Posted on May 3rd, 2011 by .

Montreal’s four-day international digital arts festival, Elektra, starts in just a few days (May 4-8). Turns out you don’t have to wait to see what the future looks like, all you need to do is go to the festival…

Elektra, founded in 1999, has selected the theme “Visualizing Sound” for its twelfth edition. This year you can look forward to several installations, film projections, lectures, performances and robots that explore this motif.

But before we get all excited about robots, there are also some very interesting lectures and book launches. Check out Sandra Naumann’s lecture The Expanded Image at Usine C on May 7. Naumann is a media art historian and curator who will speak about the aspects that the visual arts have borrowed from audio in an attempt to relate them with accompanying technological breakthroughs. Afterwards, Concordia University’s Chris Salter launches his new book, Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance, which examines the influence of technologies from the mechanical to the digital on performance practices of the 20th and 21st centuries.

On May 5 and 6, the International Marketplace for Digital Arts takes place at Cinematheque Quebecoise. The meeting puts artists in touch with digital arts professionals (producers, agents, presenters, curators, journalists and event organizers) and features speakers from all over the world. This is an event intended to inspire collaboration and networking while the guests make short presentations in which they describe and discuss their work.

We all know that there have been several achievements in the world of robot technology. But never mind that some robots can perform heart surgery. Who needs that when Jane Tingley, Anouk Wipprecht and Marius Kintel invented a robotic dress that can make you a drink and play truth or dare? The Daredroid will be at Usine C from May 4-7.

Another installation involving robots comes from Louis Philippe Demers (from Quebec), Armin Purkrabek and Philippe Schulze called The Tiller Girls. It’s a dance performance, but with robots! The dance is inspired by the original Tiller Girls, who were a synchronized dance troupe from the early 1900’s. Demers originally produced this for the University of Zurich’s Artificial Intelligence group but now you can see the twelve autonomous robots dance here in Montreal.

DUSt from INDAF 2010 on Vimeo.

And for those of you who have ever pondered dust, ponder no more. The world-class artist Herman Kolgen‘s video installation Dust Restriction puts the viewer in an “immersive environment that offers people the ability to observe and listen to dust under extremely magnified conditions.” But no need to reach for the Claritin, it’s only a video installation. The vernissage is May 6, but the show will be exhibited from May 6-29 at the Cinematheque Quebecoise. And if you think “I can see dust at my house for free” don’t worry. This event is also free.

Another fascinating event is FEED and, like all good things in life, you are required to sign a waiver before you participate so that Kurt Hentschlager is not legally held responsible for your safety. FEED is an immersive AV performance created by Hentschlager that features thick artificial fog, low frequency sound modulations and 3D strobe lights. Basically the goal is for you to experience a state of total spatial disorientation. After you’ll probably need a stiff drink. From a robotic dress.

Guest Blogger: Sophie Naima Caird



Elektra, May 4-8, 2011

Usine C, 1345 Lalonde, 514 521 4198

Cinematheque Quebecoise, 335 Boulevard de Maisonneuve East, 514 842-9763

Eastern Bloc, 7240 Clark, 514 284-2106

Darling Foundry, 745 Ottawa Street, 514 392-1554

Oboro, 4001 Berri, 514 844-3250

Occurrence, 5277 Parc, 514 397 0236

Galerie B-312, 372 Ste-Catherine West (#403), 514 874 9423

Prim, 2180 Fullum, 514 524 2421

Photo Credit: Elektra Description- © Cinematheque Quebecoise; FEED- © Kurt Hentschlager


  1. Anonymous

    / May 3rd

    Wow it awesome to see that I want to see that that’s nice!

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