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Book Sergio for a lecture

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“the only reason to give a lecture is to inspire a shift in perception; to foster the spark of new awareness that will produce a positive change”.

Sergio Toporek has been a teacher and guest lecturer at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad Anahuac, Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Centro Eleia, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Vancouver Film School. His VFS course on Visual Communications has been voted twice by the students as best course in the program.

Past lectures have been sponsored by companies such as Apple, Adobe, Epson, Wacom and the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

While academic and well-researched, Sergio’s lecturing style is friendly, engaging and relaxed. Subjects are clearly presented trough extensive visual supporting material and audience participation is encouraged. Touching on a variety of topics, his lectures are always passionate, informative, inspiring, thought-provoking and entertaining.

To learn more about how you can incorporate Sergio’s lectures into your upcoming event, please contact us. Special rates are available for educational institutions, charities and non-profit organizations.

TOPICS

Visual literacy

Propaganda only works when those who are being manipulated
are certain they are acting on their own free will. – Joseph Goebbels

The Web, video games, movies, TV – todays world is an increasingly visual one. The imagery we get exposed to on a daily basis has an immense impact on our culture and personal development. Whether you are a professional visual communicator generating content, a parent concerned with the potentially negative consequences of consumerism, or a teenager being targeted by thousands of corporations, it is crucial to understand the history, purpose and mechanisms of visual media.

This lecture can be presented in four different formats depending on the audience: visual literacy for communication designers, visual literacy for the general public, visual literacy for a young audience and visual literacy for families. The depth, imagery, language and duration will vary accordingly.

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Digital art: a poetic vision
Reality, perception and representation
Painting by numbers: art, science and mysticism

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
– Albert Einstein

Perception and representation play a prominent role in our assessment of reality. The mental constructs that give rise to each individual’s assessment are varied and contrasting. We all live “in reality”, but consensus regarding the term itself is far from universal. In the fields of art, science and mysticism perception is pushed beyond the strictly sensorial in an attempt to contemplate a more comprehensive view of reality. Scientists, mystics and artists are all trying to understand and describe the universe; the main difference resides in their methodologies. When it comes to the scientific method, the search for answers is conducted outside and a new finding is called a theory. In the mystic practices the search happens within and a new finding is called a revelation. Artists on the other hand create works of such personal conception that they can’t help but reveal our commonality. Touching on subjects as varied as poetry, mathematics, music, theology, quantum physics, sacred geometry, philosophy and visual arts, these lectures all focus on the beauty of the mysterious. Participants will never be able to see the world in quite the same way.

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Better design for a better world
Social and ethical issues in communication design

In persuading people to buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, in order to impress others who don’t care, commercial design is probably the phoniest field in existence today. – Victor Papanek

Should communication design be a marketing tool or should it serve the public it reaches?. Should designers focus just on solving a problem or also on defining the problem itself? Are the problems we are helping to solve creating new, even larger problems? Is the current visual pollution a sign of too much design or just of its misuse?. Can the profession move from the “cool” to the transcendental?. Do designers participate in the world of design or in the design of the world?. These and many other questions regarding the role of design are honestly discussed in both of these lectures.

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CopyWrong: creativity and the privatization of culture

We can’t kill the creative instinct that technology produces, we can only criminalize it. We can’t make our kids passive again, we can only make them “pirates”. – Lawrence Lessig

In an era when all creative output can be translated into a string of 1s and 0s, information and culture have become synonymous. The ownership of culture is one of today's most profitable businesses, and the battle over its control one of the most contentious. In this lecture we explore the origins and current state of copyright law, as well as its effects on the creative community and society at large.

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Art, design, science and technology

Art is the science of freedom. – Joseph Beuys

A modified wine press gave birth to the first mass-produced bible, a quote from the bible kick-started the age of information, and the computer –the most recognizable symbol of the age of information– started as a modified loom. Einstein led to Picasso and Freud to Dali. The relationship between art, design, science and technology is an intricate and magical one. This lecture is a fascinating exploration into the ways in which all these fields influence each other, and a statement on how the boundaries between them are blurrier than we imagine.

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Music to my eyes: design for the recording industry

You are the music while the music lasts. – T. S. Eliot

Silence, tone, contrast, rhythm, harmony – graphic design and music have a lot in common. For over two decades Sergio has been one of the most innovative and respected designers in the music industry. Full of advice, anecdotes, introspection, and humor this lecture is an entertaining recollection of his experience dealing with artists, celebrities and record labels. It is also a reflection on the future of an industry that has been dramatically transformed by the new technologies.

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Basic Photoshop workshop
Advanced Photoshop workshop

“We” will fix that in Photoshop – every other art director

Sergio is one of the most proficient Photoshop artists in the World. His work has appeared in CD covers, magazines and ad campaigns and has gone to win many industry awards. He is also a dedicated and generous instructor. Whether you are an educational institution interested in expert training or a creative agency committed to improving your staff’s technical skills, these workshops will prove to be invaluable. Duration and level of the workshop can be customized to the client’s specific needs.

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