ELEKTRA 2018 - JUNE 26 TO JULY 01
The 19th edition of the International Digital Art Festival.
AUTOMATA 3 – Sing the Body Electric is part of a three-year cycle that started in 2016 with Art Made by Machines for Machines. Three years ago, the AUTOMATA cycle began, proposing an in-depth re ection on the relationship of technology to the world around it through the prism of contemporary art. For the 4th edition of the IDAB and the closing year of the cycle, our connection to technology is more central than ever. While in past editions we developed a portrait of the current and future digital environment, the 2018 edition shifts the focus back to people.
AUTOMATA - Sing the Body Electric takes a gentle, critical, curious look at our involvement with and responsibility for technology and its consequences. It considers our place as human beings, from our corporeality to our decisions about innovations pushed to their limits, in a society that embraces the idea of “ever further, ever stronger.”
The theme of this edition refers to the Walt Whitman poem I Sing the Body Electric (1855). In praise of physicality, the author questions the soul, the electried body and how these parts interact implicitly or explicitly in relationships of respect or exploitation. Centuries ago, Walt Whitman, wrote an ode to the body in its broadest sense. He considers presence, movement, the soul and, in particular, living, not through attitude, but through bodily reality and, therefore, sensation.
In an era of augmented bodies, avatars, robotization, real and virtual wars, climate change and growing inequality – all dystopian scenarios that are becoming reality – our relationship to the body and our freedom to Be are fundamental, and our connections with others are essential more than ever. Beyond the reality of our would-be augmented bodies, in the anthropocene era, we need to question our relationship with technology and its impact on nature. What if technology enabled this awareness and a return to ourselves ? What if robots were a way to savour our impermanence ? What if, in 2018, AUTOMATA - Sing the Body Electric were a necessity, a survival imperative, perhaps a reconciliation to engage as a solution for tomorrow ?
The 19th edition of ELEKTRA Festival :
- More than 2 000 visitors
- 2 locations : Arsenal art contemporain and Société des arts technologiques
- 5 audiovisual performances
- 5 immersive experiences
- 7 international artists
- 4 Quebec artists
JUNE 26 TO 30
At the opening of the ELEKTRA Festival, we presented, in collaboration with the SAT, two immersive works in North American premiere, from two weeks of residencies at the SAT:
Chikashi Miyama (JP) - Trajectories: In the performance, the performer wears Qgo, a pair of sensor gloves that detect the absolute direction and the angle of the hands. The host computer analyzes the data from the gloves in real-time and maps them to various parameters of the audiovisual synthesizers, developed exclusively for this performance.
Alex Augier (FR) and Alba G. Corral (ES) - END(O): is an original and immersive piece specifically created for the Satosphere. It merges the aesthetics and technical researches of musician Alex Augier and visual artist Alba G. Corral into a transversal and coherent artistic proposition, focusing on what turns out to be an original and hypermedia-specific pathway. Sound, image, space and time fuse perfectly into a formally unique synesthetic entity: poetic hypermedia, oneiric and organic, deployed in the space that is the Satosphere only for the duration of the experience under the control of the two performers.
The highlight of the festival was held on June 29, 2018, during the opening night of the International Biennale of Contemporary Art at Arsenal contemporary art, which allowed to present the performances of 8 internationally renowned artists, in front of a audience of 1500 people. Three audiovisual performances were presented from 8pm to 11pm at Arsenal:
• Freeka Tet (FR) with "UNCAN VLLEY" (UNCANNY VALLEY), Tet’s performance is a satirical live performance presented as a musical & visual multifaceted’s project focused on finding an instinctive and radical audio language generated by the intermediary of sensors, DIY Softwares, Game Engines, Face-tracking, & Internet browsing/borrowing. Every facet of this work are constantly changing, which clears the various modes of visual & sound’s generation in a reflex mode, intuitive and playful.
• Anne-James Chaton (FR) with Some Songs. Anne-James Chaton continues the work around "poor writing" initiated with Evénements 99 (Al Dante, 2001) and Evénements 09 (Raster-Noton, 2011). He listens to the flow of lyrics of songs broadcast in public spaces, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, waiting rooms, that he samples and reintroduces in sound and image, through a visual writing based on the signs of Morse, precursor code for digital communication.
• NSDOS (FR) with Tattoo Hacking, by connecting the needle to his machines and software, while using an old tattoo technique called Stick and Poke, NSDOS begins a dialogue, a musical story, between his body and his tools. The movement generates a graphic and melodic work. How does the body, by becoming an interface, create poetry between the technology and the biology ?
In addition to these audiovisual performances, five performative and participative works were presented in the Arsenal contemporary art space on June 29th, and for some of them until July 1st:
• Cod.Act (CH) - πTon, associates organic movement and vocal expression under their most primitive forms. The result is a striking sound and visual event that sends the spectator back to the origins of his behaviour.
• Projet EVA (QC-CA) - The Object of Internet is an installation evoking the idea of a mausoleum for the end of the web, visitors are projected into a dystopic future where, on social networks, they remain in the form of a vestige where traces of their selfies are artificially animated. These traces, condemned to the status of sterile solipsism,agitate in the distant void of the end of the Internet.
• Li Alin (QC-CA) - V.DREAM is a Virtual Reality installation using the technological potential of sound and visual immersion of VR to induce the natural phenomenon of lucid dreaming (a dream where we are conscious that we dream). Close your eyes. Put your headset on. Let the V.DREAM generator send complex pulsating lights patterns, colors and sounds to your brain and enjoy the uniqueness and richness of your perceptual world, memory and vision.
• La Compagnie générale des André Girard Inc (QC-CA) - The Présence project by the “Compagnie générale des André Girard Inc.” offers to the public a playful and immersive experience by giving them, inter alia, access to exhibitions through remotely guided robots or to partake in cultural events without being there per se. Thanks to Présence, these robots, that are normally used for telecommuting, allow visitors to explore a venue at their leisure, get a better sense of the context and interact in real time with the participants on site. This simple mechanism calls into question the physicality of the cultural experience and the very nature of it, depending on the possibilities offered by technology.
• Katsuki Nogami (JP/QC-CA) - Yamada Taro Project