Concordia University

Dr. Matt Soar, PhD

Associate Professor & BA Programs Director, Communication Studies

Office: L-CJ 4329 
Communication Studies and Journalism Building,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 2542
Website(s): Montreal Signs Project
Lost Leaders: The metadata of film
Flight YMX
Availability: Office hours: 10am-12pm Wednesdays and by appointment

I am an intermedia artist, chiefly a filmmaker and writer, with a scholarly background in design, media and cultural studies. My research-creation activities usually lie at the juncture of residual and emergent media forms. My primary teaching area is Intermedia; I have also taught courses on cultural production and media ethnography, and signs and public lettering. My graduate degrees in Communication are from Simon Fraser University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Graduate Supervision

PhD students (recent)

Mr. Aaron Goodman (2015 - ). Challenging Photojournalistic Representation about Drug Users through Interactive Documentary. [research-creation].

Ms. Myriam Rafla (2013 - 2016). I Am Story. [research-creation].

Dr. Jacqueline Wallace (2009-2014). Women’s Creative Labour: DIY networks and the indie crafts movement.

Dr. Mélanie Hogan (2008-2012). Crashing the Archive: A Research-Creation Intervention into the SAW Video Mediatheque [research-creation].

MA students (recent)

Ms. Andrea Marek (2016 -  ). Adult animation in film and television [research-creation].

Ms. Belinda Oldford (2013 - 2016). Auteur Animation: Drawing out urban homelessness [research-creation].

Mr. David Widgington (2012-2014). Archival (de/re)Sedimentation: Creating an Active Archive of The Political Graphics of the Maple Spring [research-creation].

Mr. Jordan Coulombe (2012-2014). Designing a Historically-minded Literary Zine about Contemporary Gay Men’s Culture in Canada. (Co-supervisor) [research-creation].


1. SIGNS AND PUBLIC LETTERING: I am the founding director of the Montreal Signs Project. My current FQRSC Appui à la recherche-création grant, titled Les enseignes de Montréal: Culture, technologie, patrimoine, is in three parts: a web doc about the histories of signmaking in Montreal (currently in production), a gallery installation on human migration called Flight YMX (in pre-production), and a symposium on signs and lettering, projected for 2018. 2. DATABASE-DRIVEN STORYTELLING: From 2012 to 2015 I was Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Research/Creation in the Fine Arts grant titled Adventures in Research-Creation. My teammate was Dr. Monika Kin Gagnon, and our collaborators were Florian Thalhofer, Phil Hoffman, and Midi Onodera. Our event Database | Narrative | Archive, an international symposium on digital nonlinear storytelling, was held at Concordia in May 2011; Dr Gagnon and I subsequently co-edited the DNA Anthology, a post-symposium collection of seven nonlinear, interactive essays built using Scalar. From 2008 to 2016 I was codirector of development for the Korsakow System. In May 2015, Phil Hoffman launched his Korsakow film Racing Home, an extended, lyrical exercise in 'posthumous cinema'. 3. LOST LEADERS: An ongoing research-creation project on the history of film leader standards in the US and Canada (see image below).

Lost Leaders #15 (stained glass, 12 x 9", 2014)


I am currently working on an article about the cultural lives of the countdown. My essay on the development of film leader standards in the US and Canada is currently under review. A short piece called Memory, Materiality, and the Montreal Signs Project is forthcoming in an an edited collection about design and thing theory. Making (with) the Korsakow System: Database Documentaries as Articulation and Assemblage is my contribution to the edited collection New Documentary Ecologies (Palgrave McMillan 2014). Another essay, If you’re asking it’s not fair dealing: Animating Canadian copyright issues in a read-write classroom appears in R. Coombe & D. Henry (Eds.) (2014) Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian culture online (University of Toronto Press). My short essay 26 ways of thinking about a graphic advocacy poster appears in Liz Resnick’s Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age (2001-2012).

Workshops, Panels, Residencies

From 2008 to 2016 I was co-developer of the Korsakow System, a software application for nonlinear storytelling. I have taught dozens of Korsakow workshops, eg Concordia, UdM, Montreal Encuentro, NYU, RMIT, USC, and the Universities of Bologna, Colorado, and Western Sydney. In May 2016 I was part of a 'critical karaoke' panel at the Canadian Communication Association annual conference in Calgary, with a very short presentation titled 'Flight YMX: Migration, Remediation, and Montreal-Mirabel International Airport'. In April 2016 I premiered a 'handwritten' cameraless animation at the 10th Orphan Film Symposium in Culpeper, VA, and gave a short talk as part of the McCord Museum's Échanges Urbains lecture series. In May 2015 I gave a talk on Lost Leaders at Poetics & Politics of Documentary 2 (UCSC). In May 2014 I was part of a research-creation panel at the International Communication Association’s annual conference in Seattle. In October 2014 I had a two-week residency at the Banff Centre, which led to this short artist's profile. In March 2014 I had a brief artist’s residency at the Media Archaeology Lab at UC Boulder. During the same trip I gave an artist’s talk at Counterpath in Denver about Lost Leaders. In March 2014 I presented on Lost Leaders at the ninth Orphan Film Symposium, in Amsterdam.


Academy/Society/Universal: 3 Handwritten Leader Standards. Premiered at Orphans X (Packard Campus, Library of Congress, Culpeper VA, March 2016).

Lost Leaders #1 and Lost Leaders #18 ‘Handwritten Universal (PH22.55-1966)’. Poetics & Politics 2 (UCSC, Santa Cruz, May 2015).

Lost Leaders #18 ‘Handwritten Universal (PH22.55-1966)’. New Experimental Works (ATA/OtherCinema, San Francisco, May 2015).

Not As I Do (2009) and Untitled/Film Farm Alfabet (2009). A Pact with the Process: 20 Years of Film Farm (Pleasure Dome, Toronto, September 2014).

Lost Leaders #1. Montreal Underground Film Festival, May 2014.

Lost Leaders #14. FUSE #2: Mobile Interactive Microcinema. (Ann Arbor, April 2014).

Lost Leaders #14. Orphan Film Symposium (Amsterdam, March 2014).

Ceci N’est Pas Embres (2012, database diary film) selected for the Docs 2.0 section of RIDM 2013.

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