Resonance: The Electromagnetic Bodies Project


OBORO, Occur­rence and the Crit­i­cal Media Art Soci­ety presents:

Res­o­nance: The Elec­tro­mag­net­ic Bod­ies Project

Project cura­tors:
Nina Czegledy and Louise Provencher.

Event sched­ule:
April 16 to May 14, 2005
Occur­rence and OBORO, Mon­tre­al, Canada

July 22 to Octo­ber 9, 2005
ZKM, Cen­ter for Art and Media, Karl­sruhe, Germany
Co-cura­tors: Peter Weibel and Sabine Himmelsbach

Jan­u­ary 26 to April 2, 2006
Cen­tro Cul­tur­al Conde Duque Medi­al­ab Madrid, Spain
Co-cura­tors: Karin Ohlen­schläger and Luis Rico

May 4, 2006- June 4, 2006
V2/TENT, Rot­ter­dam, Netherlands.
Co-cura­tor Stephen Kovats

June 22 — August 27, 2006
Lud­wig Muse­um, Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art, Budapest, Hungary
Co-cura­tor: Kriszti­na Uveges

Sep­tem­ber 19 to Octo­ber 15, 2006
Mai­son euro­peanne de la photographie/ Fes­ti­val @rt Out­siders, Paris, France
Co-cura­tor: Jean-Luc Soret

Cana­di­an Artists:
Joce­lyn Robert
Saint-Georges et le Drag­on 2005 Video Animation
Saint-Georges et le Drag­on is a video-ani­ma­tion project. Not inspired by the his­to­ry of Nico­las Tes­la but rather by the fact that there is actu­al­ly such a his­to­ry, it is a com­ment on the need we have for heroes, and on the will of some of us to play that role.

Joce­lyn Robert works in audio art, per­for­mance, instal­la­tion, video, and writ­ing. His works have been shown in Cana­da and abroad. He has per­formed solo and with oth­ers, worked on numer­ous instal­la­tions with Daniel Jol­liffe and Emile Morin, pub­lished a dozen solo CDs and par­tic­i­pat­ed in twen­ty group projects. In 1993, he found­ed Avatar, an artists-run audio and elec­tron­ic arts cen­tre in Que­bec City.

Jean-Pierre Aubé
SPYING the elec­tro­mag­net­ic Work Force 2005 In situ installation
My inten­tions are to use an array of mini VLF receiv­er to ana­lyze and spy the elec­tri­cal flow. The receivers will spy in real time the elec­tro­mag­net­ic state of the build­ing. Installed in a ser­i­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work, the data col­lect­ed through these sen­sors enable us to draw a dia­gram of the elec­tri­cal pow­er being used in real time. This live data­base col­lects the infor­ma­tion and broad­casts the parse data through four full range back­loaded horn speakers.

Jean-Pierre Aubé artist, info­graphist and pro­gram­mer. Mas­ter in visu­als arts (UQAM). Since 2000, he cap­tured sounds from the auro­ra bore­alis and var­i­ous elec­tro­mag­net­ic phe­nom­e­na via V.L.F. (VLF Fin­land). Recent works include an exhi­bi­tion at Lab­o­ra­to­rio Arte Allame­da, (Mex­i­co), a par­tic­i­pa­tion at the 11e Pance­vo Bien­nal (Ser­bia) and sound instal­la­tions: Save the Waves (Fonderie Dar­ling, Mon­tréal) and Noc­turne (Passerelle, Brest, France).

Nor­man White
Aba­cus 1974 Elec­tron­ic sculpture
Aba­cus is a small table­top work, first exhib­it­ed at Toron­to’s Elec­tric Gallery in 1974. Aba­cus employs ran­dom and struc­tured prin­ci­ples work­ing in har­mo­ny to pro­duce a sto­chas­tic effect par­tial­ly pre­dictable, par­tial­ly not. The physics of the sys­tem, is a vehi­cle for the cen­tral infor­mat­ic nature of the piece, by which it achieves a sem­blance of autonomous life. In Aba­cus, log­i­cal and phys­i­cal prin­ci­ples con­spire to pro­duce an effect not unlike the activ­i­ty of an aba­cus under the nim­ble fin­gers of an expert user, hence the name.

Nor­man T. White pre­sent­ed his first major elec­tron­ic work at a 1969 exhi­bi­tion at the Brook­lyn Muse­um of Art enti­tled Some More Begin­nings. Since then, he has exhib­it­ed his work through­out North Amer­i­ca and Europe. From 1978 to 2003, he taught cours­es in elec­tron­ics, mechan­ics, com­put­er pro­gram­ming, and con­cept devel­op­ment at the Ontario Col­lege of Art and Design.

Cather­ine Richards
Shroud/Chrysalis 2000 Inter­ac­tive new media installation
A glass table is sit­u­at­ed in the mid­dle of the room. The only oth­er mate­r­i­al is cop­per taffe­ta; an elec­tro-mag­net­ic shield­ing fab­ric. In its unper­for­ma­tive state the fab­ric is left fold­ed in the cen­tre of the glass table. Spec­ta­tors are invit­ed to be wrapped. Two female atten­dants per­form the act of wrap­ping and unwrap­ping. When wrapped, the spec­ta­tor is ‘unplugged’; aware of his or her sur­round­ings, capa­ble of see­ing and hear­ing through the fabric.

Cather­ine Richards is a visu­al artist work­ing with old and new tech­nolo­gies. In 1991, she cre­at­ed Spec­tral Bod­ies, the first vir­tu­al real­i­ty sys­tem in Cana­da, at Banff. Richards has pre­sent­ed and pub­lished world­wide. She has received the Petro-Cana­da Award (1993) and a Cana­di­an Cen­tre for the Visu­al Arts Fel­low­ship (1993–1994). She co-direct­ed BIOAPPARATUS, an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary res­i­den­cy on art, inti­ma­cy, and new tech­nolo­gies at the Banff Centre.

David Tomas
Matrix for Yel­low Light 2004–2005 Audio installation
‘Madame Marie Curie: A Series of Por­traits tak­en in 1902’ is set in the con­text of a para­nor­mal lab­o­ra­to­ry. The work points to a strange and exot­ic sci­ence fic­tion world where the Mas­ter nar­ra­tives of sci­ence and reli­gion meet and engen­der strange new sto­ries; where a new God-like pres­ence inhab­its a lab­o­ra­to­ry or machine; where priests and sci­en­tists are inter­change­able char­ac­ters; and where infor­ma­tion might be alive with ‘intel­li­gence.’ The instal­la­tion is based on a pre­vi­ous visu­al series, con­ceived under the broad title of ‘para­nor­mal’ nar­ra­tives, set in the con­text of the his­to­ry of sci­ence, specif­i­cal­ly the his­to­ry of low ener­gy physics: the dis­cov­ery of radi­um, the elec­tron, X rays, and ear­ly radi­a­tion stud­ies, etc. The instal­la­tion con­sists of two glass cham­bers. One hous­es two audio speak­ers and a micro­phone. This cham­ber is sealed but one will be able to hear the mur­mur­ing of words through the glass mem­brane. The oth­er con­tains a sin­gle audio speak­er and a spe­cial­ly con­struct­ed ear trum­pet through which one will be able to hear the narrative.

David Tomas is an artist/writer whose mul­ti­me­dia and pho­to­graph­ic works explore the cul­tures and tran­scul­tures of sci­ence, tech­nol­o­gy, and their imag­ing sys­tems. He has exhib­it­ed in Cana­da, the US, and Europe, and has held research/fellowship posi­tions at CalArts, Gold­smiths Col­lege (Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don), and the Nation­al Gallery of Canada

Paulette Phillips
Home­wreck­er, 2005 Video pro­jec­tion Home­wreck­er began with my inter­est in elec­tro­mag­net­ism as a metaphor for desire. I am inter­est­ed in mak­ing the invis­i­ble vis­i­ble and I am pre­oc­cu­pied with era­sure and his­to­ry. My prac­tice involves a com­bi­na­tion of inquiries into the phys­i­cal, the his­tor­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal. I look to physics to find phys­i­cal ways to man­i­fest unrea­son­able reactions.

Phillips’ recent exhi­bi­tions include solo shows at Danielle Arnaud Con­tem­po­rary Art in Lon­don, Eng­land; The Oakville and Cam­bridge Gal­leries; The Ottawa Art Gallery; and Paul Petro Con­tem­po­rary Art in Toron­to and numer­ous group shows includ­ing The ICA, Lon­don; Gen­er­a­tor, Dundee; Wan­del­halle, Cologne; and Artist’s Space, New York. Her work is in pri­vate and pub­lic col­lec­tions includ­ing The Muse­um of Mod­ern Art. Phillips teach­es film, video and instal­la­tion at The Ontario Col­lege of Art and Design

Marie-Jeanne Musi­ol
Bod­ies of Light 2005 Light sculp­ture (light boxes)
In the dark, a wall of images grad­u­al­ly lights up to reveal the ener­gy nature of the liv­ing world. Plants radi­ate in elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields cap­tured by pho­tog­ra­phy. The effects of our inter­ac­tions with the plant world also become man­i­fest in ten short sce­nar­ios shown on video.

The instal­la­tion con­sists of 60–100 light box­es of shown in a dark space, cre­at­ing an expe­ri­ence of cos­mic illu­mi­na­tion. The instal­la­tion, hooked up to an elec­tron­ic eye, lights up grad­u­al­ly and stays lit up for a deter­mined peri­od (around 5 min­utes) before going back to dark, until a new vis­i­tor comes in, set­ting off a new cycle. If the video is pre­sent­ed on a small screen in the same room at a cer­tain angle, the inci­dent light cre­ates its own pecu­liar pat­tern of illu­mi­na­tion and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. The sound­track encom­pass­es both image and space to cre­ate a total environment.

Marie-Jeanne Musiol’s pho­to instal­la­tions have trans­formed archae­o­log­i­cal itin­er­aries into jour­neys explor­ing the nature of ener­gy. While work­ing in Auschwitz, she expe­ri­enced the lim­its of pho­to­graph­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tion and began search­ing for a way to record the lumi­nous imprints issued from elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields around bio­log­i­cal objects — plants, in par­tic­u­lar. She is present­ly explor­ing what could be a first: “ener­gy” botany.

in/fluencing 2005 Media installation
The pro­posed instal­la­tion reflects on inter­play of mea­sure­ments of invis­i­ble forces. The intu­itive under­stand­ing that Tes­la had of the poten­tial of zero point ener­gy, the idea of tap­ing into the ambi­ent medi­um as a source of ener­gy, is explored as exchanges in a giv­en space. Based on research being done present­ly dur­ing a res­i­den­cy at the nanolab of McGill University’s Chem­istry Depart­ment, the pro­posed instal­la­tion reflects on the trans­la­tion of mag­net­ic phe­nom­e­na at the nano and micro­scop­ic lev­el. The intu­itive under­stand­ing that Tes­la had of the poten­tial of zero point ener­gy, the idea of tap­ing into the ambi­ent medi­um as a source of ener­gy which is self-reg­u­lat­ed and self-sus­tained, is dis­played ana­log­i­cal­ly as a can­tilever (as used in AFM — Atom­ic Force Micro­scope tech­nol­o­gy), a point of con­tact unto a flow­ing sur­face, a nev­er-end­ing exchange of magnetic/voltage coordinates.

Sparks 1999–2005 Exper­i­men­tal documentary
Total run­ning time: approx. 36 minutes
Sparks is a mod­u­lar video series com­prised of 5 video cap­sules which finds its inspi­ra­tion in the life of vision­ary inven­tor Niko­la Tes­la (1856–1943). Sparks mix­es doc­u­men­tary facts with­in a larg­er exper­i­men­tal genre with shift­ing per­spec­tives which include inter­views, auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal texts, ani­ma­tions, archival sources, metaphor­i­cal inter­pre­ta­tions and orig­i­nal sound design. The five cap­sules can be seen inde­pen­dent­ly, in clus­ters of two or three, or all togeth­er, and can also be inter­spersed with­in a larg­er the­mat­ic video program.

Ælab, found­ed in the sum­mer of 1996 by artists Stephane Claude and Gise­le Trudel, is a research unit that invites par­tic­i­pat­ing con­trib­u­tors on a reg­u­lar basis. AElab reflects their focus on an eco­log­i­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal con­science root­ed in the arts and sci­ences. Stephane Claude is an elec­tron­ic com­pos­er and sound engi­neer. Gise­le Trudel is a media artist and New Media pro­fes­sor at the Ecole des art visuels et medi­a­tiques at UQAM. Their work has been shown internationally.

Nina Czegledy, artist, author and inde­pen­dent cura­tor, has col­lab­o­rat­ed on inter­na­tion­al projects; pro­duced time-based dig­i­tal works, and has lead and par­tic­i­pat­ed work­shops, forums and fes­ti­vals world­wide. Res­o­nance, Dig­i­tized Bod­ies, and the Auro­ra projects reflect her inter­ests in art, sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy. She is cura­tor of the Cana­da Dig­i­tal Cul­ture Map, mem­ber of the Girls&Guns Col­lec­tive, ICOLS, and the Space Art Net­work, pres­i­dent of the Crit­i­cal Media Knowl­edge Insti­tute, and chair of Inter Soci­ety for the Elec­tron­ic Arts (ISEA).

Louise Provencher is an inde­pen­dent cura­tor, art crit­ic, and pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy. She is also direc­tor of Lieu­dit (CDD 3D), and mem­ber of Occurrence’s board of direc­tors. Res­o­nance is inscribed in long-term research into media/technology arche­ol­o­gy, man­i­fest­ed in con­fer­ences, pub­li­ca­tions and two curat­ed projects: Michel Goulet’s Porter le mur comme le masque, and Montreal/Telegraph: the sound icono­g­ra­ph­er. Co-cura­tor of the inter­na­tion­al col­lo­qui­um Elec­tre & Mag­nete, on elec­tro­mag­net­ism and the arts (UQAM 2003, OBORO 2004).

Sup­port­ed by the Que­bec Arts Coun­cil, The Depart­ment of Exter­nal Affairs, Mon­tre­al Arts Coun­cil, Lisa Frul­la Min­is­ter of Her­itage, Line Beauchamps, Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Que­bec, Col­lège Ahuntsic, PAFACC-UQÀM and the Cana­da Coun­cil for the Arts.

Critical Media