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Leila Sujir

Associate Professor, and Chair, Intermedia (Video, Performance and Electronic Arts), Studio Arts

Leila Sujir
Office: S-EV 6821 
Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex,
1515 St. Catherine W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 4681

Areas of expertise

Intermedia, Video Art, Performative Video

Leila Sujir is an artist and associate professor at Concordia University in the Intermedia (Video, Performance, Electronic Arts) area, where she is also chair of the Studio Arts Department. She is working on new video projections: one based on the forests near Port Renfrew on the west coast of Canada and one continuing her focus on migration and family history.

A large format video art commission, Aerial, an artistic experiment with IMAX technologies will be exhibited in IMAX theaters throughout 2019-2020, along with the work of four other artists (Oliver Husain, Lisa Jackson, Kelly Richardson, and Michael Snow). The commission by Janine Marchessault with Outer Worlds, supported by a Canada Council New Chapter grant, launched in Toronto April 18, 2019 at Cinesphere as the closing night of the  Images festival. 

Forest!, a stereoscopic 3D video installation in progress, invites the viewer to walk into a forest of pixels; it is being prepared for an upcoming solo exhibition in at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria with curator Haema Sivanesan.

Leila Sujir is the principal investigator of a three year SSHRC grant,
Elastic 3D Spaces:  Bodies and Belonging (2016-2019).

Recent screenings & exhibitions include:
-Doxa Festival, in the
Longing and Belonging Diaspora program, Vancouver, British Columbia (May 2019) with The Dreams of the Night Cleaners;
-Images Festival,
Outer Worlds, Toronto, Ontario (April 2019) with Aerial;
-FotoFest International 2018 Biennial central exhibition INDIA - Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art, Houston, Texas, USA  (March10 –April 22, 2018) with Peacocks Dream;
-Supernatural: Art, Technology, and the ForestArt Gallery of Greater Victoria (May 17 – September 30) with Forest Breath;
-Forest Breath: a portrait in progress, an off-site activity of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, with a week-end community screening in Port Renfrew, British Columbia and an exploration of the forest within the South Walbran (August 10-12).

In 2005 through 2006, Leila Sujir was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Calgary, a one year research position as an artist in the Interactions Lab in the Department of Computer Science. Starting in 2011, she began working with Montreal-based Janro's Sandde 3D drawing tool, as the lead researcher on two grants investigating its potential as a performance, drawing, and sculptural tool (CINQ/Mitacs). She has been an artist in residence at the Bath School of Art at Bath Spa University in the UK (2014-2015) where she developed a stereoscopic video projection for a building facade, Elastic City Spacey (January 2015). She was also an artist in residence at the Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney, Australia (June 2013) when she presented at the International Society for Electronic Arts (ISEA), and an artist in residence at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia (July 2012), as well as at the Banff Centre (Fall 2013 and Winter 2014).

Sujir’s video works have been shown in group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery in Liverpool, U.K. as well as galleries and festivals all over the world. New Republics, a group exhibition out of the U.K. toured Canada and Australia 1999-2000 (in Australia to Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts; University of South Australia Art Museum, Adelaide; Canberra School of Art; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; in Canada to Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; and beginning in the U.K. at Canada House, London). A solo exhibition that has toured galleries in Canada, Luminous Stories, initiated by the Art Gallery of Peterborough, covered ten years of her video production touring to A Space, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Southern Art Gallery and University of Lethbridge Art Gallery.

Select publications on Sujir's art work include a chapter of a book by curator Nancy Tousley, "Leila Sujir’s forest of pixels,” in Intertwined Histories: Plants in Their Social Contexts from the University of Calgary Institute for the Humanities (2019); curators Sunil Gupta and Steve Evans' book from the Houston, Texas Fotofest Biennial:  India: Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art  (2018); curator and editor Srimoyee Mitra’s book, Border Cultures (2016);  curators Katherine Ylitalo and Nancy Tousley, with editor Melanie Kjorlien’s book, Made in Calgary: An Exploration of Art from 1960 to the 2000’s (2016).

Teaching activities

Graduate area:

MFA Program Studio Arts

  • Spring 2019: DISP 615, Directed Independent Study Program, Studio / Seminar
  • Fall 2019: ASEM 620, "Artist Manifestos and Studio Methodologies," Seminar
  • Winter 2020: IMCA 611/613,  Intermedia Studio / Seminar 

INDI Program, MA, Studio Arts (Intermedia Practices): 
  • Winter 2019: INDI 620, Directed Study, Studio / Seminar
  • Fall 2018: INDI 620, Directed Study, Studio / Seminar


Research Activities


-Sujir, Leila, with Anthony Head,"Exploring art, technology, research methodologies and the human in virtual, augmented and mixed realities or: how a research project, Elastic 3D Spaces, emerged from an outdoor projection event," Practices of Projection (editors: Gabriel Menotti & Virginia Crisp) Oxford University Press, 2020.

-Sujir, Leila, Sudhir Mudur, Behnam Maneshgar and Charalambos Poullis,  “Automatic Adjustment of   Stereoscopic Content for Long-RangeProjections in Outdoor Areas”, ACM Digital Library, 2017.


            art projects:

-2019, Aerial,  a 10 minute video artwork, commissioned for a series of large screen artistic IMAX experiments by curator Janine Marchessault for a Canada Council New Chapter project; the project imagines the flight paths of a hummingbird through the South Walbran old growth forests (with an 8k camera mounted on a drone, and ambisonic microphones attached to a cablecam rig to record from the ground to the the forest canopy).

-2018, Peacocks Dream, Elastic City Spacey, a 2-channel stereoscopic 3D video projection, for exhibition with curators Steven Evans and Sunil Gupta at the Houston FotoFest Biennial:India--Contemporary Photography and New Media Art  (March – April 2018).

-2018, Forest Breath, a stereoscopic video light-box, for exhibition with curator Haema Sivanesan in the group exhibition, "Supernatural: Art,Technology, and the Forest," at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (May 18-September 30).

-2016 - in progress, Forest!, a body of works, with video installations, a 3D video podcast, and field school for the public, to be presented within a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by curator Haema Sivanesan; the work is in an experimental research stage, with stereoscopic drawing and other processes.

-2015 Elastic City Spacey, a stereoscopic architectural video projection, commissioned for the Bath School of Art and Design, Illuminate 2015, Bath, UK.

-2013 Chorus of Lungs, 2-channel interactive 3D stereoscopic video projection with fabric drawing scrims.


solo exhibitions:

2024    -Forest! at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia.

2013    -Chorus of Lungs, Centre A Gallery for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver, BritishColumbia (November – January 2014).


solo screening:

2017    -For Jackson: A Time Capsule from his two grandmothers, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (February).


group exhibitions:

2019   -"Rebellious: Alberta Women Artists in the 1980's, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta (November 9 -     February 17, 2020) [India Hearts Beat]. Curated by Lindsey Sharman.

-“The Garden in the Machine,” Surrey Art Gallery,  Vancouver, British Columbia (September 21 - December 15). Curated by Jordan Strom.

            -"Diaspora, Longing and Belonging: 1990s South Asian Film and Video," (May 9, Doxa Festival, Vancouver Cinematheque) [The Dreams of the Night Cleaners]. Curated by Zool Suleman.

          -"XL Celebrating the Canadian History of IMAX," at The Cinesphere, Ontario Place, Toronto  (April 18, Images Festival) [Aerial].  Curated by Janine Marchessault.             

2018    -Houston FotoFest Biennial: India — Contemporary Photography and New Media Art  (March – April 2018)  [Peacocks Dream]). Curated by Sunil Gupta.

2015   -"Illuminate 2015," Bath, U.K.(January 3-10)[Elastic City Spacey]. Curated              by Anthony Head.         

2014    -"Made in Calgary, the 2000's,"Nickle Galleries, Calgary, Alberta (September 19- December 13) [Tulipomania]. Curated by Katherine Ylitalo.

-"90 by 90,"Art Gallery of Alberta,  Edmonton,Alberta (May 17 - September 17) [The Dreams of the  Night Cleaners].

-"Made in Calgary: the 1990's," Glenbow Museum (February – April) [My Two Grandmothers].

2013  -"Intersensorial Threads,"University of Wollongong, Australia (June 4 - 14th, 2013) [Tulipomania]. Curated by Penelope Harris

-"Border Cultures:Part One (homes, land)," Art Gallery of Windsor, (January 25 – March31) [Tulipomania]. Curated by Srimoyee Mitra.


presentations as guest speaker – conferences and workshops:

-Presentation at Doxa festival, "Diaspora: Longing and Belonging, Vancouver, 2019.

-Presentation on a panel, "Xl, Outer Worlds," Images Festival, Toronto, 2019.

-Presentation with Paul Landon, "Cybercorporéités: subjectivités nomades en contexte numérique,”Symposium, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal 2018.

-Presentation with Santiago Tavera, and Jorge Zavagno, "Entertainment Technology Summit China Canada International Film Festival," Montreal, 2018.

-Presentation with Anthony Head, Elastic Spaces 3rd International Symposium at the Bath School of Art, Bath, UK, October 2017.

-Presentation of work in progress, Forest!, International Visual Literacy Association Conference, Concordia University, Montreal, 2016.

-Presenter with Charalambos Poullis, Entertainment Technology Summit, China Canada International Film Festival, Concordia University, Montreal,  2016.

-Presentation with Michael McGuffin, Mat'Inno series, Quartier de l'innovation and Printemps Numérique,  Montreal, Montreal, 2016.

-Presentation with Anthony Head, "Elastic 3D Spaces," Besides the Screen, Coventry, UK, 2016.

-Presentation, "Time Travel inVirtual Elastic Spaces, Augmented & Future Realities: an exploration of the spatialization of narrative," Elastic 3D Space colloquium, Concordia University, 2016.

-Presentation with David Seitz, "3D Drawing and the Body as Interface: Learning to Fly,"  Bath School of Art andDesign, Bath, UK., 2013.

-Presentation with Anna Hawkins, Zoe Bacchus, and Audrey Maude McDuff, 3D Stereoscopic Drawing, Sydney College of the Arts, with University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, 2013.

-Presentation with Anna Hawkins, Zoe Bacchus, and Audrey Maude McDuff, "Artistic Potentials of 3D Stereoscopic Technologies,"International Symposium for Electronic Art (ISEA)," Sydney, Australia 2013.

-Presentation, "The Flying Carpet Interface: Moving Through  Cultural Time and Space," Inter-Sensorial Threads Conference, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia, 2013.


publications -writing and reviews of sujir’s artwork:

-Tousley, Nancy, “Leila Sujir’s forest of pixels,” Intertwined Histories: Plants in Their Social Contexts (Calgary: University of Calgary Institute for the Humanities, Spring 2019) [Aerial and Forest Breath].

-Gupta, Sunil, curator, FotoFest International 2018 Biennial: INDIA -Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art (Houston: Fotofest and Schindel, 2018) [Peacocks Dream].

-Mitra, Srimoyee (ed), Border Cultures (London, UK: Black Dog Publishing / Art Gallery of Windsor, 2016) [Tulipomania].

-Kjorlien, Melanie(ed), Made in Calgary: An Exploration of Art from 1960 to the 2000's (Calgary, Alberta: Glenbow, 2016) [Tulipomania and My Two Grandmothers].

-Jacques, Michelle, Chorus of Lungs (Vancouver: Centre A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. November 2013).

-Mitra, Srimoyee "On Border Cultures," Scapegoat:Architecture/ Landscape/ Political Economy, Summer / Autumn 2013, pages 212-217 [Chorus of Lungs].

Participation activities

Outer Worlds, "A new touring project of commissioned IMAX shorts pushes the boundaries of a medium usually reserved for commercial, action cinema." From Canadian Art, May 23, 2019

"Into the Woods," a review by John Luna, Canadian Art magazine, June 6, 2018, on the exhibition, Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest

"Four of FotoFest's dazzling displays focus on Indian portraiture," by Molly Glentzer in the Houston Chronicle, April 13, 2018, a review of the FotoFest Biennale India Contemporary Photographic and New Media Art

Blog post from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria for community screening in port renfrew, August 2018

Blog post from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on screening of "For Jackson"


The Dreams of the Night Cleaners (1995)

The work was in the  traveling exhibition "New Republics," with artists from Canada, South Africa and Australia, initiated in the U.K. by curator Sunil Gupta for OVA [For Leila Sujir, the video, The Dreams of the Night Cleaners, 1995].
It was most recently part of the Doxa festival in Vancouver, May 2019, in the program, 
Longing and Belonging: 1990s South Asian Film and Video, curated by Zool Suleman:

The Dreams of the Night Cleaners

* The Dreams of the Night Cleaners (excerpt), 1995.

Video, 46 minutes, Collections: The Glenbow Museum and Archives, and the National Gallery of Canada.

A road trip, a journey, a voyage through history and memory. A complex weave of drama, archival footage and animation in a fable format to explore the public mythologies in our culture which have had devastating effects on public policy, public attitudes and individual lives. "Dreams" uses storytelling, humour, magic and history to sweep away the misconceptions which haunt the lives of its characters.

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