Pasts of the futures. Imaginaries of technology

An exhibition of works by artist who appropriate technology, brought to view by Molior’s activity over the last fifteen years.

In keeping with Molior’s mandate from the beginning, the selection focuses on works in which technology contributes to the viewer’s sensory experience, while allowing him to decode the current world modulated by these technical developments.

Together these works provide an overview of the variety of practices supported by the organization to date. They mark different periods in its development, a majority having been presented in the context of events produced by the latter throughout the world. At this pivotal moment, both in the evolution of the digital arts and of Molior, a statement is needed to identify avenues to look at the past and explore for the future.

Jean Dubois presents the work Syntonie (2001). This interactive video unfolds from a tactile interface allowing a meeting between a spectator and a character. Here, any gesture toward the person represented engages a narrative interaction, not limited to the encounter caused by the tactile interface, but activating invitation of the protagonist and the unveiling of certain parts of his body in a game of erotic allusions.

Also concerned by the body, Ingrid Bachmann exposes Family (Anxious State) (2009). Through a mechanism, the artist animates here a set of used shoes whose movements intervene in reaction to the spectator’s movements, creating a strange sound environment, evoking more directly the role of an individual in a group and the sometimes ambiguous feelings and relationships binding members of the same family.

Stressato: Les serpents samouraïs by Jean-Pierre Gauthier brings forward a similar soundscape activated by the presence of the spectator, which also bring to life the metal wires placed before him or her. It induces behavior to the material world, to matter and things usually immobile, associating them with the order of the living. The work’s disturbing presence thus embodies both the promises and the threats often associated with the development of technology.

On a totally different note, like Chevalier de la resignation infinie (2009) presented by Molior in 2011, Diane Landry’s Mandala Naya. The Blue Decline (2002) creates a play of light and shadows provoking meditative contemplation. The work invites us to re-evaluate our daily lives, the place occupied by the machine and the routine, as well as the personal satisfaction sometimes reduced to consumption.

Molior’s various projects also addressed the computerization of our environment. The work of Luc Courchesne retained here, Sublimations: Man-Woman (2014) refers to this media universe. Between two screens, one suspended from the ceiling and the other laying on the ground, plastic discs reflect in a colored cloud shape, the changing images of men and women as they appear on both monitors.

Although looking like a video projection, David Rokeby’s Machine for Taking Time (2007) is supported by the fade-in of images, randomly selected from databases cumulating the captions over a year of eastern and western travellings of Montreal. The reference to natural cycles and daily events bring to light another temporality, inscribed in repetitiveness, constancy and duration, at the opposite of the effervescence of the mass media communication, but representing the ambition behind each to seize everything and enhance vision.

Presented from November 10 to 19, 2016, at the Hexagram-Concordia Black Box (Montreal), the exhibition, titled Rhythms of the Imagination, Technological Tools and Works, was presented as an introduction to the colloquium (see below):

The full colloquium program is available at the website of the event:

The videos and most of the talks can also be consulted on Molior’s youtube channel:

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