Dima is a Lecturer in Games Design who specialises in User Experience and User Interface design, and Maria Saridaki is a games studies researcher with a PhD in inclusive playful interactions. Their collaborative research examines parallels between the practice of ceremonial magic and the dramaturgical design of Augmented Reality immersive experiences, which both seem to alter normality, consciousness, and sense of self.
Sarah Best is a PhD student in Religious Studies and a practicing witch whose research interests include Neopaganism and contemporary witchcraft, and the ways that practitioners engage with material environments. She will present research on digital photography practices in contemporary witchcraft and the way these materialize magic, highlighting entanglements between the physical and the spiritual, and expanding notions of the “real”.
Jessica Mensch is an artist whose work contemplates the technological apparatus of video, special effects, painting, stage set, and architecture, and the position of women within these spheres of production. She will present research around her recent body of painting and video installation work, which draws on modern psychoanalytic theories of the uncanny to find connections among the repression of magical conceptions of the body during the early Middle Ages, witch hunts, and the roles performed by women in magic shows at the turn of the 20th century.
Mariza Dima & Maria Saridaki "Ritual Magic and Augmented Reality Design"
Mariza Dima is a Lecturer in Games Design. She specialises in User Experience and User Interface design for developing meaningful and engaging interactions particularly using mobile, AR and haptic technologies. She has worked between academia and the creative industries as an interaction designer and creative technologist in R&D projects combining engineering and design approaches grounded on theoretical contexts of narrative, affective dramaturgy, and audience/player engagement.
Maria Saridaki is a game studies researcher and a curator of playful interactions working in their different applications within and beyond the digital world. She holds a PhD in inclusive playful interactions and a post-doc on digital storytelling for women in vulnerable social groups. Since 2007, Maria has worked with communities, organizations and artists in different cities around the globe building playful festivals, games, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, strategies, projects, schools and pop up experiences.
Sarah Best, "Materializing Magic: Making the Invisible Visible Through Digital Photography and Editing Techniques"
Sarah (she/her) is a PhD student in Religious Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and a practicing witch. She has an MRes in Social Anthropology and an MA in English and Digital Humanities. Her research interests include Neopaganism and contemporary witchcraft, and the ways that practitioners engage with material environments.
Jessica Mensch, "the staged uncanny"
Jessica Mensch's work straddles painting, video, music, stage design and installation, inviting contemplation between these spheres of production and the position of women within them. Mensch received her MFA from Hunter College in 2019 and currently teaches in the Art Department at St.FX University in NS. She has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts and was shortlisted for the RBC Painting Prize. She has participated in national and international residencies and exhibitions. Mensch also works collaboratively with artists Emily Pelstring and Katherine Kline to produce Sistership TV, a web series that explores topics such as telepresence and animal communication.