Upcoming Events at the Asian Institute

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April 2019

  • Tuesday, April 23rd Urban Data as Public Space

    DateTimeLocation
    Tuesday, April 23, 20194:00PM - 6:00PM108N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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    Series

    Global Taiwan Lecture Series

    Description

    At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Internet companies applied their online knowledge to the analogue world for the first time. Facebook, Palantir, Microsoft and Google tried to impress the business elite with three-storey-high temporary buildings at the most central spots in Davos, and Google revealed its ambition to build an entire suburb of Toronto.

    In this talk Von Borries argues that Google’s “Sidewalk City Lab” applies reinforced learning, a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to the real world. (Similar approaches can be observed at Microsoft’s CityNext, Baidou AI City Xiongang, Moscow, Taipei and Singapore Smart Nation, and it is only a question of time until Facebook and Tencent will join in.) This has implications not only for architecture as a creative handcraft, but more importantly for the relationship between people (especially minorities, notoriously overlooked by code based on statistics), as well as social relations, and the private sector.

    In this new setting, city planning and architectural design are sourced through machine learning algorithms fed by the big data collected from anyone involved— be they future tenants or critics—potentially any user of Google’s services, in the case of Toronto. Ultimately, we all become unconscious architects as our digital lives are exploited as data. Still, for some time, the results will be unpredictable, even for Google’s coders. It remains to be seen if this can be interpreted as an opportunity or as a failure.

    The Taiwanese architect Hsieh Ying-Chun has another approach to collaboration. He considers architecture and town-planning a collective endeavour and a participatory effort.

    Smart city algorithms lead to the disappearance of the architect. This lecture aims to highlight how “Urban Data as Public Space” is actually working and how it is different from supposedly similar developments on China’s New Silk Road. Lanzhou New Area is a rather top-down, centrally planned development, reminiscent of Corbusier’s 90 year-old Plan Voisin for Paris, but pimped up with cinema-city style theme parks. Last but not least, Von Borries will connect this discussion to central Moscow, where urban facades mimic a clichéd Russian-ness for the football World Cup and beyond, combined with facial recognition software for all.

    The lecture will be accompanied by excerpts of Christian von Borries’ upcoming social science fiction film AI is the Answer – What was the Question?

    Christian von Borries is a musician and film director who was guest professor for architecture at Nuremberg’s Art Academy. He is a visiting professor at the School of Inter-Media Art at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. He lives in a self developed green house on top of an old warehouse building in Berlin. His artistic practice can be read in the tradition of the Situationist’s psychogeography. He just cocurated a tech fair in Seoul and Beijing called A BETTER VERSION OF YOU. Together with Andreas Dzialocha, he is AI Unit.


    Speakers

    Christian von Borries
    Speaker
    Musician and film director; Visiting Professor at the School of Inter-Media Art, China Academy of Art in Hangzhou

    Tong Lam
    Chair
    Academic Director, Global Taiwan Studies Initiative

    Associate Professor, Department of Historical Studies, Graduate Department of History


    Sponsors

    Global Taiwan Studies Initiative

    Co-Sponsors

    Development Seminar at University of Toronto


    If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

    Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.



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May 2019

  • Thursday, May 30th Asian Heritage Month Festival 2019

    DateTimeLocation
    Thursday, May 30, 20191:00PM - 2:00PMToronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.; Metro Hall Rotunda, 55 John St.
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    Description

    Opening Ceremony with Special Presentations & Launch of Asian Canadian Artists in Digital Age Workshops

    *Please click here to RSVP on Eventbrite*

    @ City Hall Rotunda & City Hall Library (100 Queen St. W.)
    SUNDAY, APRIL 21 | 2-6 PM

    Mr. Justin Poy | “What’s happening in the world of film in China, and its opportunities for Canada”?”

    Over the last two decades we have seen China develop into a blockbuster machine. Yet, Chinese films rarely get much international attention. Is it an intentional snub? Or are Chinese films not made for the international market? Was “Wolf Warrior 2” actually a good action flick? Or was it good considering it came from China? With recent big budget flops like “Asura” (backed in part by Alibaba’s Jack Ma), that cost $122MM USD to make yet only brought in $7.1MM before it was yanked from theatres, to cross over movies like “The Great Wall” starring leading man, Matt Damon, that garnered a dismal audience and reviews — what is actually happening that has made “Chinawood” rethink their movie production formula? How can Canada optimize this opportunity, and what are the implications for Toronto, Hollywood North?

    Mr. Stephen Siu | “Jews in Shanghai — Revisited and Parallels to Canada”

    Stephen is the producer of the “Jews in Shanghai” project in Toronto and a researcher on that period of history who has met with Dr Ho Feng Shan’s daughter Manli Ho in both Winnipeg and Toronto, and interviewed the head of the Jewish Studies Centre in Shanghai. Dr Ho was the Chinese Consul General to Vienna from 1938 to 1940, and he was called “Chinese Schindler” because he saved thousands of Jews. How will this talk rekindle memories of the Holocaust, and in what ways Toronto is serving similar roles as Shanghai in addressing multiculturalism and providing asylum?

    SUNDAY, APRIL 21 – THURSDAY, APRIL 25
    Art & Photo Exhibitions at City Hall Rotunda

    THURSDAY, MAY 16 – THURSDAY, MAY 30
    Art & Photo Exhibitions at City Hall Library

    THURSDAY, MAY 30 | 1-2 PM
    Professor Chef Leo Chan’s Presentation at City Hall Library
    “Chinese festivals and Foods” | City Hall Library will focus on the Dragon Boat Festival

    *******************
    @ Metro Hall Rotunda (55 John St.)
    MONDAY, MAY 13 – SUNDAY, MAY 19
    Asian Heritage Month Art & Photo Exhibitions at Metro Hall Rotunda

    Co-Sponsors

    Asian Heritage Month - Canadian Foundation for Asian Culture (Central Ontario) Inc.

    Canada Council for the Arts

    Cambridge Food & Wine Society

    Chinese Canadian Photography Society of Toronto

    Department of Canadian Heritage and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Government of Canada

    Richard Charles Lee Canada - Hong Kong Library

    Social Services Network

    The Justin Poy Agency

    York Centre for Asian Research, York University

    WE Artists' Group

    Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy


    If you are attending a Munk School event and require accommodation(s), please email the event contact listed above to make appropriate arrangements.

    Disclaimer: Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.



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