Mytho-logic, a collective exhibiton from the artists Stephanie Castonguay, Maxime Damecour et Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet
RUSTINES|LAB from the 12th to the 23rd of May 2015, open from noon to 5pm.
Finissage the 23rd of May, from 3pm to 5 pm.
5445 avenue De Gaspé, space #107, Montreal
Perte de Signal presents Mytho-logic, an exhibition of new media works by Stephanie Castonguay, Maxime Damecour and Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet, produced as part of the Emergent Project creation residency. The three artists received production support from the art centre during this two-year residency.
Mytho-logic offers a critical and whimsical perspective on our current technological and media landscape through installations that make use of video animation, an oscillator, and the art of code conversion. Economically produced, these works involve a DYI approach. In keeping with the ethos of this practice, Castonguay, Damecour and Lagrange Paquet proceed in a manner quite different from a high-tech production based on state-of-the-art technologies, excessive consumer habits and the aspiration to high performance. Dedicated to a craft aesthetic, they instead take an innovative approach, building and programming their own technological devices.
The artworks in Mytho-logic strive to invent other realities, spaces suspended in time that echo non-linear narratives derived from science fiction. The works offer a new angle on the electronic and technological objects that steer our daily lives and that we don’t take the time to understand, as well as on the incessant circulation of data we process every day. Media archeology is not simply about the study of outdated things.
Maxime Damecour’s methodology is characterized by a balance between an instinctive and empirical approach and a result supported by an extensive knowledge of electronics and computer science. He designs his own kinetic machines and programs the software. sous-face consists in a projected animation that resembles a landscape. In a box set horizontally on legs, a projection lights an LCD screen that has been stripped of its backlight and Mylar. The artist uses the transparent nature of these materials to show minimalist triangular motifs, which are similar to birds and move around various formations, akin to mountains and valleys. An additional layer, the sky, is made from the display’s liquid crystals. The artist can modify the direction and speed parameters, and control the display resolution. Everything operates live, in a random and fleeting mode.
In her practice, Stephanie Castonguay investigates how memory and chance are manifested in electronic and sound installations, while considering process as one of the components. Radioesthesia illustrates the theme of the dismantled radio by displaying all its electronic components. A polymer box holds a radio circuit connected to an oscillator embedded in a cast of transparent resin, which moulds the interior of a radio. The iron pyrite oscillator filters sounds, injecting tones into the circuit. The resulting sound then passes through a VU meter that makes the LED lights flicker, some of which are attached to the oscillator’s photoresistors, which in turn affect the sound, creating a feedback loop. External elements, such as the presence of people or light intensity on the photoresistors, influence and alter the loop’s audio signal in an unpredictable and organic manner. Consequently, this heightened susceptibility generates chaotic oscillations.
Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet often configures new narratives related to the gaming world. He presents the Hiéroglitchs series, whose title evokes a temporal interface between ancient and contemporary writing scripts and a crossing between various eras of technology. Two polymer panels mounted on a base offer a coded iconography, produced through a computer-based process. Every image is generated by an application that translates Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: the letters of the text are associated with a glitch icon and, occasionally, the program generates an intact letter. Super Mario Bros. pictograms, the artefacts of video games, are juxtaposed to the glitches. By displaying a language that has been converted into code, the uncovered error code—Nintendo bugs and glitches—doesn’t provide access to the original content. Instead, it gives viewers a sense of loss and dislocation as regards language.
Castonguay, Damecour and Lagrange Paquet control their means of production in order to further knowledge and take technology out of the machine. By introducing new lines of thought, the exhibition immerses visitors in a contemporary mythology, inspired by the model of cargo cult science, a pseudoscience that conveys mistaken beliefs.
Text: Esther Bourdages
Image: Hieroglitch – Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet
Translation: Oana Avasilichioaei
This exhibition is made possible through the support of the Arts Council of Montreal.
PERTE DE SIGNAL thanks its members, the artists of Emergent Project, Stephanie Castonguay, Maxime Damecour and Emmanuel Lagrange Paquet, the author Esther Bourdages, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Echofab, Robocut and La face cachée de la pomme.
The artists would like to thank l’Atelier Clark, Alice Jarry, Rémi, Caroline Justyna, Marco, Ralph, Alexi, Jules and Pascale