WE MAKE ART*/^
perte de signal provides access to networks, both here and abroad. In its role as an artist centre, it brings together the knowledge and skills of its members and staff, along with the technical and logistical tools of production, diffusion, and management. By doing so, it allows for a free and artistic appropriation of technology. Above all, it is a gateway to multiple networks: artistic, cultural, and academic.
The Centre encourages research and creation, and it promotes both independent artists working in digital arts, and artistic approaches linked with technology. From audio performances to video projections, and from software to mechanical_robotics installations and public interventions, a variety of mediums is used by perte de signal’s members. By exploring a wide array of artistic and formal methods, they envision new approaches in digital arts.
perte de signal is committed to:
- supporting creative research and experimentation;
- promoting its members’ work on the national and international scene;
- developing critical thought concerning digital arts;
- mediation geared towards a range of audiences;
- disseminating knowledge and technical/material resources.
Above all, perte de signal is a site of connections of initiatives, collaborations, and artistic exchanges. It supports the integration of artists and cultural workers from diverse backgrounds into the digital arts, and it fosters the creative digital literacy of the whole community.
In 1997, a group of young artists got together to share their skills, resources, and expertise. Not yet out of school, they knew they wanted to shape their own involvement and growth within the professional community—first in Montréal, and later, on an international level. They founded perte de signal. No manifesto, no pretence; they simply wanted to forge a sense of belonging, to create a network, and to collectively build up the tools needed to achieve their ambitions.
Starting out with the promotion and dissemination of videographic works, the artist centre landed its first European film festival selections in 1998. It soon became a key contributor to film festivals for video art and experimental film in Canada and Europe. This was the birth of a new and independent videography with its roots in Montréal.
perte de signal officially became a non-profit organization in 2001. As a result, it was able to redouble its dissemination activities, though it did not lose its ethos of collective responsibility. It toured video works by its members and other independent artists at more than 100 festivals around the world. Then, in 2002, perte de signal took its next step: dissemination. By organizing more than a dozen exhibition tours across the region, perte de signal introduced digital arts to new audiences in Shawinigan, Moncton, Gatineau, Drummondville, Trois-Rivières, Rouyn-Noranda, Amos, Jonquière, Rimouski, Sudbury, St-Hyacinthe, Mont-Laurier, Québec, Toronto, Sept-Îles, St-Jérôme, Ottawa, Sherbrooke, and Fredericton.
Over time, perte de signal’s artistic vision has evolved in step with the concerns and interests of its artist_members working in video, installation, sound, electronic, and digital arts. Mainly geared towards research-creation, the artist centre acts as an incubator for ideas. It is an experimental laboratory for artists taking an inventive, critical, or poetic approach to exploring new technologies with their audiences.
In 2009, perte de signal was selected for the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s Grand Prix “for its persistent work with emerging media arts and contributions to the development of the field.” The Centre is now a key player in the digital arts, both locally and internationally.
In 2013, perte de signal launched SONDES to forge connections between northern and southern Francophone communities in the digital domain. Collective creation projects have been set up between Montréal artists and local artists in Tunis (2013, 2016), Dakar (2014, 2016), Casablanca (2014), and Port-au-Prince (2015). Francophone residencies also take place at the rustines_lab in Montréal. The Centre is thus contributing to a new technological culture alongside Tunisia’s El Fabrika centre and Senegal’s VX Lab, founded locally following the Montréal artists’ stay.
In response to evolving technologies and audiences, the Centre opened a new lab-gallery in 2015 at the Pied Carré creation and dissemination hub in Montréal’s Mile End. This new rustines_lab is an open, versatile space adapted to the digital arts, and a site of experimentation and encounters. Through this lab space, perte de signal highlights bold and original productions by Montréal and international artists.
2017 saw the foundation of KidZlab, an annual festival that transforms the rustines_lab into a fun space for young audiences to explore and discover. Workshops and activities are run by local and international artists who, with the help of visual settings and a mediation strategy based on co-work, help young people to create a new vision of digital arts and technology.
More than 20 years after its creation, the Centre continues to welcome new generations of artists, and members continue to redefine the terms of their role in the community—in turn ensuring the Centre’s stability and relevance for years to come.
- Patrick Harrop_ president
- Jean-Ambroise Vesac_ vice-president
- Maxime Corbeil-Perron_ administrator
- Erin Gee_ administrator
- Jason Arsenault
- Sofian Audry
- Nicolas Bernier
- Myriam Bessette
- Claudette Lemay
- Nelly-Ève Rajotte
- Jonathan Villeneuve
perte de signal acknowledges the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the city of Montréal.