The Tenses of the Virtual

We tend to think of the virtual world as being similar to the imaginary. Perhaps this is because even though digitally enhanced perception – augmented and virtual reality – is already part of our daily lives, it still seems to be somehow of the future. At the same time, we often imagine the future as a world saturated with digital media, and as a place where the “real” and the “virtual” will have become inseparable.
The presentations during this session dig into the relationship between digital technologies and the ways in which we represent the future to ourselves.


FICTIONAL CERTAINTY: Nannini Lee Balakrishnan and Daniel Ura explore how cinematic representations of the future construct the horizons of technological possibility that we strive towards.

COLLABORATING WITH CODE: Tobias Willams describes how using 3D scanning and algorithmic tools are used to represent materiality in advance of constructing, and how this method of rendering makes our imagination of the future concrete in the present.

UNIVERSAL FUTURES: Samaa Ahmed, Bijun Chen, Sara Gazzaz, Ginger Guo, Katie Micak, and Ania Medrek present a speculative promotional video for a future graduate program at OCAD in 2032 in order to play with, and critique, the idea that the digital = the future.


OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnabe and the Huron-Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand.