The Digital Ceramics Archive Research

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This research/creation project will investigate the interface between ceramics and computer technologies, by bringing together two forms of archives, one archeological, one digital; two forms of experience, one physical, one virtual; two forms of digitalization, one tactile (direct and real), and the other, well, digital (a simulacra). It will also combine two forms of space, one material and the other virtual and bring together the universality of ceramics with the ubiquity of the digital world. This research/creation will progressively develop over a three years period. The first year will consist of specific research and the collection of data and materials to be compiled in an interactive website. The second year will consist of the development of complex 3D forms and complex 2D surfaces for these forms, using computer assisted design software (CAD). The third year will yield the prototyping of 3D models by computer assisted modeling (CAM), the making of molds and the creation of ceramic objects combining these forms and surfaces (computer printed ceramic transfers). This potential for the interaction between complex forms and equally complex surfaces can only be achieved with the help of computer technologies. The intent is to create singular objects in an experimental environment with actual results that are more qualitative than quantitative.
My practice has always been three fold: a continuous studio practice, a deep engagement with teaching and scholarly research. All three aspects have yielded important outcomes and international recognition. The proposed research/creation project incorporates all three aspects of my practice.

This research will position Canada strategically within this new field of inquiry. Undergraduate students at ECI will be involved with all aspects of the research/creation throughout the three years of the project. This will directly support and expand their skills and abilities and provide experience that they can apply to their own art creation and their future professional practices.


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This research/ creation project is funded by a three-year grant (2007-2010) from SSHRC.

The Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is funding this research. It is a federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, the Council enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada, and facilitates knowledge sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society.

Research in the social sciences and humanities advances knowledge and builds understanding about individuals, groups and societies- what we think, how we live and how we interact with each other and the world around us.

The Council also funds university-based research/ creation in the Visual Arts.

SSHRC fosters the development of talented and creative people who become leaders across the private and public sectors and who are critical to Canada's success in the globalized 21st Century.

Paul Mathieu

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Paul Mathieu has been teaching ceramics in the Faculty of Visual and Material Cultures at Emily Carr University, since 1996. His work in ceramics uses function and decoration as concepts to explore the specificity of ceramics within art and culture. Altogether art, design, media and crafts, the works contest and subvert these categories to show their irrelevancy, ultimately. To find out more about him and his works, check his website at

Emily Carr University

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Established in 1925, and based in Vancouver, BC, Emily Carr University of Art + Design is one of Canada's premier, post-secondary universities specializing in undergraduate and graduate art and design education and research.

Emily Carr is dedicated to fostering an educational environment that is professional, practice oriented and at the same time rooted in history and critical theory.

Intersections Digital Studio

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This research takes place primarily in the Intersections Digital Studio (IDS) at the Emily Carr University.

The Intersections Digital Studio (IDS) is Emily Carr University's dedicated research space. It is composed of three theme studios: the Motion Capture and Visualization studio, the Wearables and Interactive Products studio, and the Prototyping + Media + Programming studio.

The studios give faculty and graduate students access to state of the art digital technologies to develop and enhance projects in all disciplines. These technologies were chosen to bridge digital and material practices and promote collaboration between departments.

Copyright Paul Mathieu © 2009

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