I recently spoke with Lauren Fournier at Canadian Art Magazine about trauma, healing, internet-based artworks, technology and the body as it relates my interactive website https://laughingweb.space
Amber Berson wrote a thoughtful review on the occasion of Eastern Bloc’s 10th anniversary exhibition Amplification that features discussion and images of my first internet-artwork https://laughingweb.space
This exhibition meant a lot to me as an artist that has been supported by Eastern Bloc over the years not only by the fact that they have exhibited me and involved me in many projects…but also I have been enriched an supported by their fantastic programming. I salute Eastern Bloc and wish them all the best in their next 10 years!
To read the article, click here.
An interactive website and virtual laugh-in for survivors of sexual violence.
The URL: https://laughingweb.space
This website enables survivors to record and listen to the sounds of their laughter, and through the magic of the internet, laugh together. Visitors of any gender that self-identify as survivors are invited to use the website’s interface to record their laughter and join in: no questions asked. Visitors can also listen to previously recorded laughter on loop.
Why laughter? Laughter is infectious, and borne of the air we still breathe. We laugh in joy. We laugh in bitterness. We laugh awkwardly. We laugh in relief. We laugh in anxiety. We laugh because it is helpful for laugh. We laugh because it might help someone else. Laughing is good for our health: soothing stress, strengthening the immune system, and easing pain. Through laughter, we proclaim ourselves as more complex than the traumatic memories that we live with. Our voices echo, and will reverberate in the homes, public places, and headphones of whoever visits.
The site is officially launched on October 3rd, 2018!
This project was commissioned by Eastern Bloc (Montreal) on the occasion of their 10th anniversary exhibition. For this exhibition, Eastern Bloc invited the exhibiting media artists to present work while thinking of linkages to Canadian media artists that inspired them when they were young. I’m extremely honored and grateful for the conversations that Cheryl L’hirondelle shared with me while I was developing this project.
When I was just beginning to dabble in media art in art school, the net-based artworks of Cheryl L’hirondelle demonstrated to me the power of combining art with sound and songwriting, community building, and other gestures of solidarity, on the internet. Exposure to her work was meaningful to me – I was looking for examples of other women using their voices with technology. Skawennati is another great artist that was creating participative web works in the late 90s and early 2000s – you can check out her cyberpowwow here.
October 3 -23, 2018 – Eastern Bloc, Montreal. Curated by Eliane Ellbogen
February 16, 2019 –The Feminist Art Project @ CAA Conference – Trianon Ballroom, Hilton NYC.
February 2019 – Yards Gallery, Chicago. Curated by Chelsea Welch and Iryne Roh.
Fields, Noa/h. (2019). “Dangling Wires: Artists Examine Relationship with Technology in Entanglements.” Scapi Magazine (Chicago). https://scapimag.com/2019/02/05/dangling-wires-artists-examine-relationship-with-technology-in-entanglements/
Fournier, Lauren (2018). “Our Collective Nervous System.” Canadian Art. https://canadianart.ca/interviews/our-collective-nervous-system/
Berson, Amber (2018). “Amplification” Canadian Art. REVIEWS /
7240 Clark, Montreal
October 3-26, 2018
“Amplification”, in its figurative and literal sense, is the act of making something more marked or enhanced, on the one hand, and the process of increasing the amplitude of an electrical signal, on the other. Amplification of both artists’ careers and art practices is what Eastern Bloc strives towards in its programming. It is what prompted the centre to curate a retrospective exhibit featuring the work of artists with whom we have closely collaborated over the past ten years, who are not so emerging anymore, but who inspire us to continue amplifying the work of younger, more emerging artists.
The artists exhibited in “Amplification” form an important part of the digital arts landscape in Canada. Many of them exhibited in group or solo shows for the first time at Eastern Bloc, while others were presented by the centre at a formative stage in their career. They have all, over the past decade, developed a strong bond with the centre and have contributed to strengthening and “amplifying” the community of Canadian and international digital artists.
Erin Gee created work inspired by Cheryl L’hirondelle; Darsha Hewitt by Doug Back; Sofian Audry by Monty Cantsin?; Craig Fahner and Matthew Waddell by Catherine Richards; Adam Basanta by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller; Jennifer Chan by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby; Sabrina Ratté and Roger Tellier-Craig by Jean-Pierre Boyer; and Erin Sexton by Michael Snow. Eleven emerging and mid-career artists have, as such, created a body of work that represents a “living archive” of Eastern Bloc. The work exhibited in Amplification delves into and revises the history of New Media art in Canada, as seen through the perspective of a new generation of Canadian artists. Amplification is Eastern Bloc’s contribution to the past, present, and future of digital arts in Montreal and in Canada.