Hexagram x ELEKTRA – MATERIA : Laboratoire public de création de savoirs numériques

September 8-9-10, 2022 – Îlot Balmoral

ELEKTRA, in collaboration with Hexagram present MATERIA : Laboratoire public de création de savoirs numériques.

This event will bring together, over three consecutive days, local and international artists, creators, scientists, researchers and professionals from the artistic and cultural sectors. Invited guests and visitors, along with a team of mediators, will also participate in this arena of creation and knowledge sharing, at the intersections of art, design, science, and multiple forms of knowledge and forms of knowing.

Practice-based exchanges around technological and material conditions are the central premises of the Labo Public. Divided into 10 thematic clusters, the collaborative and radically multidisciplinary explorations at each cluster will unfold along a central theme: MATERIA, which questions the return to materiality, working with matter and tangible media in response to the frantic development of the virtual realm.

The collaborative material practices at the heart of this unique event will open perspectives and avenues for new works and artistic creations. The setting of the Labo in a publicly accessible space and the mediation programme will promote dissemination of research and creation amongst diverse groups and publics. A public presentation of the clusters’ work and themes will take place in the afternoon of Saturday, September 10.

MATERIA :  Laboratoire public de création de savoirs numériques aims to:

  • increase mutual exchanges knowledge and skills through the aesthetic and technical exploration of new technologies and creative approaches;
  • initiate or consolidate interdisciplinary collaborations based on shared material practices;
  • strengthen the dialogue between disciplines, sectors of the artistic and cultural milieu, academic research and creation, and diverse audiences;
  • demonstrate the links between artistic creation, technological innovation and scientific research;
  • promote the discovery of new practices across sectors and societal groups;
  • develop new artistic and cultural proposals;

The clusters


    Photo : Anna Schaeffner


    • Samuel Bianchini, Artist, Professor-researcher, Ensad Paris [FR] (module initiator)
    • Raphaëlle Kerbrat, Student-researcher, EnsAD [FR]
    • Anna Schaeffner, Student-researcher, EnsAD [FR]
    • Matthew Halpenny, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Philippe Vandal, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Don Undeen, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Isabelle Sallas
    Soft, deformable robotics do not respond to the geometry or the control systems of traditional, hard and articulated robotics. How to elaborate such flexible and active objects while taking into account their materiality, their modalities of action as well as their particular aesthetics and symbolism? To address this question, participants will experiment with different techniques (Nitinol, gel, bioplastic, …) including pneumatic systems for which air is as much a vector of deformation as a breathing resource. This medium will be explored in relation to membranes, in close collaboration with the module “Bio-inspired flexible membranes and adaptive surfaces”. This approach aims more broadly to rethink our ways of inhabiting the world, in a renewed relationship with the environment.

    Photo : Samuel Bianchini


    • Alice Jarry, Artist-researcher, Assistant Professor, Concordia University [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Marie-Pier Boucher, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto [CA-QC/ON] (module initiator)
    • Jun Cai, Engineer, McGill [CA-QC]
    • Jacqui Beaumont, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Vanessa Mardirossian, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Brice Ammar-Khodja, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Lee Wilkins, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]

    In this cluster, participants will engage with the growth and maintenance processes of bio-inspired membranes such as bioplastics, algae, invasive plant species, and abaca. The flexible and filtering properties of these surfaces will inform the creation of foldable and adaptive membranes. In close collaboration with the module “Soft Robotics: Form, Inform, Deform”, the behaviours of these membranes will be tested using pneumatic systems and airflows relevant to “soft robotics”. Practice-based activities will relate to discussions and visits of urban sites addressing the critical, social and political dimensions of air and membranes in the built environment.

    Photo Christian Mamoun


    • Dominique Cunin, Artist-researcher, Ensad-Paris, ESAD-Valence [FR] (module initiator)
    • Emmanuel Durand, Co-director Metalab-SAT [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Anaëlle Sermanson, Student-researcher, ESAD-Valence [FR]
    • Natacha Clitandre
    • Michal Seta, SAT [CA-QC]
    • Idun Isdrake, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    EnsadLab (Ensad – Paris) joins the MetaLab of SAT (Montreal-QC) for a research and creation module around their tools dedicated to interactive art creation. LivePose, a software for detecting human bodies from a video stream, and Mobilizing.js, a tool for creating co-sited collective interactivity using smartphones, will be used together for the first time. The aim is to question the possible relations between “bare” hands and hands equipped with a smartphone. Which hand will take control over the other? How can mobile screens encourage the production of a gesture, but also account for the realization of this gesture, especially with several participants?

    Photo : groupe des objets révolutionnaires


    • Filipe PAIS, Researcher, Ensad-Paris [FR], Associate Professor, Noroff University [NO], Curator (module initiator)
    • Corentin Loubet, Designer, Student-researcher, Ensad-Paris [FR]
    • Étienne Montenegro, Independant Artist [CA-QC]
    • Elody Sanchis, Independant Artist [CA-QC]
    • Sofian Audry, Artist-researcher and professeur, UQAM [CA-QC]
    • Josée Brouillard, Student-research, UQAM [CA-QC]
    • Maurice Jones, Student-research, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Natalia Balska, Student-research, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    This cluster explores the notion of Super-object through prototype building. This speculative concept inspired by research in Behavioural objects, and by the writings of José Saramago, a novel and fiction writer, offers a potential to imagine future modes of existence and co-habitation with powerful non-human agents with complex forms of agency. This workshop will use a more-than-human approach to design, asking questions such as: what happens when we de-centralize humans in the complex networks of power? The workshop will use the MisB Kit as the main prototyping tool.

    Photo : Jean-Ambroise Vesac


    • Jean-Ambroise Vesac, Artist-researcher, Professor-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Jean-Pierre Flayeux, Professor-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Dominic Lafontaine, Anicinabe digital artist [CA-QC]
    • Jean-Marc Nielly, Programmer, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Rilla Khaled, Professor-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Julieta Agriano, Curator, MediaLab [MX]
    • Kévin Pinvidic, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Adriana Blanaru
    • Mariane Laporte, Student-researcher, UQAM [CA-QC]

    This cluster will explore the materiality of urban places and digital performativity in mixed reality: it will entail creating a series of micro-experiences based on digitized urban spaces transformed into virtual stages open to participatory and surprising games as well as diverse avant-garde artistic expression.

    Photo : Max Boutin


    • Max Boutin, Multidisciplinary artist, UQÀM [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Marc-André Cossette, Artists, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC], ALMA
    • Brian Glenney, Philosopher-researcher-skateboarder, Norwich University [US]
    • Alexis Lacroix, Skateboarder and Musician [CA-QC]
    • Louis-Philippe Rondeau, Professor-researcher, UQAC-NAD [CA-QC]
    • Mathieu Deblois, Skateboarder, Artist, Student-researcher, UQAC-NAD [CA-QC]
    • Philippe Lefrançois-Racz [CA-QC]
    • Marie-Eve Morissette, Student-researcher, UQAC-NAD [CA-QC]

    This cluster brings together artists, researchers and skateboarders to think about new forms of knowledge emerging from digital art and skateboarding. Inspired by Max Boutin’s research interests based on the concept of “texturology”, this module interrogates our perception of urban space through the sensoriality of skateboarding. It aims to explore sound, image and vibrations to create real-time experiments where skateboarding becomes a performative artistic act.

    Photo : Alexis Bellavance


    • Amanda Gutierrez, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Laura Balboa, Independent artist and Designer (module initiator)
    • Camila Vásquez
    • Malte Leander, Eastern Bloc, [CA-QC]
    • Estelle Schorpp, Student-researcher, UdeM [CA-QC]
    • Tricia Enns, Student-researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC]

    This cluster deals with Marcela Legarde’s concept of sororidad (2006) which is understood as a non-binary, ethical, political and practical dimension of contemporary feminism(s). For this proposal, the participants will launch a workshop on radio podcast production, considering methodologies and techniques that sound producers from Latin America have explored.

    Photo : Martin Beauregard


    • Martin Beauregard, Artist, Professor-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Yuchen Guo, Student-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Zeineb Siala, Student-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Sarra Héllaoui, Student-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Patrick Gauvin, Student-researcher, UQAT [CA-QC]
    • Marie-Christiane Mathieu, Professor-researcher, Laval University [CA-QC]
    • Janelle Fillion, Student-researcher, Laval University [CA-QC]
    • Heather Kelley
    • Yannick Bédard, Eastern Bloc [CA-QC]
    How can 3D printing contribute to the creation of new forms of materiality in relationships to art and ecology? The overall objective of the proposed research-creation activities is to rethink and redefine the paradigm of 3D printing object fabrication as well as preconceptions related to the production and management of industrial residual materials or waste. This workshop will allow participants to become familiar with research-creation and experimental research approaches in an interdisciplinary or intersectoral perspective, as well as various technical processes and concepts from the fields of ecological art practice, ecodesign, and sensory design.

    Photo : Yan Breuleux


    • Yan Breuleux, Professor-researcher, NAD-UQAC [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Marie-Eve Bilodeau, Master in electrical engineering, ÉTS [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Linda Paquette, Professor in Clinical Psychology, UQAC [CA-QC]
    • Rémi Lapierre, Programmer [CA-QC]
    • Antoine Langevin, Student-researcher, ÉTS [CA-QC]
    • David Hurtubise, Independant artist, [CA-QC]
    • Erin Gee, Student-researcher, UdeM [CA-QC]
    • Antoine Goudreau [CA-QC]

    How can a user, connected to a physiological interface, recognize themselves or find forms reflecting their personality?  Following an experimental approach, participants will be invited to design prototypes of immersive environment and propose tools to lay the groundwork for a human-machine reflection on immersive visualization of emotions.

    Photo : Nora Gibson


    • Nora Gibson, Student-Researcher, Concordia University [CA-QC] (module initiator)
    • Gabrielle Couillard, Student-researcher, UQAM [CA-QC (module initiator)
    • Naila Kuhlmann, Concordia University [CA-QC]
    • Iris Godbout
    • Jad Dess
    • Laurent Michel Tremblay

    This cluster will develop a prototype for an interactive installation which will allow participants to explore different sensorial, emotional, and psychological states, with a particular focus on the markers and underlying processes for empathy.