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February 7, 2002 Hexagram Institute receives $21.9-million CFI grant



by Barbara Black

Hexagram, the new inter-university project in digital art that is led by Concordia, has been awarded an Innovation Grant by the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The grant is for $21,963,639, of which 40 per cent is funded by CFI, 40 per cent by provincial agencies, and 20 per cent by other sources.

About $8 million will go to building Hexagram’s research space in the arts/engineering complex to be built at Guy and Ste. Catherine Sts. Nearly $500,000 will be spent on renovation in the Drummond Building on the Loyola Campus to accommodate communications and sound researchers in a multi-media evaluations lab.

About $1.5 million will go to Concordia’s main partner, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), to build an interactive explorations centre that will match and be connected to the one in Concordia’s new building.

The CFI application was made by Concordia Fine Arts Professors Lynn Hughes and Barbara Layne under the name Converging Digital Content: Interdisciplinary Research in Emerging Cinema and Interactive Media Arts. The interim director of Hexagram is Dean Christopher Jackson.

Professor Layne said that the rest of the money will buy exciting new equipment for researchers, including two Sony high-definition cameras ($355,000 each), Avid production and post-production facilities, a robotic arm, digitally-assisted jacquard weaving looms, and two rapid-prototyping machines, which she describes as “a 3D photocopier.”