November 16, 2012 ─ No iron curtain here; this Eastern Bloc is a place for the free flow of ideas, discoveries, and experiences. This young and dynamic organization is dedicated to new media and interdisciplinary art. It encourages mixing and exchange, fuelled by open-source ideals. One of its finest initiatives is its “Salon: Data” series, halfway between exhibit and workshop visit.
Founded in 2007, Eastern Bloc made its home in a faceless building in Montréal’s north end, far from the city’s cultural epicentres. But these unpromising beginnings didn’t stop it from becoming a nerve centre. From audio art exhibits to electronic performances, from artists’ talks (the “Salon: Data” series) to new media workshops, its unique programming drew attention from all over.
But Eastern Bloc is more than just another digital arts centre. It is the only player in this wide-open field that so consistently supports up-and-coming artists, those in the first five years of their career. In its own words, it “fills a void” by supporting “the work of emerging artists by providing them with an exchange platform with more established artists, allowing them to gain access to a larger body of spectators and to a network of established art organizations and professionals in the milieu.”