I am interested in the digital-“collaborations” facilitated by internet platforms and content creation that contribute the small bits of image and sound repurposed in my GIFs/short-loop animations. My emerging new-media practice has a particular focus on how GIFs and short-loops can be used to explore circular narratives, reanimate social justice messages, vision/generate new symbols and the role sound plays in cementing ideas and alerting/notifying audiences to an issues of collective concern.

In 2012 I created, Occupy the Zoo: A numbers game, an all-night interactive image theatre installation involving 42 soft sculpture birds, a digital camera and a tv screen, that explored political systems, law enforcement, protest movements and media narratives through role play, for Nuit Blanche at the Gladstone Hotel. That same year, I took my sewing machine into a Toronto motorcycle shop over the period of a month to create (on site) Soft Chopper, a life-sized motorcycle made from repurposed lingerie and silky garments.

My exploration of new media as it relates to both my multidisciplinary and arts education ( nevergalleryready.com ) practices, began in 2014 with a Chalmer’s Research Fellowship. Recently, I travelled to work with established artists James Kerr (aka Scorpion Dagger) and Lauren Marsden to explore the many methods and histories behind the GIF and its use in both internet art and the existing gallery/museum systems, which I write about in my blog.

I (karen darricades) am an artist, educator, community activist and writer. Since completing my Honours BA in visual arts and linguistics at the University of Toronto in 2004, I have worked in publishing, art directed films and exhibited my wearable art, soft sculptures and interactive installation works.

My art works have been exhibited through Gallery 1313, Luc Sculpture Gallery, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Free Gallery, The World of Threads festival: a Common Threads International Exhibit, and commissioned works have been sold through The Textile Museum of Canada's shop. My writing has been published in print through THIS Magazine, HERizons Magazine, Broken Pencil, Nukta Art and Peru This Week, and online at TextileArtist.org

My multidisciplinary interactive installations and new media works explore social organizing and cultural narratives as reflected through mainstream culture and language. Responding to and remixing found/archival images, familiar sounds and ubiquitous narratives is the common thread that runs through my work. I am interested in how power works, value-systems are nurtured and ideas are spread through networked technologies and interfacing and also starting at a young age with the way we explain the world to children using idioms, tropes and songs. My short-loop frame-animations re-purpose content (paper and digital) in the public domain or creative commons in order to borrow and build on the meaning they carry and interrogate the cultural mythologies they hold.