encodeurs card

11 August - 1 September 2007
Encodeurs: Alexandre Castonguay + Mathieu Bouchard + Ken Campbell
and Darsha Hewitt + Alexandre Quessy



Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain presents Encodeurs, an exhibition featuring Darsha Hewitt + Alexandre Quessy and Alexandre Castonguay + Mathieu Bouchard + Ken Campbell from August 11 to September 1st, concurrently with the The PureData Convention (August 21st - 26th ).

About the Convention:

The PureData Convention will bring together artists, developers and theoreticians who develop, use and reflect on PureData. It will acknowledge the broad range of artistic disciplines that make use of the software and will address questions of openness and accessibility. It will provide a theoretical context for the understanding of media art practices that engage in the aesthetics and politics of Free Open Source Software Culture.

Alexandre Castonguay + Mathieu Bouchard + Ken Campbell
Drawing by numbers

In Drawing by Numbers, a wall-mounted plotter lightly engraves participant's images.  The drawings are based on the image analysis of visitor's movements, retaining their outlines. They are registered when people make gestures that are close enough to the coded gestures that are often characteristic of interactive art installations and of the usage of portable electronic devices.

From observing people interact with installations, a few typical gestures emerge: the interactive hand wave, the body shift from side to side, etc. The repetitive gestures of individuals within interactive installations are normalized as they are already socially coded and provide little in the way of emancipation. Other interactive gestures that will be drawn relate to the intimate gestures made when using hand-held devices. This time, the comparison is between the unrestrained gestures used by commerce to promote hand-held products and the actual micro-gestures individuals undergo when actually using such devices.

A study of such interactive gestures finds an unsettling echo in the work studies performed by Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. At the turn of the last century, the couple used time lapse-photography to analyze the motions of workers and propose efficient ways to execute tasks and cut down on superfluous gestures. Industry seized on these studies to increase the efficiency of their workers.

The divergence from a set of model attitudes is analyzed by a program written in PureData and GridFlow by Mathieu Bouchard and myself. The drawing machine is realized with the help of Ken Campbell.  The plotter then records the results as an outline drawing and statistical analysis.

Darsha Hewitt + Alexandre Quessy
Rotarian Choir
Medium: Rotary telephones, handmade electronics, computer, PureData programming software.

The Rotarian Choir is a sound installation featuring a chorus of table-top and wall-mounted rotary telephones. Relying solely on the original gong ringers in these modern communication devices, The Rotarian Choir chimes out a repertoire ranging from cheerful and uplifting to downright dismal compositions. The timbral range of the phones vary from harmonious ringing to subtle clicks and muted
metallic purrs.

The Rotary Telephone's graceful decline towards obsolescence has gained it a valuable collectible status and is now an item bought and sold by collectors of modern design. However, they can sometimes be found tucked away in the basements and crawl spaces of our homes.  All the phones in The Rotarian Choir are Canadian made and were collected by trading with people on Internet based trading posts.  They were exchanged for anything from a loaf of banana bread to a handshake.

The Rotarian Choir is made by Darsha Hewitt (depreciated technology specialist) and Alexandre Quessy (electro-acoustic composer).  They make art and teach together.  The artists would like to thank Ken Campbell (technical consultant).

Darsha Hewitt is a Canadian artist currently based in Montréal. She works mainly with hacked electronics, Open-Source programming software/hardware, ageing technology and public vicinities. Her artwork often looks at the role of automation in everyday life and how technology-reliant society silences and reinterprets identity. Her recent exhibitions include: PSE at Video Pool (CA), Damaged Goods at Piksel '06 (NO), Press Play at Interaccess (CA), Racines D'origine with Art origine (FR), Ma culture mes milieu at the Ottawa Art Gallery (CA) and the Make Art Festival (FR), She will be exhibiting in Media Povera at the Ottawa Art Gallery (CA) and with the HTMLles Festival (CA). She teaches workshops on versatile technologies and mentors artists and communities new to electronic media and open source practices. Darsha is currently the coordinator of the 2nd International PureData Convention.

Alexandre Quessy has a background in classical music and computer science. He creates collaborative and tangible interfaces for audiovisual art using open hardware and free software. His recently exhibited at NIME ‘07 in NYC and at Nuit blanche Festival MONTREAL EN LUMIERE. In 2006 he delivered a paper on Open Source Software and Art at Media in Transition 5 at M.I.T. in Boston. He was a resident at CRAS Lab in Paris France in 2006 where he developed their interactive experimentation lab. In 1991, Quessy held the record for being the youngest armature operator in Canada. He currently lives, works and teaches in Montreal Canada.



(click on images below for larger view, please ensure browser pop-up blockers are disabled)

Rotarian Choir
Darsha Hewitt + Alexandre Quessy, The Rotarian Choir,
rotary telephones, handmade electronics, computer,
PureData programming software, 2007.

Alexandre Castonguay + Mathieu Bouchard +
Ken Campbell, Drawing by Numbers, electronics, computer, PureData programming software, 2007.

Encodeur   Encodeur
Alexandre Castonguay +
Mathieu Bouchard + Ken Campbell,
Drawing by Numbers (detail)
  Alexandre Castonguay +
Mathieu Bouchard + Ken Campbell,
Drawing by Numbers (detail)

Alexandre Castonguay, Cube
C-print, 122 x 280 cm, 2/6, 2005

À Mao
Alexandre Castonguay, À Mao
C-print, 33.5 x 75.5 cm, ed. of 10, 2007

PureData Gravure   Étude
Alexandre Castonguay,
05/04/05 2:05 – 2:15
Engraving, 45 x 60 cm, ed. of 12, 2006
  Alexandre Castonguay
(in collaboration with Adad Hannah),
Étude de mouvement 2 –
d'après Gilbreth,

C-print, 76 x 60cm, ed. of 6, 2003.



Vue d'Expo   Vue d'Expo
Vue d'Expo    



Bryne McLaughlin, This Week, www.canadianart.ca, 30 August 2007
Interview with A. Castonguay (excerpts), un show de mot'arts, CISM 89,3 FM (in French)
Nicolas Mavrikakis. "Art branché" Voir (Montreal) 30 August 2007 (in French)
Laurie Watson. "Hello out there!" The Hour (Montreal) 23 August 2007
Lyne Crevier. "Oulipo." ici (Montreal) 23 August 2007 (in French)
Official website of L'Oeuvre ouverte PureData Convention '07: http://pure-data.ca/en/
Darsha Hewitt's website: http://www.darsha.org



Alexandre Castonguay cliquer ici

Darsha Hewitt cliquer ici pour télécharger (document word)