In partnership with Paperhouse Outreach & Toronto Art Book Fair, Koffler.Digital hosted a series of digital workshops for youth as part of XYZines: a 4 month zine, artist book & digital residency at the Cedarbrae Toronto Public Library. The Koffler.Digital arm of XYZines was developed for and available to Scarborough youth aged 13-29, and focused on developing digital skills to help navigate politics, identity & justice through art production. Facilitated by local artists, each workshop aimed to bridge analogue & digital practices, engage participants in expressive methods of digital media-making, & introduce industry-standard practices oriented within DIY culture & political activism.
Jonathan Carroll, Kendra Yee, Shellie Zhang, Aliya Pabani, Amarindi Norbert, Tabban Soleimani, Meghan Prospoer, Walter Scott
Curator: Letticia Cosbert Miller
Design: Natasha Whyte-Gray
VIRTUAL REALITY | Presented in partnership with Trinity Square Video, Jonathan Carroll – a member of Toronto collective Tough Guy Mountain – facilitated two Virtual Reality workshops. Participants were taught how to use a video game engine to tell new kinds of stories in interactive, immersive virtual reality using the free game engine Unity.
ILLUSTRATE | Get ready to conquer the basics of InDesign & Photoshop, & to master the art of publication production. Participants will build their own mystical creatures inspired by personal tales. Together, a whole new world will be created & documented in the pages of a collaborative myth zine.
CUT IT OUT | This workshop invited participants to reexamine & reinterpret materials available at the Cedarbrae library through the medium of paper cutting. In Chinese folk traditions, paper cutting has been used to decorate doors & windows to bring good luck, health & prosperity. In many ways, they are manifestations of the creator’s wishes. Using the resources available in the library as a starting point, participants imagined the changes they wish to see in the future based on their findings of the past, emphasizing their role as changemakers in this process.
PODCAST | This workshop introduced participants to the basics of podcast-making. Using digital tools to formulate their thoughts & ideas into a podcast, youth participants not only learned how to make a podcast, but how to get a podcast into people’s earbuds when it’s done.
GRAPHIC DESIGN | Introducing participants to basic graphic design principals & Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, this workshop will take a hands-on approach to the process of designing a product. Participants will use the library as an archive of content to scan & modify into their own artwork, designed to be printed on tote bags.
INSTA STORY | Taking a closer look at everyday surroundings through means of writing & illustration, participants turned these experiences into art broadcasted through Instagram. The focus of the workshop was to awaken one’s inner artist, emphasizing that the only tools you need are your senses. Ultimately, participants were given a chance to successfully create a body of art that lives IRL & URL, turning offline experiences into online storytelling.
COMICS | Challenging participants to expand their perceptions of storytelling through comics, this workshop will allow participants to develop their use of complexity, time, space & expression in their drawings. Participants will then be encouraged to use the tools provided to produce a one-page comic of their own.
Jonathan Carroll is a game design artist who designs software as part of the collective Tough Guy Mountain & creator of the Brandscape, a studio for experimental digital art production. postcapitalist.club | @jonathaniscarroll
Amarindi is a Toronto-based Multi-Disciplinary Graphic Designer specializing in UX & Interactive Design. | @amarindi
Meghan is a creative writer based out of Toronto. | @_isthatmeg/
Walter is an interdisciplinary artist working across writing, drawing, performance & sculpture. | wwalterscott.com