For all its old-world charm, cobbled streets, culinary traditions and party atmosphere, Montreal still manages to keep a eye on the future – specifically when it comes to international collaborations between technology and the arts. Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (or “SAT”) is a hub of all things creatively high-tech…
Situated on a strip of St-Laurent formerly known for, well, stripping, the SAT is part of a cultural boom in Montreal’s already arty downtown core, a boom currently centered around the Quartier des Spectacles.
“The SAT is both a centre for creativity and art and a research centre,” says SAT Founder, CEO and Artistic Director, Monique Savoie. “Everything spins around technology – it determines where the creativity, art, research and collaboration happens. It’s a kind of accelerator.”
This year, the SAT underwent a huge renovation of its space – a renovation that saw the installation of a massive sound and video dome, the Satosphere, a 360-degree immersive environment equipped with eight video projectors and 157 speakers. Impressive indeed, but no surprise for an organization that has steadily walked the cutting edge since 1996 and seen over 1700 projects and educational ventures in digital culture with over 8000 artists. Involvement in the Quartier des Spectacles has opened even more doors to exchange.
“The good thing about Quartier des Spectacles and the SAT, is that it involves long-term thinking,” says Savoie. She points out that alongside large cultural institutions such as the Opéra de Montreal, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Place des Arts, the Quartier des Spectacles is working with smaller arts and cultural organizations. “The collaboration can give them a chance to grow and expand so they’re not pushed out of the area.”
“We’re asking how Montreal can be understood as more than just a city of festivals, but a city where there is constant creation,” says Savoie, “where there’s a place for a young generation working creativity and where we ask questions of society and ecology and beyond.”
While the Satosphere won’t make its performative debut until later this spring, during the fabulous, international Festival Transamériques, SAT will open its downstairs doors for Nuit Blanche, when some of our most innovation new media artists pair up with electronic music makers for the SAT Mixsessions, from 7 p.m. until 3 a.m. – and, like most Nuit Blanche festivities, it’s free!
SAT, 1201 St-Laurent