Curator: Nathalie Bachand
Artists: Cécile Babiole, LAb[au], Julie Morel, Rodolfo Peraza, Robert Saucier, Véronique Savard, Dominique Sirois, Mathieu Zurstrassen
February 11, 2022 - April 9, 2022
Opening: February 10, 2022, 5:30 pm
Galerie de l’UQAM launches the new year with DataffectS, a rich group exhibition bringing together seven artists and a collective (Canada, France, Belgium, Cuba, United States). Curated by Nathalie Bachand and with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International and the Délégation générale Wallonie-Bruxelles au Québec, the project calls into question the issues and effects relating to digital media.
Bringing together a wide range of artistic practices, DataffectS examines questions of telecommunications by exploring the space we allow them, their hazards, flaws and excesses, and how we are affected by them, and by the idea of hyper-connection. In this regard, curator Nathalie Bachand wonders “what does this state of hyper-connection – or the lack of it – reveal other than that our perception of reality is inevitably influenced by the interference exerted by digital technology on our daily lives, and by the expectation of it when it is absent.”
In the past two decades we have moved from the prospect of exciting connections with technology to its omnipresence, at least in the north-western hemisphere. Elsewhere, people are still awaiting access to public Wi-Fi and to the Internet at home. The continuous presence of new technologies also tends to increase our mental workload. Most of our relationships have some link to the digital sphere, and this can make connection instantaneous. The immediacy of our means of communication makes them shortcuts to continual solicitation and to a real-time updating on the state of the world. Digital data are swift vectors of information, “matter” that is volatile yet binding.
Data are at the heart of our digital means of communication. They carry and transport our affects – our sensory and lived experiences – through various information transfer processes. From the pre-digital telegraph to the Internet, geolocation to satellite, the ways by which we communicate show a relationship with language. The latter is changing and becoming ever more abstract – eventually becoming a sequence of 0s and 1s. The other side of the picture reveals that these transmission practices are not without consequence: labour, exploitation and ecological degradation are often the hidden side of the equation.
About the artists
Artist Cécile Babiole was initially active in the field of music and thereafter in electronic and digital arts. She combines visual and audio arts in installations and performances which reflect on technologies in an original and ironical way. In 2016, she co-founded the Roberte la Rousse collective, a cyber-feminist group that works on the themes of language, gender and technology. Since 2013 she has been a member of Le sans titre, a collective of artist-curators. Her work has been exhibited internationally at Centre Pompidou and the Gaité Lyrique in Paris, iMAL in Brussels, MUTEK and Elektra in Montréal, FACT in Liverpool, the Art Museum of Lima and the Chinese National Museum of Art in Beijing among others. She has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Prix Ars Electronica, a prize from the Festival of Locarno, the Prix SCAM, the Pierre Schaeffer Award, the Villa Médicis hors les murs prize, the Transmediale Berlin award and a prize from the Stuttgart Expanded Media Festival.
A native of Montréal, Dominique Sirois holds a Master’s degree in visual arts from UQAM, where she is completing her doctorate. Her projects have appeared in a number of artist-run centres in Canada, including Centre Clark, AXENÉO7 and Latitude 53. She has also exhibited in private galleries such as Laroche/Joncas, Blouin Division and Bradley Ertaskiran. She has held residencies outside Québec, in Glasgow, Paris, Barcelona and Banff. In group exhibitions or collaborations, Sirois has shown her work at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, the Commun in Geneva, the MOCA in Taipei, the Unicorn Center for Arts in Beijing, the iMAL in Brussels and the PHI Foundation in Contemporary Art in Montréal. Her work has been regularly funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).
Julie Morel’s practice, fuelled by a desire to investigate our relationships with language, can be seen in a range of forms: publications, interactive devices, websites, installations, drawings and collaborative workshops. She regularly exhibits her work in France and abroad, in institutions (Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Hawn Gallery in Dallas, etc.) and in free-standing structures (White Space in Zürich, Le Bon Accueil in Rennes, Basekamp in Philadelphia, PARSE NOLA in New Orleans, etc.). She has won several awards and prizes, including the prestigious Fulbright Award (2016-2017) and UQAM’s “Pratiques singulières, artiste en résidence” programme (2017-2018). Between 2009 and 2013 she created and co-directed “Géographies variables”, a franco-québécois residencies programme, and since 2016 has been co-ordinating Incident.res, a residence for writers on art, with funding from Drac Bourgogne.
LAb[au] (laboratory for architecture and urbanism) is a Brussels collective formed by Els Vermang, Manuel Abendroth and Jérôme Decock. Together, these artists conduct research based on semantics (art and language), semiotics (art and signs) and aesthetics (art and meaning). This research is carried out taking into account the present-day context, which is characterized by changes in the forms of expression. These changes at the level of signs and language are mainly caused by information technologies, but are also rooted in conceptual art. LAb[au] has exhibited at Frac des Pays de La Loire (X, Carquefou, 2021), Kunsthal (Action Reaction, Rotterdam, 2018), Museum M (Utopia, Louvain, 2017), Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Physicality, 2015), MOMA (Artist/Novelist, New York, 2014), the Venice Biennale (Noise, 2013) among numerous others. The collective has created a number of projects in public spaces. Their works can be found in public and private collections across the globe.
Mathieu Zurstrassen is a trained architect who as of 2013 has devoted himself entirely to the visual arts. In designing objects, he moves away from the projection of the design and focuses on experimenting with its construction. He instils in his work an added symbolic and philosophical value – the quality of the invisible and the relationships thus created between the sender and the receiver. He has exhibited in a range of events, galleries and festivals such as the KIKK Festival, Ars Electronica, the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles, Art Brussels and also the Venice Biennale in 2019. In that same year, three of his works were selected for the Ars Electronica festival in Linz, to which he invited the situationist Guy Debord, Elsa Von Freytag Loringhoven, the muse of the Dada movement and of compartmental analysis.
Robert Saucier, a native of New Brunswick, lives and works in Montréal. He has taught at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques of UQAM since 1997. Saucier has produced works for 35 solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in Canada (Nova Scotia and Vancouver), in the U.S. (Los Angeles and New York) and in Europe, notably in England, France, Belgium and Italy. He has also participated in a number of group exhibitions. Over 50 articles on Saucier’s oeuvre have been published, as well as a monograph in 2010. In 2019 he embarked on a new series of solo works, the first of which are exhibited in DataffectS. He has also executed a number of pieces as part of the Ministère de la Culture’s programme of integrating the arts into architecture (1%). Saucier holds a Bachelor’s degree in art from the University of Moncton, a specialized degree in the visual arts from UQAM and a Master’s degree in visual arts.
Rodolfo Peraza is a Cuban-born multimedia artist who works between Cuba and the US. His work focuses on public spaces, both virtual and physical, and DataViz related to the Internet culture and the footprint it leaves in society. Peraza, Fanguito Estudio’s founder in Havana, launched the VRLab to develop browser-based VR technology, exploring and promoting the intersections between data, art, and the Internet. Peraza created MUD Foundation in Miami to advance the intersections between art and digital technologies. His work has been exhibited internationally at SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, California; the Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida; the XII and XIII Havana Biennial; Künstlerhaus, Vienna; the Jumex Collection, Mexico City, among others. His work is part of the AGO Museum collection in Toronto, Canada, and the JUMEX permanent collection. Among other recognitions, his project Pilgram: Naked Link 2.0 received Cannonball’s WaveMaker Grant. In 2021 was awarded The Knight Arts + Tech Fellowship.
Artist Véronique Savard is a lecturer at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her research focuses on the transmedial dialogue which the digital phenomenon brings to techno-discursive and pictorial practices. Her oeuvre, which has been exhibited in numerous galleries in Québec and across Canada, has been awarded prestigious distinctions including the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art and the Doctoral Fellowship of Figura, Centre de recherche sur le texte et l’imaginaire. Savard has also participated in several international conferences and seminars, notably in the context of the Digital Humanities at the CRIHN, the Biennale de Montréal and the SéminArts programme. In addition to being part of the collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, her work can be found in numerous corporate, enterprise and private collections. She lives and works in Montréal.
About the curator
Nathalie Bachand is an author and independent curator. She focuses on issues regarding the digital and the context of its appearance in contemporary art. Bachand was previously the development coordinator for ELEKTR-BIAN (2006-2016). In 2016, she co-curated with Chloé Grondeau the exhibition ADC/DAC, presented at Diagonale as part of the 3rd edition of BIAN. She also curated UN MILLION D’HORIZONS in the context of the 375th anniversary of Montréal (2017), as well as the interactive work Seuils of artist Michel de Broin at the Canada Council for the Arts’ exhibition space Âjagemô (2019). Initially presented at Eastern Bloc in Montréal (2017), her exhibition The Dead Web – La fin was co-curated by Béla Tamás Kónya and co-produced by Molior in Europe: Lyon (2019), Geneva (2019) and Budapest (2020). She was one of the guest curators for Art souterrain 2021 in Montréal. She frequently submits texts on visual and media arts and is a board member of Avatar, Québec City. She is also the co-director and project coordinator for Sporobole, Québec City.
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Galerie de l’UQAM In French Free admission Join curator Nathalie Bachand and some of the DataffectS artists for a casual guided tour. In an informal atmosphere, this visit will allow you to discover the ideas and issues underlying this rich group exhibition that brings together seven artists and one collective (Canada, France, Belgium, Cuba, United […]