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Projects

Projects

Inspired by your ever-growing needs and our ever-growing curiosities. Explore our collection of ongoing collaborations below.

  • In collaboration with OCAD University, five new-media pieces are launching in Toronto for the month of October. These coalesce around the theme of "emerging" - both in terms of emerging new artists and also in recognition of the emerging back into public spaces after prolonged pandemic isolation.

    Emerge: A Public Art Walkdown is a sequel to The Next Fourteen Days from August 2020, which provided grants for 14 projects created by OCAD U senior students, recent alumni and faculty and spoke to a time of physical distancing and self-isolation. With the reopening of public spaces. Emerge presents a post-lockdown world as seen through the eyes of some of our most compelling new artists.

    Looking Up

    Anna Pogossyan

    "Looking Up" (pictured above) is a reflection on 2020. Integrated into everyday surroundings, "hidden in plain sight," this installation is something one stumbles upon on their daily commute, which animates the environment and makes one pause for a moment.

    My inspiration comes from the hand. We talk a lot about washing our hands, the hands of our frontline heroes, the hands that we are lucky to hold dearly, or the ones we might never hold again.

    This installation is about human connection in the time of physical distancing. It explores the act of physical touch in the context where a touch can be dangerous and forbidden. We all might be six feet apart, but we are still together.

    Location: OCAD U campus (51 McCaul St.)

    Born in Kazakhstan, Anna Pogossyan moved to Canada at 16 to study and pursue a career in art and design. Having graduated from the Environmental Design program at OCAD U, Anna now designs spaces and experiences as an interior designer and multidisciplibary artist. Anna is interested in exploring collective and individual experiences, and a lot of her projects revolve around the topics of nostaligia, mortality, memory, and hope. Anna currently lives and works in Toronto.

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    Beach Beneath the Pavement

    Displaced Collective

    Beach Beneath the Pavement, is a binaural sonic walk that explores an imagined Toronto through the lens of 5 QTBIPOC individuals - project creators, Kasra Goodarznezhad, Tahreem Alvi, and Taymah Armatrading and invited community artists Marie Sotto and Siobhan Johnson. Each artist was invited to share a story, building a network of voices that have been systemically obfuscated within the city's landscape. Each story shares a moment that was meant to happen - connected and or inspired by a phsyical location within the GTA. We invite the viewer into this journey through a self-guided audio walk. Beach Beneath the Pavement stands as a way of activating physical community by enabling us to connect as individuals through storytelling despite the distance cause by the pandemic. Through this, a nuanced reflection of the QTBIPOC experience is etched into the spaces we occupy, emulating the city that we want to see.

    Locations: - East York’s Ravine (89 Coxwell Blvd) - Unison Gender Clinic (Oakwood and Vaughan) - Christie Pits Park - The Village (Wellesley and Church Streets)

    Displaced is a Toronto-based, QTBIPOC collective made up of Taymah Armatrading, Tahreem Alvi, and Kasra Goodarznezhad. As we are situated within different marginalized identities, coming together through this collective enables us to form a nuanced understanding of the diasporic experience that we further explore through our work. This shifts the projects we create past our subjective realities, allowing room for a multiplicity of voices to be heard. Displaced also represents a network of safety and support that is crucial in spaces that would otherwise be extremely vulnerable for each of us independently.

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    Real Indian

    Kora Empey

    Real Indian was created in response to the 2019 amendments made to the Indian Act which sought to remove sex-based inequalities that disadvantaged Indigenous women. These revisions granted me and my sister, along with thousands of other Canadians, their certificate of Indians status and at age twenty I become a "real Indian" in the eyes of the government. The text is made using thermal sensitive pigments that invite the viewer to touch the words and watch them disappear beneath their hands. Real Indian reflects upon the voices and identities that have been erased throughout history due to the Indian Act and the historic giving and taking of status by the Canadian government.

    Location: George Chuvalo Community Centre (50 Sousa Mendes St.)

    Kora Empey is an emerging photographer and visual artist based in Calgary and Toronto. Before pursuing her BFA in Photography at OCAD U, Kora received a BBA in Marketing which continues to influence how she positions her work within the world. Her work seeks to explore issues surrounding identity and what it means to be human in our ever growing digital world. To view more of her work visit, www.koraempey.com.

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    Ephemeral Habitat

    LinJuan Dai & Kaleman A. Silva

    Ephemeral Habitat explores a sense of balance within the landscape discipline and structure discipline of architecture and is surprised by how each element can influence the other. This installation comprises a rectangular modular structure that sets to be the framework for the plant composition. As the plants are being given away to the audience throughout the day, the rectangular form reveals itself in different conditions, responding to the fourth-dimensional aspect of time in architecture.

    Location: Rendezview Art Park (229 Richmond St. W)

    Kaleman and Lin both have degrees in Environmental Design. They are interested in how architecture and landscape influence each other. They seek to be surprised while exploring balances between the two disciplines. Kaleman is an evocative designer interested in the adaptability and resilience of architecture. He seeks what is beyond convention and is focused on conjuring creative solutions to structural problems and fabrication. Lin is interested in exploring the pace of nature in relation to architecture. She is working on grassroots public spaces activations inch-by-inch in collaboration with local organizations, and always tries to bring optimism in human conditions.

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    Simular

    Nick Alexander & Priya Bandodkar

    The courtyard of Mackenzie House in downtown Toronto will seem to be deconstructed, with familiar features repurposed into a wheeling starscape around the participants. Colonial-era stonework will serve as a projection surface for a digitally-reconstructed hyperreal kinetic rendition of the space, surrounding the guests. Attendees are invited to contemplate the nature of public space, and confront the contradictions inherent in the way history is preserved, by inhabiting a warped and abstracted reimagining of the courtyard.

    Location: 82 Bond St.

    Dates: October 20-22 and October 27-29

    Priya Bandodkar is an award-winning designer, animation specialist and VR artist from India. Priya’s skillset extends between a multitude of disciplines from visual and experience design, animation and motion graphics to creative coding, extended reality, and physical computing. With an interest in creating work that addresses the needs of an increasingly complicated digital world, Priya moved to Canada to pursue a Master of Design in Digital Futures at OCAD University and successfully graduated in April 2021.

    Nick is a multidisciplinary interaction designer specializing in immersive experiences. Their practice explores the relationship between performer, player, and space, and asks participants to play in altered realities.

  • Séance Centre has created an exclusive mix for the launch of the Kolab Project 232 Series Live Terpene Vape cartridge. All That is Solid Melts Into Air highlights the diverse terrain of the label – traversing sonic landscapes from verdant rainforests, windswept lowlands, ambient gwoka from Guadeloupe and planetarium music from Mexico. Immerse yourself in the sounds of Séance Centre. And read on to learn more, from co-founders Brandon Hocura and Naomi Okabe.

    How did Séance Centre come about?

    We started Séance Centre as a vessel for our broader interests in music, art, literature, and film. Originally, we gravitated towards the mellow end of the music spectrum because we had recently moved to the countryside outside of Toronto. Also, around that time our first daughter was born, and having children around really makes you cherish the quiet moments.

    That said, from the start we didn’t want to be pigeonholed as an ambient label and tried to keep things surprising by publishing books, releasing dance 12”s, and experimental electronic cassettes quite early on. We envisioned it as multifaceted from the beginning — we also publish books, run a record shop/distribution, and are expanding our cultural production into film and archival research projects.

    "We thought about tracks as elements, earth and air, and then conceived of the journey being about the sublimation process and transition in textural forms."

    What is your process for choosing artists for your label?

    We follow the path of our interests and obsessions, but we’re always trying to keep things surprising, moving between formats and genres, in a way that keeps people guessing. This kind of ethos carries over into the curation of our shop and distribution, hoping that someone that buys a disco 12” might also become curious about a book of visual poetry that we carry.

    For us, there are really fascinating through-lines between, say, the asemic singing of MJ Lallo,[“Aquarius Blue”] and concrete poetry. Or Michael Klausman’s sparse verse and Philip Sanderson’s [“Mixing Drinks on Aeroplanes”] economy of means with home-recording. Following these resonances are really important across everything we do.

    All That is Solid Melts Into Air

    1. Side A:
    2. 1. Museum of No Art—Form and Focus
    3. 2. Vito Ricci—Yours
    4. 3. Oren Cantrell—Damp Saksaul
    5. 4. Scott Gailey—Grasstune
    6. 5. Phil Struck—Grube
    7. 6. Shabason / Gunning—Lowland
    8. 7. C.R. Gillespie—In Soft Water
    1. Side B:
    2. 1. Gwakasonné—Nirvacina
    3. 2. Eblen Macari—La Constelacion Del Pejelagarto (Bambuco)
    4. 3. The First Minute of a New Day—June 23rd
    5. 4. Short Term Memory—City in Mind
    6. 5. Michel Banabila—Des Traces Retrouvées 2–IV
    7. 6. MJ Lallo—Aquarius Blue
    8. 7. Museum of No Art—A Name-less Person Tries to Describe Herself
    9. 8. Philip Sanderson—Mixing Drinks on Aeroplanes

    What was your process for creating All That Is Solid Melts Into Air?

    We took the artwork direction as inspiration - an otherworldly landscape emitting mysterious smoke tendrils. And then thinking about our catalogue as a whole, we thought about tracks as elements, earth and air, and then conceived of the journey being about the sublimation process and transition in textural forms. We realized that a lot of our releases are either inspired by particular landscapes, or the cosmos, so it all fell into place.

    What do you hope listeners get from the All That Is Solid Melts Into Air?

    A journey of the mind. Especially important in the lockdown era, where we’re all feeling the need to feel motion, travel, freedom, and music is the only way to do that.

  • Experimentation exists between the push and pull; in the harmony within strict regulation and free-flowing intuition. Moving through tension is, in itself, an artform — a graceful dance of adjustment and anticipation in the pursuit of a deeper understanding. Trusting what you know, while staying curious about what you don’t yet understand — or haven’t yet been made aware of.

    Sweetly Vanilla. Powerfully Pungent.

    Produced in collaboration with Safari Flower Co., a premium craft grower based out of Ontario’s lush Niagara region, Ice Cream Cake dried flower (3.5 g) is a potent Indica-dominant hybrid. With THC levels reaching 19 - 25%, and virtually no CBD, Ice Cream Cake may be recognized by its distinctive buds. Light green with purple colourization and prominent trichome crystals, Ice Cream Cake offers a unique aroma and flavour profile — a sweet, almost-vanilla taste combined with a powerful diesel finish, offset with a light, peppery citrus zest.

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    (Em)powered by collaboration, the Kolab Project Growers Series highlights some of the unique partnerships born from a shared commitment to quality, refinement, and continuous experimentation.

    In conversation with Safari Flower Co.:

    “Language helps to shape, and define, our everyday experiences. Intentionally, we refer to our cultivars as ‘wild’ — allowing consumers to know, and on some level, innately understand, that our seeds and plants are grown from designer strains allowed to develop their distinct characteristics over many years of creative breeding. This idea of language enabling experience is carried through in our tasting notes, using common, accessible verbiage to help you better facilitate and evolve your personal rituals — what does a ‘sweet’ strain bring you personally, versus one with a ‘diesel’ or ‘berry’ finish? Language helps to establish the relationship between You and the Object (or Act). Cannabis consumption is extremely personal. Navigate it in a way that feels correct for you. It’s part of our responsibility as new wave growers and producers to connect our world to others.”

  • Beauty is subjective. One’s individual appraisal of an object’s beauty may focus on its physical appearance. It may note its colour, or its shape. It may pay particular attention to the object’s details, highlighting textures or imperfections, categorizing peculiarities as charming or characterful. Or, it may abandon all corporal criteria focusing instead on its function, relocating value to purpose. Beauty in how an object performs. In how an object interacts with its environment, and with its user.

    Beauty in its need to exist.

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    Shane Krepakevich, the principal designer and founder of Toronto-based, research-driven studio Mercury Bureau, seeks to make items which drive impact. Items which make a difference in one’s day to day, and imprint on the way we understand the world around us. Existing within the space between science, curiosity, and contemporary art, Mercury Bureau designs limited edition objects which emerge from an experimental studio practice.

    Kolab Project recently engaged Mercury Bureau to collaborate on the Minimum Tray, a multi-purpose, machine-brushed aluminum surface intended for use alongside your personal ritual, transforming from rolling tray to ashtray as your own ritual progresses.

    THE MINIMUM TRY - AVAILABLE SOON
    To maintain the integrity and appearance of the tray, wipe down with soap and warm water using a soft-fibre cloth.

  • Kolab Project is proud to announce the launch of our Kalifornia strain, available in dried flower, in collaboration with Lotus Cannabis Co.—a premium cannabis producer based out of the northern Okanagan region in British Columbia.

    Containing high THC (between 17% – 25%) and virtually no CBD, Kalifornia is a unique, heavy-hitting Indica dominant strain, bred from crossing the legendary Nepali OG with 88 G-13 Hashplant. The primary terpenes found in Kalifornia are beta-myrcene and limonene, while its aroma and tasting notes bring to mind dense, lush vegetation: woody and earthy, with sharp, spicy undertones.

    Driven by our shared commitment to quality, refinement, and continuous improvement, Kalifornia is grown using high-calibrated automated systems, ensuring optimal grow conditions and a consistent product. All bud is trimmed by hand, then harvested and cured using a slower dry process at a low temperature. “Perfect for that slow summer night — or simply surfing at your own pace.” In conversation with Lotus Cannabis Co.:

    How does experimentation lend itself to your day to day?

    Experimentation is very rarely incidental, or free-flowing. There’s a certain level of rigour in all that we do — all of our ideas or hypotheses are rooted in, and validated by, empirical findings, and executed upon extremely thoughtfully. Any minor adjustments made may have tremendous impact on the final product, and in our consumers’ experiences. However, there is always value in seeking out new ways to do things — experimentation is an important step in refinement, of both your product and your process.

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    “Experimentation is an important step in refinement, of both your product and your process”

    What are the brand values / ethos driving your work?

    To grow cannabis requires not only an extensive understanding of the plant, but also an understanding of human nature; putting into practice one’s education and technical abilities while balancing it with the everyday realities of the product. Cannabis consumption is a unique and personal ritual; the complexities surrounding the plant and its uses is a bit like wine in that respect. People might seek out specific strains for X and another strain for Y, and it’s important to understand how one’s experience will differ based on the decisions made at the growth and cultivation stages.

    What does the future for cannabis hold?

    The possibilities are endless! At Lotus, we often talk about the need to have a high comprehension for potential in growing — making decisions based on a calculated, thoughtful understanding of what the consequences of your actions will be. The industry as a whole is no different. It’s the responsibility of seasoned vets to create space for others to come in and evolve existing ideas (or bring forth new ones).

  • Ritual is highly personal. It’s a moment carved out with intention, defined only by one’s own ongoing commitment to it. It can be loud and performative. It can be quiet and understated. The participant powers the ritual, allowing it to be.

    Toronto’s Fran Miller is the founder and namesake of F. Miller Skincare, an all-natural skincare line which prioritizes minimalism in the pursuit of quality. Kolab Project recently engaged Fran and her team to collaborate on a three-piece essentials collection featuring a Roll-on, a Multi-Balm, and a Balancing Mist.

    What is the driving vision behind your work?

    F. Miller Skincare is an extension of myself and the value I put on simplicity, ritual, and plant-based body care. The brand was founded on the desire to integrate the highest quality holistic ingredients with timeless, effortless minimalism—an offering that I felt was lacking in the overwhelming world of beauty and skincare at the time. After struggling with personal skin sensitivities while trying to lean into a more natural daily routine, I found it hard to source clean products that were all at once highly effective, a sensorial pleasure to use, and beautifully packaged. So I sought out to create my own.

    I believe that the simplest, smallest acts of daily ritual can have a profound effect on our physical body, mental clarity, energy and mood. I hope that the daily essentials we have created with Kolab will encourage and enhance mindfulness and consistency in those small personal moments of balance, calm and grounding.

    “Find the ritual within your reach”

    Unmute

    What do your own self-care rituals look like?

    For me, minimalism and ritual are interconnected. If a ritual is too elaborate, I often won't connect to it as deeply and in turn am more likely to push it to the bottom of the priority list. Self-care is essential for our own well-being and, ultimately, that of the ones closest to us or who may rely on us. That being said, it doesn't have to be expensive, complicated or perceived in this self-indulgent way that many view it.

    My version consists of simple morning and evening rituals that I end up looking forward to throughout my day. I’ll burn an oil blend or incense while doing a 5 minute morning meditation, followed by 5 min of stretching. I use energizing essential oils in the shower to help wake up, quick minimal skincare and then take 10 min to sit with a coffee while journaling and organizing my day. Evenings are all about shutting off and calming down; often with herbal tea, a bath, and any skincare routines that are more involved. Find the ritual within your reach.

    Available soon from participating online retailers. Sign up for our newsletter for more updates.

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  • Designed in collaboration with Toronto-based studio IV, the LAB001 space—located in Lloydminster, SK from 2019-2020—was approached with the hope of creating not only a shoppable destination, but a transformative experience unlike any other.

    Part storefront, part living design exploration, LAB001 as a tangible extension of the Kolab Project brand; an organic intersection of culture, commerce, and experience rooted in an ever-evolving story.

    With sensitivity to the town of Lloydminster and the space’s natural and built surroundings, we aimed to create a space that looks both forwards and backwards: a reflection of the Canadian cannabis industry at large, recognizing those who came before us while imagining where we could go next.

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  • Kolab Project partnered with OCAD U to create an exclusive call for submissions from members of the OCAD U community. The Next Fourteen Days is a new initiative that will provide grants to realize 14 new projects, created by OCAD U senior students, recent alumni and also select faculty. These projects will document new work created over a period of 14 days in May 2020. Collectively and individually these works will speak to this time of physical distancing and self-isolation.

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    The Next Fourteen Days is an experiment in social connection. Using creative practice to bridge social distancing, this initiative has been developed in an effort to offer a reprieve from our collective isolation, to champion creativity and to support cultural production in these challenging times. We thank all those who submitted project proposals. All those whose projects were selected by our jury panel received financial grants in order to fund the completion of their projects.

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    HOME PAGE: Neil Guo, The Family Table

    CURRENT PAGE: Neil Guo, The Family Table (process work) / Nick Alexander and Priya Bandodkar, Simular / Anna Pogossyan, Looking Up / Camille Marcoux, Spinning Through / Toko Hosoya, Kami / Andrew Atkin, Happy Alchemy (process work)

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