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Matt Soar

Professor, Communication Studies, Concordia University

2002 – PhD, Department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Matt Soar is an intermedia artist and experimental filmmaker/animator. His research-creation projects are often located at the intersection of residual and emergent media forms and practices.

Soar has written extensively about graphic design, visual communication, and cultural production for scholarly and professional audiences. His project Lost Leaders is an archival, scholarly, and artistic exploration of the histories of US/Canadian film leader standards. Soar is co-founder and director of the Montréal Signs Project, a growing collection of commercial and civic signs from around the city. In 2017 he co-curated, with Danica Evering, YMX: Migration, Land, and Loss after Mirabel, artist Cheryl Sim’s media installation exploring the legacy of the former Montréal-Mirabel International Airport.

Soar’s creative work has screened at venues such as ATA/Other Cinema, Poetics & Politics documentary symposium, Montreal Underground Film Festival, Orphan Film Symposium, Rencontre internationales du documentaire de Montréal, VISIONS Montreal, and the Engauge Experimental Film Festival.

From 2008 to 2016, Soar was co-developer of the Korsakow System, an opensource software application for digital nonlinear storytelling. His most recent Korsakow film, Les Enseignistes de Montréal, is a web documentary on the histories of signmaking and signmakers.

Soar has curated or co-curated seven shows, including collaborations with artists Perry Bard, Cheryl Sim, and Midi Onodera.


Soar, M. & Gagnon, M. K. (Eds.) (2013). Database|Narrative|Archive: An anthology of seven interactive essays on digital nonlinear storytelling.



Soar, M. (2017). Memory, Materiality, and the Montreal Signs Project. In Atzmon, L. and Boradkar, P. (Eds.) Encountering Things. London: Bloomsbury.

Soar, M. (2015). 26 ways of thinking about a graphic advocacy poster. In Resnick, E. (Ed.) Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age (2001-2012). Boston: MassArt.

Soar, M. (2014). Making (with) the Korsakow System: Database documentaries as articulation and assemblage. In C. Summerhayes, C. Hight and K. Nash (Eds.) New Documentary Ecologies: Emerging Platforms, Practices and Discourses. Melbourne: Palgrave McMillan, pp. 154-173.

Soar, M. (2014). If you’re asking it’s not fair dealing: Animating Canadian copyright issues in a read-write classroom. R. Coombe & D. Wershler (Eds.) Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian culture online. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 154-163.



Soar, M. (2016). The Beginnings and the Ends of Film: Leader standardization in the US and Canada (1930-1999). The Moving Image 16(2), Fall, pp 21-44.

Soar, M. & Thalhofer, F. (2010). Langsamkeit: Telling stories in a Small World [an interview with the inventor of the Korsakow System]NOMOREPOTLUCKS (11).


Solo Works:

LOVE LEADERS (analog/digital, 2018). Short film created for the Orphan Film Symposium in appreciation of the ephemeral, paratextual nature of film leaders.

Design Inquiry Is… Web-based interactive narrative combining the voices of organizers and participants in the DesignInquiry 2016 residency program.

Fibonacci Korsakow (interactive film, 2013). A formal exploration of math in/and nature using sixty-eight seven-second videos, all shot with the Vine app.

Ceci N’est Pas Embres (interactive narrative, 2012). A ‘database diary’, an experimental interactive film exploring themes of place and process. Official selection, Web 2.0, RIDM 2013.



Les Enseignistes de Montréal (2018). A web documentary on the histories of signmakers and signmaking in Montréal. Co-director: Dayna McLeod. Score by Jackie Gallant.

YMX: Migration, Land, and Loss after Mirabel / YMX: Migrations, terres et pertes après Mirabel (2017). Department of Communication Studies Media Gallery (March 2017); Galerie POPOP (April 2017). Media installation in collaboration with artist Cheryl Sim, co-curated with grad student Danica Evering on the theme of forced human migration and land rights.

Academy/Society/Universal: 3 handwritten leader standards (short film using pen and ink on 35mm clear leader; sound by Jackie Gallant; 2016).