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5 artists you'll love at Montreal’s International Digital Arts Biennal (BIAN)

Crédit photo : Shaved, Bart Hess
5 artists you'll love at Montreal’s International Digital Arts Biennal (BIAN)
The second edition of the International Digital Arts Biennial (BIAN) explores the themes of physicality and multi-sensory experiences of the body. We are confronted with the calculated nature of biology, the mechanics of the organic and the mutability of our senses and environment in a wide variety of digital (and occasionally analog) works by local and international artists.

1. Robyn Moody’s Power 2: Heart Lake as seen through the eyes of Manley Natland
May 5 to 31 | Phi Centre

Moody’s work uses the land as both subject and metaphor as he explores the history and impact of the tar sands and an industrialist view of nature. The body of the work, Heart Lake, is constructed of relentlessly spinning cogs that reflect light like a mechanical oil slick in motion or a lake glistening in the sunlight.

2. TeZ’s Plasm
May 1 to 10 | Hexagram Concordia

Inspired by the work of Alan Turing into “mathematical biology,” Italian artist Maurizio "TeZ" Martinucci presents an audiovisual work that uses Turing’s mathematical models to explore non-linear, chaotic patterns. The resulting audiovisual work is organic in its fluidity but also somehow alien. TeZ, who is also a member of the reformed industrial group Clock DVA, uses math to synthesize an unnatural biology that takes on a life of its own.

3. Ally Mobbs’s Turntablism for the hard of hearing: harmonic motion
May 20 to 25 | Eastern Bloc, as part of Sight & Sound

Japan-based UK sound (and visual) artist Ally Mobbs hacks two turntables to make an analog drawing machine (like a mad spirograph) that creates drawings which look digital, like sine waves. Crossfading our sense of sight and sound, scratching at our ideas of analog and digital, organic and mechanical, Ally Mobbs’ Turntablism quietly takes playing (with) music to another level.

4. Bart Hess’s Echo, Shaved, Mutants, Hunt for High Tech
May 23 to June 1 | MAC

 Bart Hess, Mutants
Dutch textile artist Bart Hess stretches the boundaries of his chosen discipline using film, photography and animation. His sensibility brings to mind the wearable art of Leigh Bowery (which also stretched the boundaries of art, fashion and the body). Hess is no stranger to the pop arena, having designed costumes for Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Fetishistic, sensually focused on the body as object and subject, and exploring the fine line between the real and the artificially transformed body, Hess’ works provoke lust, wonder and an intense interest in the state of the body and our second skins.

5. Ryoji Ikeda’s C41
May 6 to June 15 | MAC

Ryoji Ikeda, C41
This acclaimed Japanese artist is known for his elegant and sublime works that use data and minimalist sound design (he often collaborates with Carsten Nicolai). For C41, he uses data as both the material and subject for a film/concert that is based on images of landscapes that are transmuted into the abstract language of data. Nature, science and philosophy are broached in this work about the degradation, and elevation, of the organic into the artificial. The real and unreal merge and emerge in a symphony of images and information that allows us to experience and read the organic in new ways.
2nd International Digital Arts Biennial (BIAN)
May 1st to June 19 | bianmontreal.ca