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Walking Matters: A Peripatetic Experience of The Halifax Explosion

Narratives in Space + Time Society is a creative research group based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. It facilitates projects involving intergenerational mobile media and walking practices to elicit stories and civic engagements in often unexpected ways, connecting and disrupting history, habit and the present. As an artist group, NiS+TS works together creatively and collegially through walking, looking, talking, documenting and sharing media. We do this walking work in order to ‘make spaces’ for ameliorating traditional power relationships (e.g. class, gender, race) in the neighbourhoods where we live, intervene and participate. One aim is to balance ‘real life’ and virtual experiences that can consider, challenge and restructure specific places of power and connectivity. By employing and analyzing co-creative opportunities arising from the group’s ongoing digital and mobility practices, NiS+TS is able to enact an explicitly critical and intersectional approach to collaboration, facilitated by artists, historians, architects and communications experts, including the expertise of citizens on the ground. The research-creation outputs of NiS+TS probe what happens when innovative new media and software-based storytelling, urban development consultations and a critical scrutiny of colonial histories of settlement and other traumas are brought into dialogue with today’s class, gender, race and related concerns. Our ongoing work is recognized provincially and nationally, including through scholarly and arts grants, as well as partners and supporters such as the City of Halifax, Nova Scotia Museums and Archives, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Nova Scotia 150 Forward Fund, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and more than 60 other collaborators. Over the last three years, a suite of public art walks has comprised the group’s current overarching project, “Walking the Debris Field: Public Geographies of the Halifax Explosion.” The project is creating content for two exhibitions and an array of walking-based activities for the Explosion’s centenary in 2017, the same year that marks Canada’s 150th anniversary as a nation-state. During this roundtable, members of NiS+TS and some of their collaborators talk about what it means—or could mean—to employ and deploy co-creation, digital technology, commissioning and making as a shared methodology.


Robert Bean (NSCAD University), Renée Gruszecki (historian), Brian Lilley (Dalhousie School of Architecture), Barbara Lounder (NSCAD University), Mary Elizabeth Luka (York University) from NiS+TS, and collaborators Peter Dykhuis (Director/Curator, Dalhousie Art Gallery); Angela Henderson (artist & educator); James Forren (Dalhousie School of Architecture); Catherine Martin (Mount Saint Vincent University Nancy’s Chair & filmmaker); Derek Reilly (Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science); Ren Thomas (Dalhousie School of Planning); and several students involved in the project.

Hosted at NSCAD University, supported by Dalhousie & York Universities, and presented by The Fourchettes (, as part of a series of seminars on Critical Methods in Technoculture funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

NSCAD Art Bar | 1873 Granville Street | Friday, February 17, 2017 | 3 – 5 p.m. | Food and refreshments will be provided |To ensure we have enough, RSVP to