Seneca College joins the tablet craze

The creative arts and animation school creates an iPad-focused exhibition, giving gallery-goers control over presentation of its students' work.

The number of iPads in Toronto shot up this month with the arrival of the Contact photography festival, with image-makers from all corners of the world using it as a portfolio tool to showcase their work. And amidst the bustle, Seneca College has announced its jump onto the tablet train with an interactive student gallery.

The set-up of the Seneca Coalesce gallery gives the audience control over what is to be displayed on the five large LCD monitors – visitors browse through students’ work on five corresponding iPads, choosing what will be shown on the screen. Program and student names are categorized into lists for easy navigation.

‘We went this route because, when you browse things on a display device, it can be a very solo experience,’ explains Mark Jones, chair, School of Creative Arts and Animation. ‘But we wanted people who were kind of floating around the gallery to have exposure to the work, even if they didn’t have the chance to interact with the application.’

The tablet approach also provided an elegant solution to logistical issues regarding the sheer volume of work being presented, he adds.

‘Because of the fact that digital is a cornerstone value of all of the work that we do within the school, we thought to integrate that as a value in the showcase,’ says Jones, ‘further demonstrating how this technology continues to permeate what are, in some cases, very traditional art forms.’

The gallery is set to open May 17 and 18 at The Spoke Club in Toronto.