The first conference on the theme of light – Toronto / Montreal / Lille: Lumières des Lumière – was held at Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains (Lille, France) in February 2011. The second conference – Toronto / Montreal / Lille: Lumières de la ville – was held at the Université du Québec à Montréal in February 2013. The third and last conference of this cycle – Toronto / Montreal / Lille: The Inventions of Light / Les inventions de la lumière – will be a bilingual event to be held at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) in February 2016.

We welcome paper proposals from academics and graduate students, as well as abstracts from artists whose work is at the crossroads of research and creation in the field of photography, film, and media arts.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

Light & Reason: The World Illuminated

A discussion of light and seeing, and the interrelationships among light, phenomena of the visible world, and philosophical thinking about visible experience.

Light & Imagination: Metaphors and Visions

A discussion of artists using light in a metaphorical sense, this session will move from the realm of the visible to that of the imagined and the metaphorical. Just as light illuminates the world, it also illuminates the imagination.

Light & Imagination: Projection and Darkness

A discussion of light as projected into/onto darkness, and darkness as a quality in itself, exploring both expressive and metaphorical aspects, this discussion may include visual artists concerned with the lower range of the tone scale: the range of the twilit, the tenebrous, the shadowed, the threatened or the obscured.

Visible / Invisible

A discussion of how technology has expanded the realm of the visible in both arts and sciences. This includes X-ray and infrared technologies as well as high-speed imaging and remote surveillance.

Flash, Lightning, Explosion

A discussion of the use of all types of flash in photography and film, both historical and contemporary. This session will explore the invention and development of flash technology, and the expressive uses of flash devices in both documentary practice and other realms of image-making.

Nuclear Light: Revelation and Apocalypse

A discussion of the unique qualities of nuclear light, as documented by a generation of filmmakers, photographers, and media artists. This will be followed by a presentation of imagery of the post-nuclear world, both illuminated and in darkness.


The conference proceedings of the first two symposia have been published by Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains and are in press with Presses de l’Université du Québec. The organizers anticipate that the bilingual conference proceedings will be published, too.

Please send proposals (including your name, institutional affiliation, working title of paper, 100-word bio, and 300-word abstract) to lessard at and pierre.tremblay at by June 15, 2015. For more information, please email Pierre Tremblay at pierre.tremblay at

Organising Committee :

  • Pierre Tremblay (Professeur agrégé, School of Image Arts, Ryerson U.)
  • Gerda Cammaer (Professeure agrégée, School of Image Arts, Ryerson U.)
  • Bruno Lessard (Professeur agrégé, School of Image Arts, Ryerson U.)
  • Don Snyder (Professeur, School of Image Arts, Ryerson U.)