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International Festival of Digital Creativity and Electronic Music
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Adonia Bouchehri Jello
August 3, 2021

An Essential Guide to MUTEK Exhibition

Photo: "Jello" by Adonia Bouchehri

Fostering technological change
First launched 22 years ago, MUTEK is an electronic-music and audiovisual-performance festival that has continued to grow and diversify by keeping pace with technological developments and supporting its artistic communities, which themselves are in a constant state of change. Since the Festival’s 20th anniversary in 2019, it has made exhibitions a core component of its programming, allowing the public to discover various works presented at partner institutions across Montréal. In 2020, the pandemic shifted those initiatives into virtual spaces, with the launch of the virtual.mutek.org gallery as a new platform for presenting original digital works.

For its 22nd edition, MUTEK’s exhibition will take on a hybrid format: a physical and a virtual component, Virtual Wonders, are now being unveiled.

Virtual Wonders

Online, at virtual.mutek.org
From Tuesday, August 24 to Sunday, September 5
Free with registration


While the last few months have intensified our relationships to the virtual and changed our perceptions of digital tools and spaces, a growing desire to disconnect has also taken hold in us. That said, this difficult time has underscored some of the extraordinary opportunities afforded by virtual spaces — as they have generated new locations in which to meet and exchange ideas — whether in the private sphere, the arts, research, or activism. As the world continues to resettle into a new equilibrium, the virtual exhibition that is part of MUTEK’s 22nd edition specifically highlights attributes native to the web that make it a tool for creation and a preferred medium of dissemination.

The 24 works that comprise Virtual Wonders make no attempt to serve as substitutes for reality — instead, they amplify and extend it as they play in the liminal space between that which takes place on the screen, and that which doesn’t. The pieces probe the boundaries between the natural and the artificial, and between human and machine. Whether they feature virtual reality or artificial intelligence, the exhibition’s captivating videos, net.art pieces, lively games, and interactive works have all been specifically designed to live on the web.

Among the videos is Jello, a strange piece born of artist Adonia Bouchehri’s time in quarantine, in which an isolated character develops obsessions with certain real and imaginary objects, including a huge jelly rat.

Several interactive web projects also make up the program, including cyberpunk game ENHANCE.COMPUTER by Nicole He, which invites players to use their vocal cords to solve a case; or Line of Sight by Taylor McArthur, which provides an experience of contemplative immersion set in a landscape inspired by the artist’s past experiences, allowing it to explore questions of Indigenous identity and ties to the land.

Using the web as a theme and medium, works associated with net.art and post-internet art will also be presented in the gallery. Greek artist Eva Papamargariti's practice, for instance, focuses on the simultaneity of digital and material spaces and the fragmentation of identity that results from the dissolution of the boundaries between the two.

MUTEK continues to forge fresh collaborations to reach virtual communities grounded in new worlds: WorldSpace V2, a project by Commonolithic & Olivia Mc Gilchrist, will be housed in the Society for Arts and Technology’s (SAT) SATELLITE WebVR platform; while Ender Gallery will host artistic residencies in the world of Minecraft.

In addition, blurring the lines between the natural and the artificial, Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick’s This Jellyfish Does Not Exist generates instances of the titular sea creature using neural networks; while artist, musician and computer scientist Memo Akten continues his exploration of the mechanics of the natural world in The Awesome Machinery of Nature, an experimental computational composition celebrating the interconnectedness of all living and non-living things.

Adonia Bouchehri DEJello Anna Eyler et Nicolas Lapointe CA/QCD.o.t.T.D (Dance of the Techno-Demons) Bomi Yook KR/CADream Machine Brad Todd CA/QC3050 K Cinzia Campolese IT/QCIdle (online version) Commonolithic & Olivia Mc Gilchrist UK/QC+JM/FR/QCWorld Space V2 Ender Gallery CAEnder Gallery Minecraft Artist Residency Entangled Others DEThis Jellyfish Does Not Exist Eva Papamargariti GR/UK Jawa El Khash SY/CAHammam Libby Heaney UKFIGURES, £igur€$, go figure!? Matt DesLauriers CA/UKWayfinder Meagan Byrne CAWanisinowin|Lost Memo Akten TRThe Awesome Machinery of Nature Nicole He US ENHANCE.COMPUTER Nirma Madhoo ZAAzimuth Noah Pred CA/DEPanarchae Raphaël Moreira Gonçalves FRM.I.T.M. Stéphanie Castonguay & PRIFMA CA/QC+ARSolar Bodies Steven Sych & Timothy Thomasson CA/QCTelephone Paintings Studio Everywhen (Brad Necyk x Jonathan Kawchuk) CAALL SKY, MIRROR OCEAN Taylor McArthur CALine of Sight Ursula J'vlyn d'Ark US/QCEcotone Wenxin Zhang CNInorganic Mysteries

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Physical Exhibition

From Friday, August 20 to Sunday, September 5
6 locations across Montréal - Free

Taking place in several downtown locations from August 20 to September 5, this year's show is of an unprecedented scope. Indeed, the exhibition will be enriched by a selection of digital art installations presented as part of the special Digital Detox project, supported by the City of Montréal and the Canada Council for the Arts. The theme of digital detoxification will be explored in a critical way and from different angles through the multiple artworks that make up the program. In total, 27 interactive, audiovisual, mixed reality, virtual and augmented reality digital works by local and international artists will be presented in both outdoor and indoor settings.

Society for Arts and Technology [SAT]

Dates: August 20 to September 5, 2021
Hours:

Friday, August 20: 5-11 pm
Sunday, September 5: 12-5 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday: 12-8 pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 12-10 pm
Location:
1201 boul. Saint-Laurent, Montréal, QC H2X 2S6
Box Office:
registration to be signed on site

At the Society for Arts and Technology, the 14 projects presented push the boundaries of technology, appropriating it to create stunning and immersive pieces that are sure to impress and awaken a critical mind.

Meandres 2020 Morissette 1500x1000

Le Livart

Dates: August 20 to September 5, 2021
Hours:

Tuesday through Sunday: 12-8 pm
Friday, August 20: 5-8 pm
Sunday, September 5: 12-5 pm
Location: 3980 R. Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2W 2M2 (basement entrance, right of the main entrance)
Box Office:
registration to be signed on site

A mysterious and resolutely underground atmosphere reminiscent of 80's video game arcades will reign in the Livart's basement exhibition room with 6 sound, robotic, and light works that use obsolete or DIY technologies and that explore questions of identity, marginality, and the end of the world.

Maxime Corbeil Perron

Goethe-Institut

Dates: August 20 to September 5, 2021
Hours:
August 20: 5-7:30 pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 2-7 pm
Walking a Turtle
hours:
Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 2-7 pm
Free workshops in the context of the exhibition:
Friday, August 27 at 3 pm and Saturday, September 4 at 3 pm
Location:
1626 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, suite 100, Montréal, Quebec H2X 2T1
Box Office:
Registration to be signed on site

As part of the special Digital Detox project, MUTEK and the Goethe-Institut will present The Glass Room, a public education and exhibition project by Berlin collective Tactical Tech, as well as the virtual reality game Walking a Turtle by Jeremy Rotsztain.

WORKSHOP "Information… it’s Complicated" by Tactical Tech
Date:
August 27 from 3-4 pm
Location: Goethe-Institut Montréal
Number of participants:
15
Workshop leader:
Josée Brouillard
Prerequisites:
No experience required
Note:
Please arrive 15 minutes in advance
Cost:
Free

Registration

This workshop defines what is meant by "misinformation" and "disinformation. and explores how the world of information is slippery and complicated. Participants learn fundamental investigation skills to help them to verify information and become more information savvy.

WORKSHOP "Keep Calm and Spot the Design Tricks" by Tactical Tech
Date:
September 4 from 3-4 pm
Location: Goethe-Institut Montréal
Number of participants:
15
Workshop leader:
Josée Brouillard
Prerequisites:
No experience required
Note:
Please arrive 15 minutes in advance
Cost:
Free

Registration

This workshop explores the world of persuasive design and design tricks, which are design decisions on websites, apps, and in advertisements that provoke us emotionally and persuade us to click, share, and buy. By becoming aware of our physical and emotional responses to stressful stimuli and the persuasive designs of tech which are rooted in basic psychology, this workshop helps participants keep calm and spot the design tricks.

Rotsztain Walking a Turtle 300dpi

Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts

Dates: August 20 to September 5, 2021
Hours: accessible during the opening hours of the Place-des-Arts metro station
Box Office: None, free access

The in situ installation Visions du monde numérique by Montréal artist Gilles Tarabiscuité will take place under the skylight of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts, echoing its angular modernist architecture.

Gilles Tarabiscuité visions du monde numérique

Parterre du Quartier des spectacles and Sainte-Catherine Street

Dates: August 24 to 30
Box Office:
None, free access

Outside, ephemeral works and installations will unfold in the Quartier des spectacles. Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe will circulate with the work D.o.t.t.d., taking on the appearance of a hot dog cart, while artist Maxime Damecour will perform an improvised ambulatory mapping intervention using his free software Freeliner and the mobile projection device map_mov. Finally, the sound installation Ecological Ambisonic Recordings by James Benjamin will offer a soothing immersion in the heart of the rainforest in the Quartier des spectacles.

Anna Eyler Nicolas Lapointe D o t T D 2

Lahaie Park

Dates: August 27, 28 and 29, 2021
Hours:
between noon and 9 pm
Location:
Lahaie Park (Saint-Laurent Street, between Laurier and Saint-Joseph)
Box Office:
None, free access

Last but not least, MUTEK and Suoni Per Il Popolo will once again join forces to present the fruit of a collaboration between Akousma and Audiotopie: Interstices, a sound installation by Léa Boudreau and Nancy Tobin at Parc Lahaie. Held over three days, the work will integrate random processes of probabilities that favor its autonomy and renewal over the hours.

Lea Boudreau Nancy Tobin

Akousma + Audiotopie présentent Léa Boudreau et Nancy Tobin CA/QC Anna Eyler & Nicolas Lapointe CA/QC Aude Guivarc'h CA/QC Bianca Shonee Arroyo-Kreimes CR/QC Cinzia Campolese IT/QC Delphine Kim Thériault De Carufel CA/QC Élisabeth Picard CA/QC Francois Knoetze & Amy Louise Wilson (Lo-Def Film Factory) ZA François Quévillon CA/QC Gilles Tarabiscuité CA/QC Ida Toninato & Claude Bastien (Trebuchet) CA/QC James Benjamin CA/QCJean-Pierre Gauthier CA/QC Jeremy Rotsztain CA/US Josée Brouillard CA/QC Marshmallow Laser Feast UK Maxime Corbeil-Perron CA/QC Maxime Damecour CA/QC Olivia-Faye Lathuillière CA/QC Pierre Zandrowicz & Ferdinand Dervieux FR Sabrina Ratté & Guillaume Arseneault QC/FR+CA/QC Sahar Homami IR/QC+DE Sammy Lee & M. J. Harding CA+KR/UK+UK Stéphanie Morissette CA/QC Tactical Tech DE Xuan Ye CN/CA Ying Gao CA/QC

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