Artificiel is a new-media collective operating out of Montréal. Through installation and performance, they research issues of connectivity between digital art and communication. The core members of Artificiel are Alexandre Burton, composer, digital instrument-maker and researcher, and Julien Roy, audio artist, musician, one half of the electronic music duo EGG.
After forming in 2001, the group’s first piece was "Circulation" (an installation of sound, plexiglas and video), but it was the "
condemned_bulbes" project that put Artificiel under the spotlight. "condemned_bulbes"
is a sound and light installation for 25, 36 or
49 1000W incandescent light bulbs. Electricity is passed through a custom-made light dimmer; the "excitation" of the coils is audible, and controlled by Artificiel. The installation is an audible chorus of electricity. The installation was awarded an honorary mention at Ars Electronica 2005.
Artificiel’s third project was "cubing", their first work developed exclusively for performance. "cubing" is an audio-visual piece that explores the relationship between colour, performative gestures, and sound. The group reinvented the iconic Rubik’s cube as part of a purpose-built system, transforming it into an instrument. The performers manipulate the cubes under small cameras, triggering looping sounds and noise via algorithmic processing. As the sounds are generated, the various cube colour arrangements and gestures are projected onto large screens so viewers can catch even the smallest nuances of the constructed colour/movement/sound relationships.
For their newest project, "Artificiel.process", Burton and Roy have created a framework for collaborating with different artists. "Artificiel.process" debuted at Mutek with artist Martin Tétreault
as a special guest. Tétreault brings his custom built, multi tone-arm turntables.
Artificiel’s works have been shown at festivals and galleries like Sonar, Ars Electronica, Montréal Museum of Contemporary Arts and many others. Sometime third member Jimmy Lakatos is a visual artist who specializes in what he calls "video-scenography".
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