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Sound Settler (2019)

ICRA 2019: Robots and Art Program

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation 

May 20-24, 2019 Montreal, Canada



JUNE 13 - 15, 2019 Montreal, Canada



Jean-Pierre Gauthier pursues a hybrid approach in which he combines visual art and the musical conception around kinetic and sound installations, invented or automated music instruments.

His installations have been shown in Canada, United States, Europe and Asia. A retrospective of his work was put together at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2007 and then travelled throughout North America until 2010. Molior presented several of his works in Sao Paulo, Brazil, notably during the FILE - Festival Internacional de Linguagem Eletrônica in 2012 and as part of Despertar /Éveil/Alive in 2014.

In 2004, Jean-Pierre Gauthier won the Sobey Award for the Arts, and the following year, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton prize. In 2012, Ville de Montréal selected him as the winner of the Prix Louis-Comtois. He his represented by Ellephant in Montreal.

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Musée des beaux-arts and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia have works by in him in their collections. In 2016, following the acquisition of Orchestre à géométrie variable (2013-2014), the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal exhibited the work and documented its installation so as to ensure its conservation.

Sound Settler

Sound Settler is a utopian project. 

Its purpose is to deploy an interactive music system on Mars before the first humans arrive. The prime earthling colonization will be musical, with experimental electronic music produced conjointly by a robot arm and its remote human operators. 


The public is invited to play with one robotic arm connected in parallel with a copy of the foreseen Martian device. The motion of the robotic arm generates interactive electronic music. A 3D interactive simulation simultaneously shows the future experimental music performance on Mars. 


The result is beyond expectations, could a real mission on Mars with this kit be possible? Let's dream together about this while we play on the Earth version for now.

This creation was made possible with the collaborative efforts of the Polytechnique Montreal (David St-Onge – Marcel Kaufmann), Tübingen University (Adrien Zwiener), Georges Tucci, Jean-François Robin, and of Kinova. 

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