NADÈGE GREBMEIER FORGET
ANNA EYLER & NICOLAS LAPOINTE
ERIN GEE & JEN KUTLER
NINA VROEMEN & ERIN HILL
From July 9 to September 24, 2020, Allegorical Circuits for Human Software invites the public to explore a dual space, both IRL (In Real Life) and URL (Uniform Resource Locator), thus making a link between in-person and digital environments. For the 13th edition of Place Publique, the performance series is organized by Laurie Cotton Pigeon, a master’s student in art history at UQAM. The program re-examines the cyber heritage and techno-utopic imaginary, taking as its source inspiration the various cyberfeminist interventions of the ’80s and ’90s, Donna Haraway’s figure of the cyborg, N. Katherine Hayles’s posthuman, and feminist sci-fi writing. In the form of allegories, the various artistic propositions will approach the technological environment from a feminist perspective so as to show the relevance of the biological body, the importance of networks, and the individual’s potential to act in the era of hyperconnectivity.
Today, the omnipresence of the Internet calls to mind Marshall McLuhan’s prophetic projections, which in the 1960s seemed drawn from science-fiction, of human technological expansion to a large-scale system of connections that he called the “global village.” While the global economy is shaped by GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), human cyborgization raises many questions about the impact of media objects on our lives. Although we have never been more connected or equipped with different technological devices, from telepresence to visual representations (avatars), augmented and based on the self, social and environmental injustice remains present in our daily lives. We might then ask ourselves: What is the sense of this (hyper)connectivity? How do we live together? Which voices do we listen to? How do we define our connection to the living and the artificial? With whom do we enter into relationships through our screens?
Allegorical Circuits for Human Software recalls the importance of individual and collective bodies and the value of reciprocal relationships with the artificial and the living, the human and the non-human. For one performance in the circuit, Mégane Voghell invites viewers to dive into the boreal forest of the North Shore, near the Manic-5 Generating Station, and have an experience mediated by the artist’s avatar or by their own characters. In the form of a first-person adventure game, the video performance draws on the visual codes of streamers on the popular platform Twitch to admire the indigenous plants of Quebec. The notion of mediated connectivity is also present in the performative work of artists Erin Gee and Jen Kutler. As the two artists live in two different places (Gee is based in Canada and Kutler in the United States), they developed a system of sensorial connection without ever meeting in person, which has allowed them to overcome the constraints associated with geographical distance and concretize the “virtuality” of the Internet. Interested in the unconscious and autonomous nature of bodily sensations and their associated emotions, the artists simulate touch by combining an ASMR relaxation technique with the use of DIY devices (Touch Simulation Units) that work similarly to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). To conclude this brief introduction, artists Nina Vroemen and Erin Hill propose a symbolic and oneiric poetry on the nature of clouds. Each wrapped in her own plastic cocoon, the two artists embody the softness associated with these masses of condensed vapour through the slow movement of their bodies. They therefore try to resist the acceleration related to cloud computing through performative actions that pay tribute to slowness.
Allegorical Circuits for Human Software has been conceived in dialogue with the collective exhibition FEEDBACK, Marshall McLuhan and the Arts, which will be presented in summer 2021 at Fonderie Darling.
AN OPEN AND FREE SPACE /
Place Publique is above all a fun venue open to all. Thanks to the support of the City of Montreal, Fonderie Darling is pleased to announce the opening of the Place Publique for the entire summer, and the pedestrianizing of the street from July 2 to October 31, 2020. In hopes of providing an exterior space that is safe, inspiring and entertaining for all Montrealers, Fonderie Darling presents a hybrid performance program and reinvents the Place Publique and Second Nature terrace-bar arrangements with a layout adapted to sanitary measures.
Known for his practice of combining art and activism, street artist Roadsworth creates a floor mural for the Place Publique section of Ottawa Street. Organic patterns of waves and fish drawn on the tarmac embellish the space while facilitating social distancing. This artistic intervention devoting the street to the Montrealers is all the more significative as it aligns with a previous collaboration with the artists, in 2006, where Roadsworth created a mural on Fonderie Darling’s main building to take a stand against the excessive presence of cars in urban residential neighborhoods.
July 09 - Votre destin dans le parfum des herbes, by Mégane Voghell
July 16 - Unveiling of D.o.t.T.D, in situ artwork by Anna Eyler et Nicolas Lapointe
July 23 - Le jardin fantastique, de AVALON
July 30 - NVA x Fonderie Darling WITH SUPPORT FROM MUTEK (STREAM ON)
August 06 - Nadège Grebmeier Forget + D.o.t.T.D by Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe
August 13 - What lets lethargy dream produces lethargy's surplus value, by Xuan Ye + Presence, a performance by Erin Gee an Jen Kutler
August 27 - Corps roca & Danser dans les vallées de ta peau hérissée, by Ileana Hernandez + Sisters of the Celestial Order of Nephology, by Nina Vroemen et Erin Hill
September 3 - The Plot, by Emma-Kate Guimond + D.o.t.T.D, by Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe
September 10 - Carte Blanche evening: Cercle Carré
September 17 - Carte Blanche evening : Studio XX presents XX Files
September 24 - D.o.t.T.D, by Anna Eyler and Nicolas Lapointe + Post-Porn-Selfies-Feed (The Recital), by Fabienne Audéoud
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LAURIE COTTON PIGEON
Laurie Cotton Pigeon is an MFA candidate in art history at UQAM. Her research focuses on cyberfeminism, technological utopias, video games, and Web art. She has received a FQRSC Scholarship for Internship in a Practice Environment to curate the 13th edition of Place Publique, Allegorical Circuits for Human Software (Fonderie Darling, Montreal). In 2020, as an independent curator, she organized the exhibition Forêt/Paradigme 2020 of sculptor Lise-Hélène Larin (Agora, Montreal). In 2019, she was co-curator of the travelling exhibition Trajectories (Two Rivers Gallery, Prince George). In addition to this experience, she is responsible for the programming at GHAM & DAFE gallery and has been the visual arts editor for the magazine Artichaut since 2019.