Summer Institute I: Trackings and Trappings | Faculty members: Anju Singh, Justine A. Chambers, Natalie Purschwitz

July 8 – 19, 2019
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

Participants: Toby Gillies, Serena Lee, benni macdonald, Marijana Mandusic, Megan Moore, Tracy Peters, Davis Plett, Lucas Regazzi, Sabrina Sethi, Nicole Shimonek, Suzie Smith, Mahri White

Public Events:

Thursday, July 11 | 6pm | Delicate Genius | Artist Talk by Anju Singh

Monday, July 15 | 5pm | A Conversation between Justine A. Chambers & Natalie Purschwitz

Wednesday, July 17 | 6pm | Curator Talk by Bopha Chhay

Friday, July 19 | 6pm  | Opening Studio & rooftop party

All public events will take place at Plug In ICA

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s first session of the institute, Trackings and Trappings, was led by faculty members: sound artist Anju Singh, dance artist Justine A. Chambers, and visual artist and designer Natalie Purschwitz.

The Summer Institute is an international post-graduate artist research program for professional artists and thinkers working in all disciplines and media. In the 2019 edition, Plug In ICA hosted two iterations of the Summer Institute. The first session, led by Singh, Chambers, and Purschwitz, ran from July 8th to July 19th. Working under the heading Trackings and Trappings, the three leads explored expanded notions of mapping, encouraging participants to investigate their own practice through the trappings of normalized systems of belief. Participants were invited to reorient their gaze, sensation and attention to gain understanding of how hard-wired ideological structures influence how we chart our trajectories through the experienced world.

A number of other visiting artists, curators and theorists visited the Summer Institute for additional lectures, discussions, and studio visits.

Plug In ICA invited applications for participants to work collaboratively in a peer-to-peer environment based upon their own interests and projects, as well as by exploring and aligning their work with collaborative or group activities planned during the session.

This critical discursive opportunity took place in Plug In ICA’s purpose-built facilities, with an adjoining workshop, art research library, gallery, bookshop and café. Plug In ICA is located at the heart of downtown Winnipeg and adjacent to the Winnipeg Art Gallery within walking distance to various amenities for new visitors to the city.

There was no application fee for this program and everyone was welcome to apply. The standard tuition fee of $300.00 CDN was generously covered by Winnipeg’s Johnston Group. All other costs associated with participating in this program was borne by the artists: meals, accommodation, travel, travel insurance, materials and related production costs. Participants must also have been Plug In ICA members in good standing, for an additional fee of $35 CDN (artist members).

Applicants were notified of their acceptance by the end of April 2019.

See our Summer Institute Blog for interviews, and images of past Institutes.

APPLICATION PERIOD NOW CLOSED. Application forms can be downloaded from our website.

Natalie Purschwitz seeks out spaces between art, design, performance and daily life. Through her visual art practice she considers how materials connect with ideological production and quotidian experiences and in this way, her research lies at the intersection of anthropology, mythology, materiality and form.  Clothing has often been an integral part of her work.  She is interested in how clothing functions as a material, a language and a conceptual framework that can be used to examine cultural production. She has shown her work nationally and internationally at the Vancouver Art Gallery, The Polygon Gallery (North Vancouver, BC), Plug In ICA (Winnipeg, MB), the Japanese Canadian National Museum (Burnaby, BC), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleingburg, ON), the Prince Takamato Gallery (Tokyo, Japan), Canada House (London, England) and AGX Galerie (Tehran, Iran).

Justine A. Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded territories of the Skwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. In her work she privileges what is felt over what is seen, by working with her body as an imperfect recording device to develop a cumulative embodied archive. Chambers’ interests are in re-imagining dance performance and activating the dances that are already there – the social choreographies present in the everyday. Chambers is a founding member of projet bk, was associate artist at The Dance Centre (2015-2017) and artist in residence at artist run centre 221a in 2017. Chambers was the recipient of the Chrystal Dance Prize in 2016 and the Lola Award in 2018. Chambers has shared her projects at the Art Museum at University of Toronto, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Artspeak, Festival of New Dance, Mile Zero, Agora de la Danse, Canada Dance Festival, Vancouver Art Gallery, The Western Front, Dancing on the Edge Festival and Dance in Vancouver. Recent collaborations include projects with Laurie Young, Elisa Ferari, Evann Siebens, Claudia Fancello, Marilou Lemmens & Richard Ibghy, Jen Weih, Brendan Fernandes and Josh Hite. Chambers is Max-Tyler Hite’s mother.

Anju Singh is a sound artist living and working in Vancouver, BC who uses instruments, objects, and equipment to create pieces and environments that intend to challenge, confuse, or revisit traditional sounds and music in new contexts. She draws inspiration for her sound work from classical music, industrial machines, field recordings, and harsh noise. Anju’s practice is currently focused on the process of creating sound art, with an emphasis on studying and understanding the current landscape of sound art and sound art practice in Canada and internationally. Her current projects include The Nausea (solo performance based work, noise), a number of extreme metal bands, working with string quartets coupled with harsh noise, and solo work consisting of sound sculpture/installation, sound art, and composition.


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree Nations.

Our Summer Institute was generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation who has made a generous commitment to fund multiple years of the program. We were also extremely thankful to the Johnston Group for subsidizing the tuition of all of the participants accepted.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all. This support enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at

For general information please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043

Image: Trackings and Trappings: Anju Singh, justine A. Chambers and Natalie Purschwitz