HTMlles 2005, the seventh edition of Festival.

Theme: peripheries + proximities

An International Bienniale of cyberart: Where technologies brings together continents, liberates creative voices and provokes collective actions. Come and see!

Studio XX is pleased to unveil the program for the 7th edition of the HTMlles Festival which will be held May 18th – 21st in Montreal. This year, the HTMlles takes flight under its new form as an international cyberart bienniale. This unique Quebecois event represents a special occasion to discover works by women working with the multiple facets of digital technologies and the Web. Inspired by the theme ‘peripheries + proximities’, the progam proposes an audacious itinerary questioning the effect of technology on social relations and their impact on lifestyles. Performances, Web projects, conferences, interactive installations and workshops compose the program with artists from more than 10 different countries in only 4 days!

An original opportunity to share and explore the creative possibilities in cyberart and new media, the HTMlles festival represents a meeting place at the crossroads of art, technology, women’s history and current social perspectives. Come and explore with us this exciting program enhanced with discovery and emotions! It’s a date!

Venues and Trajectories

The event will take place in various spaces, drawing a feminist cartography across the city. Its principal venue will be the Monument-National. This space has particular meaning for the HTMlles as is was one of the first Quebecois institutions to welcome politicised women’s groups which became part of feminist history in Quebec. The Monument-National’s Café will host conferences, round tables, networked projects, an installation and artist presentations, an entire program open to the public. Amongst other things, come and try Millefiore Effect’s wearable suits with inflatable airbags. A surprising and utterly playful experience! You may meet artists on-site who have come from Brazil, Belgium, the United States and Quebec.

At the Monument-National, in the Studio Hydro-Quebec, we will also present the world premiere of the HTMlles commission: Immanence, by Susan Kozel and Mesh Performance Practices, where dance and new technologies transform into an interactive performance. The promise of an astonishing and enchanting spectacle by an internationally renowned Canadian artist! In the Balustrade, a Belgian collective – Constant – installs its workstation for a week of actions and interventions: mobile and sound research catalysing interviews with the public in order to document the culture of women’s work, the questions and responses which are subsequently transmitted on the Web.

This year, the HTMlles benefit from a generous collaboration with the feminist artist centre, La Centrale. They open their gallery doors, Saint-Laurent Boulevard, for a special evening of performances with artists who explore the relations between traditional musical instruments and current technologies: Raylene Campbell, between the accordian and multimedia; the two Nathalies – Dion and Derome – who play amongst words, music and video; Suzanne Binet-Audet and her collaborators in an original visual performance accompanied by the ‘ondes Martenot’ and electronic sound concepts. An unusual and original series which promises warmth and discoveries.

At the ONF Cinema, and in collaboration with the Groupe Intervention Video, the HTMlles presents a special event: a triple program composed of: I’m Watching You – Surveillance[s] and Technologie[s], a video program curated by Anne Golden; a cocktail; and the Quebecois premiere of Caroline Martel’s first feature film – The Phantom of the Operator. An archeology of invisible workers who crossed the 20th century – telephone operators.

For the closing evening of the bienniale, come and discover exceptional artists who sculpt sound on various rhythms: local artists DJ Cyan, DJ Jasmine, Alice + the Serial Numbers and K-project. Joining them all the way from Zagreb, and specially for the Montreal public, the GNU Girl Power Collective. Composed of Ghetto Booties and MissL, they humourously mix free software, feminism, DIY and shoot copyleft messages to the audience whilst playing electro, low-fi, trashy, danceable music! Their first time in Montreal and not to be missed!

At Studio XX and the CDÉACF [Centre de documentation sur l’éducation adulte et la condition féminine], two micro-actions take the form of workshops and technical demonstrations. At Studio XX, Suzanne Binet-Audet will allow us to discover the mystery of the ‘ondes Martenot’ whilst at the CDÉACF, Isabelle Massu will initiate the participants to the free software SPIP, a desktop publishing tool for the Web.

peripheries + proximities

One of the particularities of the HTMlles bienniale is to group the projects according to themes specific to each edition. This year, the projects propose an itinerary that navigates geographic concerns, technological tools and different social perspectives all linked to the theme.

Here are the major axes which outline the general program:

Future Body

Various projects explore the emerging futures of the body as articulated through research in biotechnologies, interactive textiles, ‘social fashioning’ and the immateriality of telepresence.

The Brazilian research group, Corpos Informaticos, will offer a live telematic performance to the Montreal public, during a period of 2 hours. The project, Ctrl-C Ctrl-C, explores the possibilities of poetic intervention within a telematic environment. Questions and an imaginary linked to the body’s deterritorialisation… Is it simply a question of submission to the demands of the machine?

FRONT v3.0 by Millefiore Effect was born out of the desire to create clothing which responds to the wearer’s emotions. Two interactive costumes, with offensive and defensive mechanisms, illustrate certain notions of conflict within ceremonial combat. The micro-action proposed by Joanna Berzowska, Electronic Textiles 101: Constructing Soft Switches, is an introduction to the principles of soft-circuit design. Beatriz da Costa, professor and associate of the Critical Art Ensemble, will give a conference on her research which situates itself around AIDC technologies [Automatic Identification and Data Collection], biotechnologie and diverse models of contestatory science.

Jennifer Willet develops a paradoxal project – Bioteknica – on the profound stakes and complexes which biotechnologies raise for the future of humanity. Katherine Moriwaki, a Dublin researcher, looks at the phenomena of social fashioning, the process of using clothing and accessories as the active conduit through which people create network relationships in public space.

Les jeux de territoire – Space Plays

Alternating between the political and the playful, a series of works bring us to the heart of technological culture as resulting from the military industry, electronic urbanism or yet still, the planetary political games that the Internet activates by collective communication and free software.

After Brussels, Utrecht and Berlin, Michelle Teran continues her course with Life: A User’s Manual, adapted specially to the Montreal context. This performance takes the form of an urban trajectory that cuts across the cityscape, with the artist being accompanied by the public as she scans and broadcasts live, on a television monitor, images captured from surveillance cameras that she has located in the days preceding the event. In Tamara Vukov’s installation, War Game Room, the popular video game – Full Spectrum Warrior – is scrutinized to explore how military imagery molds our culture.

Diverse Web projects take on the question of geo-politics. Paula Levine [Shadows From Another Place…] imagines the effects upon the city of San Francisco, had the bombs which fell on Baghdad been destined rather for the American city. The project references GPS technology, physical spaces, associated histories and the Web. Natalie Bookchin and Jacqueline Stevens inquire into the possibility of a radical alternative to world politics and governance, inciting participative and collective reflexions via a blog destined to design an on-line global politics game [agoraXchange].

In Evidence Locker, Jill Magid used Liverpool’s police surveillance cameras to explore notions of surveillance and archiving. With official forms modified into love letters, they reflect the intimate relation the artist constructed between herself, the police and the city. Amanda Ramos and Michelle Teran conceptually explore the transformation of urban space into data space with Flatlandia. Emily Hermant underscores the networked aspects of the Web with that of traditional textile art in The Lies Project. She explores the thematic of lying in cyberspace, to question and challenge the power structures that are built within words and which govern our daily interactions.

Social Culture

Diverse artists presented work with notions of social culture in research and projects dealing with communication: Internet documentaries, intergenerational projects, perspectives and surveys on women’s work, positions on the effects of globalisation, a video-conference transmitted from Nunavut on the oral story-telling and Inuit Culture… Many interests on the part of the artists manipulating technologies to document social reality.

HISTOIRes ORALes ou la «nouvelle» technologie est-elle vraiment nouvelle?, was initiated by Valerie Walker and Chantal Dumas, in collaboration with Studio XX. It proposes a reflection on intergenerational relations Two groups of interviewers – one composed of adolescents and the other of women of different ages (19-60) – produced a series of radio documentaries on the elderly and their relation to technology. Linked to HISTOIRes ORALes, will be a video-conference with Nunavut, presented by Igloolik Isuma Productions. Live, we will discover women of varying generations who currently collaborate on the production of a film and the development of a Web site documenting Inuit oral culture. A rare and unexpected encounter with young and elderly women for a discussion on their rapports with technology and culture.

The Belgian collective, Constant [Laurence Rassel, Marie-Françoise Stewart-Ebel, Wendy Van Wynsberghe], interrogates the HTMlles public for its project Cuisine interne keuken, a mobile and sound research on feminist cultural practice as work. With the assistance of 17 questions, microphones, mini-discs, free software and their hybrid practices of artists and cultural workers, 3 women will move through the HTMlles and weave links between our experiences. Following in the same vein and exposing the stakes of work, Isabelle Massu will introduce SPIP – a software for desktop publishing on the Net – in her workshop Women I Work.

Andreja Kuluncic and her on-going Web project – Distributive Justice – looks at subjects dealing with the free distribution of material and immaterial goods, as well as collective participation and decision-making processes via Internet games and practical interventions. Shilpa Gupta seemingly offers visitors the chance to receive a blessing from the religion of their choice on her site, Blessed Bandwith. She explores the relation amongst religion, politics and globalisation, recurrent themes in her work.

Free Images + Sounds

A series of concerts and performances will place the spotlight on musicians, story-tellers, djs, vjs and women manipulating old and new electronic instruments and free software. Privileging the unexpected and leaving the beaten path behind, to shatter the verb, sound and image freely!

During a special evening, three artist performances explore the link between traditional musical instruments and current technologies. Nathalie Derome and Nathalie Dion have created for the HTMlles – Le bon voisinage – an original sound and visual performance in three parts: ditties – little playful songs interpreted by Nathalie Derome; a poetic performance sung and danced by Nathalie Dion; and their improvised vocal, visual and videographic duo.

Raylene Campbell proposes I Dream Eye, an audio/video performance which incorporates the E.I.S [Expanded Instrument System], improvised accordion and a video installation. Finally, La Revanche des Opératrices premiers a program of mixed videos and musical improvisations starring: Suzanne Binet-Audet – renowned specialist of the ‘ondes Martenot’ – accompanied by Karèya Audet who plays with sound elements of the film, Phantom of the Operator (Caroline Martel, 2004); and VJ Faux Amie, who plays with images from the same film while recording the performance simultaneously.

For the closing evening of the bienniale, come and discover exceptional artists who sculpt sound on various rhythms: local artists DJ Cyan, DJ Jasmine, Alice + the Serial Numbers and K-project. Joining them all the way from Zagreb, and specially for the Montreal public, the GNU Girl Power Collective.

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