Prof tackles virtual cycle across Canada
Virtual training soon to be a reality for RCMP cadets
Megan Smith, PhD is a new media artist. Her art works have been shown internationally and she is a recognized leader in virtual reality hardware development. Her most recent virtual reality innovation is being developed in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where she runs a team studying object presence in use-of-force training and simulation. Her art practice probes new systems for delivering syndicated data through narrative structure and she often works with virtual and augmented reality, geo-location, live-feed installation, and performance as methods for storytelling. Over a two-year period, Smith rode a networked vintage stationary bike across Canada through Google Street View, from her studio in Regina, Canada. The performance was live-cast and over 330 hours of the journey are archived on YouTube. Smith cycled through over 600,000 360-degree images, along 6,143 km of Trans-Canada highway. She calls this project an adventure in physical computing. ‘Riding Through Walls’ was part of the 2016 Project Anywhere global exhibition, and eventually moved to the Dunlop Art Gallery for its performance finale in June 2018. Smith was Creative Director and co-Founder of Canada’s national capital Nuit Blanche festival (2012-2015), a pop-up Contemporary Art event focused on embedding temporary transformative projects into public spaces. The festival annually hosted over a hundred artists from diverse areas of practice and was regularly attended by thousands of smiling people. Smith holds a PhD in Contemporary Art & Graphic Design from Leeds Beckett University. She has taught at Leeds College of Art, the University of Ottawa, University of Regina and she joins the Faculty of Creative & Critical Studies, at the University of British Columbia as Associate Professor in Creative Technology in July 2020.