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HTMlles 2010: Festival of Media Art and Digital Culture - November 13 to 20

Posted by Amie / November 16, 2010

20101110TeenSleuth.jpgExhibitions, performances, cyber art, video games, and films made in association with the National Film Board are only some of the things to check out at this festival of women in media arts and digital culture. It's basically for anyone (artists and festival-goers alike) who likes the idea of playing with technology.

So, good concept, but will it be any good? I mean, we've probably all seen our share of weird contemporary art. If you're going to go check out a festival like this you probably want some idea of what you're getting yourself into. So:

Michelle Smith, one of the festival's artists of the First Person Digital Project is offering up "We Are Here", an interactive website. She presents Camperville, a 600 strong Métis community on the shores of Lake Winnipegosis through non-linear storytelling and language (not exactly "Once upon a time," to "...and they lived happily ever after"). The endangered Michif speaker Elder Rita Flamand has lived there most of her life and guides the audience through the ins and outs of the language on the website. Michif used to be considered a "bastard" language, but here in Quebec we can certainly empathize with a language that has to hold on tight to its place and history. Michelle's website incorporates video, sound, photography and interactive maps and language sequences.

When: Thursday, November 18, 9pm (following Katarina Soukup)
Where: Studio XX, 4001 Berri, Suite 201 (coming soon)

Pam Hall & Margaret Dragu present MARGINALIA
, a creative collaboration and conversation between Dragu in British Columbia and Hall in Newfoundland. It's an installation that apparently keeps taking different forms in each reincarnation of the project, but what you can broadly expect is to feel like Canada really isn't that big after all, as two woman who may not think they have much in common living on opposite sides of the country can relate based on the issues of communities, fishing, and politics. How does a friendship grow? With daily conversation the project looks at how distance keeps the women apart but technology brings them metaphysically together.

When: Wed. November 17, from 4pm, Artist's Talk 8pm
Where: Installation: Hall, 2nd floor, 4001 Berri, Talk: Café XX

This is Midnight Poutine, so I'd be remiss if I didn't talk about super cool music:

Teen Sleuth and the Freed Cyborg Choir

A lot of feminist women who work in technology seem to refer to themselves as "cyborgs" (Pamela Z and Laurie Anderson who manipulate the music they make with Max/MSP, microphones, looping devices, pedals and all sorts of relatively fun gadgets), but Teen Sleuth and the Freed Cyborg Choir is just a little different. Teen Sleuth can't separate herself from the technology that makes her a cyborg in her mind. This multimedia presentation at HTMlles showcases the Montreal art rock group embarking on a journey to examine raw evidence: the excavation/colonization of the mind, body, spirit, land-through singing ope-raw. To move forward, they must look back and begin a series of songs/flashbacks. What's an "ope-raw", you ask? Me too...raw ope playing on the word opera?

"The show explores issues of technical/medical intervention, feminist/cyborg ethics, traditional icons of the girl experience, oppression, and issues of environmental destruction. The common thread is this excavation/colonization of the mind, body, spirit, and land. It is the idea that existence as a free citizen is possible, if only in our minds."
I can't write it better than that.

I was talking about how the lead singer, Smallwood, can't get the technology out of her:

"The music/imagery is inspired by Smallwood's experiences with the removal of a benign brain tumor in 2005. She was hooked up to EEG machines with electrodes on her brain, reading her brain waves. Ellen wondered about the emotional/spiritual implications of her bond with the machine and considered her connection as a flirtation with cyborgism."

So it's not as if it's stuck in there, but her stance on music and art starts to make a whole lot of sense. Prepare for something just a little different in the world of multimedia art rock performance.

When: 9:30pm
Where: Geordie Theatre, Espace 4001

HTMlles Festival of Media Arts and Digital Culture
November 13-20, 2010
4001 Berri, multicple floors, suites, cafés in the building
How much: $10 adults, $5 students for a day pass (there are about 4 things on per day at the very least). Studio XX members: free for full listings



Jane / November 17, 2010 at 09:35 am
In town from Halifax, NS for the festival and have already met great artists. Opening night was fabulous, glamorous setting, a talented and diverse line-up of artists and a fitting tribute to Louise Poissant. Looking forward to day 1 of the performances at 4001 Berri today ..... the next 4 days will be a blast!
rawp / November 17, 2010 at 12:47 pm
I don't know about you, but i like to keep my flashlight happy!
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