Monthly Archives

October 2012

Webinar: Opiods Friend or Foe?

By | Events

CIRPD and PainBC with the support of the Canadian Pain Coalition, are pleased to announce the next webinar in our webinar series, “Chronic Pain, Improving Life While Living It”. This free webinar series, provides an opportunity forfor people living with pain as well as their families to learn from top researchers and practitioners how to live well with chronic pain.

Join us October 24th for the third webinar of our current online education series:

TOPIC: Opioids: Friend or Foe?

Andrea Furlan MD, PhD (Associate Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health)

There is plenty of confusing and contradictory information available about using opioids to treat chronic pain. There are issues around addiction, dependency, and overdose that can be hard to understand.  Dr. Andrea Furlan will help us navigate the difficult topic of using opioids for chronic pain treatment.

DATE: October 24, 2012 11:00 am noon (PDT) / 2 – 3:00 pm (EDT)


Wired Cafe: Arthritis Management in a Digital World

By | Events

Dr. Diane Gromala will be part of a panel discussing arthritis management in a digital world at the W2 Media Café, 111 West Hastings Street, Vancouver on Tuesday, October 16.

The rapid growth of digital media has provided tremendous opportunities to access health care when and where it is needed. From social networking tools and interactive websites, to animations and virtual realities, online and mobile technologies can improve access to treatment and support for people of all ages living with arthritis. Learn the latest from clinicians and researchers at BC Childrens Hospital, the Centre for Digital Media, the University of British Columbia and the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada.

Other panel members are Dr. Lori Tucker, Dr. Linda Li and Dr. Anne Townsend. The cafe starts at 6 p.m. and is free. If you cant attend in person, you can still be there digitally; just go to

Click here for more information.

Diane Gromala made GRAND Director of Health Research

By | Collaborations

GRAND is a research network and commercialization engine whose goal is to address complex issues in digital media and transform multidisciplinary research into user-centred solutions. GRAND explores the use and application of digital media in a variety of settings including entertainment, healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and public policy.

GRAND is a federally-funded Network of Centres of Excellence supporting 34 research projects divided into 5 cross-pollinating themes involving researchers at 25 universities across Canada with more than 60 industry, government, and nonprofit partners.

Agitating Algae: Physical Computing and Bioluminescent Displays

By | Conferences

Tyler Fox presented a workshop on Agitating Algae: Physical Computing and Bioluminescent Displays at ISEA 2012, the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Art, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sept. 19-24.

Heres the abstract for the workshop:

This workshop will introduce participants to bioluminescent dinoflagellates—marine dwelling, single-celled algae that emit light upon physical agitation. Using Arduino and simple physical computing arrangements, we will explore various ways to connect the inorganic with the organic, in our case using digital micro-controllers, motors, and bioluminescent algae. Additionally, participants will learn about bioluminescent dinoflagellates in nature, how to grow them at home, and will be offered their own packet of bioluminescent algae to take home. This workshop will be informal and casual, focusing on creativity and exploration rather than on developing engineering know-how.

The conference proceedings can be found here:

Tracing Transduction and Information in the Living Arts

By | Conference Papers

Tyler Fox presented his paper, Tracing Transduction and Information in the Living Arts, co-written by Diane Gromala, at nohuman, the 26th annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, held in Milwaukee, Sept. 27-29.

The abstract of the paper reads as follows:

Gilbert Simondon offers a definition of information in opposition to the quantification of signal and noise introduced by Claude Shannon and information theory. For Simondon, information is “the tension between two disparate realities.” In this way, information precedes individuation, which results in resolutions, however partial, of such tension. If information precedes individuation, it is through processes of transduction that individuation occurs. Corresponding to relations of the disparate realities that require information and individuation, transduction can be traced through the structures and patterns that emerge from resolving a given set of relations, specifically patterns and structures that were not present before transduction. In this paper, I implement Simondon’s conceptualization of information and transduction as theoretical touchstones in relation to several recent works of art involving living entities, including a work in progress of my own. These artworks combine organic and inorganic materials and processes, bringing together “disparate realities” through nonhuman assemblages, and in ways that productively challenge the application of information theory to life in general. Thus, the emergent relations and resolutions brought forth through praxis and in the experience of these artworks offer useful points of exploration of Simondon’s ideas. Simondons work offers rich conceptual tools with which to trace how the informational demands and processes of transduction shift through the separate events of making and experiencing art.

Sound Design: A Procedural Communication Model for VE

By | Conference Papers

Pain Lab researcher Mark Nazemi presented his paper, co-written with Diane Gromala, on Sound Design: A Procedural Communication Model for VE at the seventh Audio Mostly conference in Corfu, Greece, September 26-28.

The full paper is available here. The abstract reads as follows:

In this paper, we address the issue of sound mapping in virtual environments (VEs). Currently, the use of sound in virtual environments is shifting towards adaptive or generative techniques in which sound no longer has a static quality but is dynamic via real-time controls that modify the tonal characteristics over time. We build upon the acoustic communication model posited by Barry Truax by examining two aspects: how sound mediates information and its importance to the listener through cognitive processing. Using this model and investigating the qualitative aspects of soundwalks, soundscape composition, and sound in virtual reality (VR), we present a hybrid model, which addresses the use of procedural sound design techniques to enhance the communicative and pragmatic role of sound in virtual environments. The end result produces a sonic environment that heightens the listeners experience and cognitively engages them to sounds within a specific time and space.