Jessica Thompson

(Toronto, 1975)

Canadian artist, university professor and researcher MFA Media Study from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She resides and works in Waterloo, Canada.


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About the work

Jessica Thompson is a canadian media artist and researcher interested in how sound helps us understand the social and spatial dynamics within cities. In the artist’s words: “Cities are revealed through sound, indicating territory, demography or functionality and politicizing urban space through its ability to invade the space of others and affect behaviors.” Her participatory works seek to involve the public through auditory perception and interaction with the environment.

Borderline is an interactive art piece, a project where the artist uses mobile interfaces to create cartographies that capture these sound interactions. Jessica and her team have designed a free IOS application that allows users to identify and record sounds from their environment. These clips are incorporated into a custom file. For this exhibition the artist presents us with a video where you can see the contributions made in the app from the University of Navarra.

“I hope that visitors to the exhibition will be inspired to download the project and to use it to create their own personal soundscapes that can be enjoyed, broadcast or shared with others.” The application uses an iterative design processes, in which user feedback is crucial for the development of the next versions.


Borderline was designed by Jessica Thompson, and developed by Nehal Kanetkar, Jeremy Pinto and Racquel Rowe. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This project started at the University of Waterloo, which is situated on the traditional territory of ‎the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples.