Culture | Techno feminism

Salons Femmes br@nchées are a proud tradition at Studio XX, Montreal’s bilingual, feminist digital art centre. These evening show-and-tells serve the studio’s mandate to facilitate “the creation and promotion of digital art…to ensure that women are a defining presence in cyberspace.” Each of these events is a veritable who’s-who of emerging talent: digital artists and new-media enthusiasts are invited to present their work to the community and engage their audience in a discussion about new technology, art, and gender. Last Thursday’s salon featured the work of two artists, Aurélie Pédron and Natacha Clitandre.

Pédron is a UQAM graduate who described her video-dance projects as pioneering “virtual space as a new space for dance.” Her three short videos, Il était encore des fois, Strange Fruit, and Mémoire des choses qui tombent, represent three years of work that explores choreography not only as it relates to the female body, but also in the way it relates to the movement of the camera. In Strange Fruit, for instance, the dancer moves through fields and trees with camera in hand,  capturing her performance from a personal perspective rarely witnessed by audiences.

Clitandre has studied at UQAM, Concordia, the École de Design, and the Université Paris 8. Her work is centred around the ways we represent ourselves virtually, especially through the use of mobile technology. Clitandre was excited to share her video walking tours of Paris and Brooklyn, formatted to be played on an iPhone. On the Studio XX web site, Clitandre explains her desire to “infiltrate everyday spaces, leaving my trace via various mobile distribution supports.”

Both presentations exemplified digital media’s potential to be a platform for new directions in feminist artistic expression. The audience discussion each presentation prompted was evidence of the energy of this project, and the widespread interest in Montreal in its continuance.

The next Femmes br@nchées salon takes place on February 27 at Studio XX (4001 Berri). Visit studioxx.org for more details.

—Sheehan Moore


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