Special Projects

2020-2027 Programming: SPECIAL PROJECTS

In addition to the recurring activities and partnerships, in the course of the 2020-2027 cycle, the network remains open to collaborate and co-produce robust projects that align with its structural mandate and goals, namely to support collaborative work, projects that contribute to promote transfer of knowledge across disciplines and communities of practice, or to disseminate R-C methodological approaches and theoretical foundations within and beyond our network. As such, Hexagram is currently a partner in the following initiatives:

MÉDIANE. Canada Research Chair in the arts, ecotechnologies of practice and climage change.

Climate changes occurring at ever-increasing speed are affecting all ecosystems on the planet and this points to the importance of forming alliances to respond to their multiple local and global effects.

The MÉDIANE Chair is a research-creation and will develop a “relational zone” with artists, scientists and urban communities to discuss phenomena about climate change. This approach aims to combine the interests and abilities of each person with regard to changing climates. The Chair offers a space for creation and dialogue to promote the circulation of ideas and actions between the arts, sciences and communities.

To do this, the Chair will explore, artistically and in a public space, data from the SmartForests research program led at the University of Quebec in Montreal by forest ecologist Daniel Kneeshaw, a pan-Canadian scientific network documenting climate variations on the waters, soils and forests of Canada. Concretely, the exploration will be based on the sharing of practices between the two research programs. In addition, the host communities will be invited to share their experience of the art installations and the actions they can inspire.

The Chair plans to produce and present each year an installation in an urban environment during the summer period (2021-2024), as well as a series of complementary activities carried out during the year. Art installations will become the qualitative expression of scientific data from forest-related research, through the arrangement of custom software development, video equipment, LED lights, audio, sensors and the rented scaffolding structures. Integration into the chosen site will be modulated according to each “relational zone” serving to forge a participatory relationship between partners (including technological ones), participants, the spatiality and temporality of the installation and the neighborhood.

Publication of a Collective Work on Research-Creation at Hexagram by MIT Press

This publication project initiated by co-researcher Chris Salter will pursue the analysis initiated by Hexagram’s mapping of methodological and thematic R-C orientations (2018). It intends to publish a synthetic study that will situate the network in the national and international contexts by gathering the accounts of several Hexagram members in regards to the history, epistemology,  and methods of R-C.

RE-CREATE – Research-Creation as Culture and Practice
Co-director Chris Salter is developing a research partnership to establish an international network of academic collaborators, cultural institutions, funders, and policy makers in order to document how new forms of knowledge are produced at the intersection of the arts and social sciences and humanities in the context of science and technology. With a core group of Hexagram members, the partnership will engage in mixed-research approaches (ethnographic, historiographic, oral history, and research-creation) that examine research-creation practices in the arts in their relations with biology, machine learning and climate change.

Recurring Partnerships

2020-2027 Programming: RECURRING PARTNERSHIPS

Festival du nouveau cinéma — FNC eXplore

Since 2015, Hexagram and its media arts experimentation centre at UQAM have been collaborating to present the eXplore section of the Festival du nouveau cinéma’s, which includes virtual reality works, installations, and interactive films. In addition to presenting the public with new artistic proposals, the programme also includes lectures and workshops. Part of the programme of this event is reserved to creations by students, which are competitively selected.

ELEKTRA gallery, Festival and International Digital Art Biennial

Since 1999, the ELEKTRA Festival presents local and international audiovisual performances and experimental media installations inscribed in the current aesthetic movements. ELEKTRA also organizes the International Marketplace for Digital Art, a yearly professional gathering of local artists, with creative and cultural producers and institutions that aims to promote and dissemination artistic works nationally and internationally. In 2012, the international biennale of digital art (BIAN) was added as the exhibition component of ELEKTRA’s programming. Hexagram members are regularly featured in their activities. ELEKTRA opened its own gallery in 2019. Two one-month exhibitions per year will be reserved to present the output of Hexagram members’ research-creation projects, which will be selected each spring by a committee including two Hexagram members and ELEKTRA artistic directors. 

Mutek Festival — Forum IMG

Since 2000, the Mutek Festival is a hub for new forms of electronic music and audiovisual performances. It presents visionary artists from here and abroad with the aim to raise awareness and to develop new audiences. Since 2013, its Forum IMG annually examines aspects of  “current artistic creation, technological innovation, the ecosystem of digital arts and industries, and the societal challenges of our digital cultures.” In this showcase, Hexagram members have regularly presented the results of their research and creative work to the general public in Montreal and to visitors from abroad. Mutek is an international springboard, with its sister editions in Mexico City, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Dubai, San Francisco and Tokyo.

MUTEK_IMG 2020 Edition
Workshop 1 – MUTEK_IMG 2020 Edition
Workshop 2 – MUTEK_IMG 2020 Edition

Montreal Nuit Blanche and Montreal New Music Festival

Since 2019, for the Nuit blanche de Montréal, Hexagram has presented a concert series in collaboration with UQAM’s Groupe de recherche sur la médiatisation du son (GRMS) and the Montreal New Music Festival (MNM) Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). The program includes creations by students, researchers and collaborators.

La Grande Écoute 2021
La Grande Nuit 2020 : Voix / Immersion

Recurring Activities

DEMO: Interuniversity Research-Creation Residency Program

This program structures exchanges and is the primary means of sharing resources dedicated to research-creation across the Network’s partner institutions. It is open to all members, but especially to students; it supports research-creation projects through short stays in research groups and labs or with collaborating organizations in spaces of practice affiliated with Hexagram. Residencies may be exploratory or experimental in nature and encompass conception, production, or dissemination. They entail regular exchanges with the host community to discuss the development of the project. Technical and logistical support is provided and administered by the host partner institution or organization.

Hexa_OUT: National and International Mobility Program

This program provides financial support for members’ research activities and dissemination outside of their own academic community. It privileges international outreach at major events and/or established cultural organizations (symposia, festivals, conferences, exhibitions, shows, study days, research-creation residencies, and so on), preferably for concerted travel involving two or more members; for activities potentially leading to new collaborations or to strengthening emerging collaborations at intersections of interdisciplinary expertise; and the dissemination of R-C to new research milieus and to new audiences.  Half of its budget is allocated to student members.

Hexagram Gala for Emerging Researchers

Since May 2019, Hexagram undertakes a yearly presentation and celebration of student laureates who have been awarded funding or other programs of support for their research projects. The Gala invites all Hexagram members as well as representatives of professional, academic and cultural spheres to attest to the network’s support to emerging researchers and practitioners, to encourage the advancement of their projects, and to contribute to disseminate their R-C outcomes. It aims to present R-C in accessible, synthetic, and captivating ways and to identify issues that associate different forms of knowledge.

Hexagram’s Interdisciplinary Summit

This biennial event aims to bring together all members of the network as well as key practitioners from abroad, thus pairing perspectives and approaches addressed in research-creation with those of other scientific fields of research. The programming includes activities such as thematic symposia, research-creation workshops, and artistic events (exhibitions, concerts, shows, etc.) that map current artistic, cultural and technological developments.

LASER Talks (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendez-vous)

Founded in 2008, LASER Talks is a program of evening gatherings set up by the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology (Leonardo), which connects more than 30 cities around the world where artists and scientists meet to discuss and share presentations. Hexagram has been the Montreal host since 2014. Twice a year, researchers from different fields meet and share perspectives on the relationships between the arts, science, and technology.

REC — Radio Show on Research-Creation in Collaboration with the web radio station CHOQ.ca

In collaboration with the web radio station CHOQ.ca, REC offers a series of podcasts of “short interviews, round tables, and reports on the definitions, methodologies, and other current issues of research-creation […] particularly in the Quebec context.” Guests are, for the most part, members of the Hexagram network. The productions are disseminated on CHOQ.ca’s public platform with the goal to vulgarize scientific knowledge, as to reach students and professionals in the cultural sphere as well as the general public

Hexagram Newsletter

Two to three times per month, our bilingual newsletter sends to 2,000+ subscribers the latest information about the Network, the accomplishments of its members, and pertinent updates and opportunities related to R-C.

Team and Governance

TEAM & GOVERNANCE

Coordination office

Co-Directorship 

  • Sofian Audry, Co-director and Principal Investigator, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Christopher Salter, Co-director and Principal Investigator, Concordia University

Executive Committee

  • Alice Jarry, co-researcher, Concordia University.
  • Christopher Salter, Co-director, Concordia University.
  • Jean Dubois, co-researcher, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Jean-Ambroise Vesac, co-researcher, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. 
  • Sofian Audry, Co-director, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Suzanne Paquet, co-researcher, Université de Montréal.
  • Emilie St-Hilaire, student member, Concordia University.
  • Danny Perreault, student member, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Frédéric Bigras-Burrogano, student member, Université du Québec à Montréal.

Board of Directors

  • Barbara Clausen, Vice-Dean for Research and Creation, Faculty of Arts, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Ariane Couture, Research Development Advisor, Vice-Dean for research, creation and innovation, Univeristé Laval.
  • Dominique Michaud, Representative of Associate Vice-President, Research, Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Concordia University.
  • Jean Dubois, co-researcher, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Jean-Pierre Richer, Representative of Vice-Rector for Research, Creation and Diffusion, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Marc Ménard, Vice-Dean for Research and Creation, Faculty of Communication, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Mathieu Noury, Representative of Vice-Rector, Teaching, Research and Creation, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
  • MJ Thompson, Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University.
  • Ariane Couture, Conseillère en développement de la recherche, Vice-rectorat à la recherche, à la création et à l’innovation, Université Laval.

Representatives of Partner Institutions 

  • Alanna Thain, McGill University.
  • Bart Simon, Concordia University. 
  • David St-Onge, École de technologie supérieure.
  • Jean Dubois, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  • Jean-Ambroise Vesac, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
  • Marie-Christiane Mathieu, Université Laval.
  • Aleksandra Kaminska, Université de Montréal.
  • Yan Breuleux, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

General Bylaws

Organizational chart

Mission & History

MISSION, OBJECTIVES AND HISTORY

MISSION

Hexagram is an interdisciplinary network dedicated to research-creation addressing the relationships between arts, cultures and technologies. It comprises around forty co-researchers, about fifty collaborators, and a little over 200 students from various artistic disciplines related, in particular, to living arts, visual arts, design, and media arts, while also touching disciplines in the social sciences and humanities or natural sciences and engineering.

  • It promotes collaborative work and the sharing of facilities by federating human and material resources mainly from Université du Québec à Montréal and Concordia University, but also those of Université de Montréal, École de technologie supérieure, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Université Laval, and McGill University.
  • It supports the development of experimental or critical research-creation projects by offering residency programs and national and international mobility grants.
  • It helps explicate and disseminate the various methodological approaches and theoretical foundations of research-creation through the publication of books, radio broadcasts, and videographic material accessible online.
  • It organizes artistic and scientific events such as symposia, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, shows, and other creative forms in public space.
  • It creates opportunities for knowledge-sharing between experts from different creative disciplines and various fields of research by facilitating collaboration between members in interdisciplinary activities.
  • It encourages knowledge-sharing and exposure for emerging artist by developing partnerships with educational institutions, artistic organizations, and cultural businesses located in Quebec, Canada, and abroad.

2020-2027 PROGRAMMING OBJECTIVES

1. To support and explicate research-creation practices at the intersection of the arts, culture, and technology

Research-creation being an as-yet emerging field in academia, Hexagram must maintain and foster conditions conducive to the development of creative and innovative productions based on issues that can generate new knowledge. Hexagram facilitates access to the spaces, equipment, and technical expertise that accompany both the conception and production phases of creative work and its dissemination. Hexagram offers its members a place for methodological and theoretical exchanges by generating opportunities for situating the issues, explicating methods, and setting out results. Hexagram provides student members many opportunities to familiarize themselves with the workings of research-creation and to put it into practice alongside their more experienced peers.

2. Establish and strengthen links between artistic and scientific disciplines through research-creation

Research-creation crosses several academic disciplines that are connected to various departments, faculties, and universities. It is still little known and recognized by other fields of research in the social sciences and humanities or in natural sciences and engineering. Hexagram helps to counteract the effects of compartmentalization, not only between so-called artistic disciplines, but also among other academic research settings. It addresses the methodological and epistemological foundations of research-creation, transversally between artistic disciplines, while articulating them with common issues regarding other forms of knowledge. Its “network” form encourages it to build bridges with other strategic groupings or research communities conducive to the integration of research-creation issues.

3. Promote and share research-creation expertise with spheres of professional practice and cultural organizations.

This objective lies at the heart of the mission of a strategic network that aims to maintain lasting spaces of exchange between the academic research community and society, on the part of both professional practitioners and cultural organizations addressing various types of audiences. It is not just a matter of sharing explicit knowledge and specific know-how, but of also building and sharing common imaginations that can only be transmitted through performed, material, and situational aesthetic experiences. The wished-for collaborations target the organization of conferences and roundtables, but also of demonstrable experimentation in the form of tangible prototypes, of shows, concerts, exhibitions, films, or other forms of sensory experience. It also a question of creating various channels for research-creation transmission in a variety of contexts of industrial application and cultural dissemination. 

HISTORY

In 2001, Hexagram Institute, a non-profit organization, received significant support from Valorisation-Recherche-Québec (VRQ) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). This investment allowed for the creation of a research technology infrastructure and a platform for new media arts at Concordia and UQAM, in partnership with l’Université de Montréal.

This research platform served as a basis for the creation of the Hexagram Institute, providing a unique gathering point for research-creation in Montreal and the rest of Canada. Prior to its formation, university arts faculties in Montreal enjoyed an enviable reputation both nationally and internationally, but researchers and independent artists tended to work in isolation.

Hexagram became a crucial link in tying together the work of many of Quebec’s researcher-creators. Since its inception, numerous enduring partnerships have been made possible, not only in the university context, but also with industry, non-profit organizations, independent artists and cultural producers.

The Hexagram Institute ended in 2008 when the VRQ funds were depleted, leading to the formation of two new organizations: CINQ (Consortium en innovation numérique du Québec), an independent body supporting collaborations between universities and the commercial media industries, and two university-based research platforms (Hexagram-Concordia and Hexagram-UQAM).

Hexagram’s most recent development since its inception in 2001 is the partnership/consolidation with the former CIAM — Le Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatiques (2001–2010, funded also by the FRQSC) which was also bringing together researchers from Uqam, Concordia and Université de Montréal. Hexagram and CIAM were supporting the same researchers, with Hexagram focusing on the transfer of technology and direct support for research-creation, while CIAM fulfilled its mission of training and support for students, transfer of knowledge, and dissemination of research. In addition, Hexagram and CIAM successfully united French and English Montreal University cultures.

In 2008, FRQSC evaluators recommended the merger of Hexagram-Concordia, Hexagram-UQAM and CIAM under the banner of HexagramCIAM. The mission was to establish a unique international network for research-creation in media arts, design and technology, specialized in research, training and dissemination. In Spring 2011, Hexagram | CIAM was born and funded (2011–14 FRQSC)

Now, in its state as a mature network, the organization is known as Hexagram.