People doing strange things with electricity (Toronto Franchise)

Dorkbot VI: Thursday, January 26th, 2006

Alex Geddie, Annie MacDonell & Nicholas Stedman - "Je Te Veux"
Dan Zen - Nodism
Saad/Haldenby/Chaarani/Culley - Painting the Myth

Alex Geddie, Annie MacDonell & Nicholas Stedman

Annie and Alex will be discussing their project "Je Te Veux", a collaboration with Nicholas Stedman, recently presented at Harbour Front Centre, in Toronto.

"Je Te Veux" installation merges the simple mechanism of the music box with digital technology. By weaving the two together, we seek to reinvest the latest technology with some of the awe and mystery which surrounded the clockwork and automata of the past.

In its Harbourfront Centre incarnation the installation is comprised of 71 music boxes, each of which play the same four bars from Erik Satie's 1904 composition "Je Te Veux". The music boxes have been modified to produce as many different timbres as possible within the limits of the simple machines. The boxes are arranged on the wall in a pattern that mimics the notes of the composition along the music box cylinder, the round composition is rolled flat on the wall, like a map to be explored in all directions.

Annie MacDonell works in photography, collage, film and installation. She acquired her BFA at Ryerson's School of Image Arts in photography, then went on to study at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains, in France. Her work has been shown in Canada and abroad.

ALEX GEDDIE (b. 1976) attended Ryerson and OCAD in Toronto, and Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. Audio artist, has produced several audio installations (METAR [2002] and Le Doux, Le Vent, Le Penetrant [2003], online experiments (PING [2002]) and collaborates with other artists, producing sound for film and audio for performances and other installation works. Lives and works in Toronto.

Nicholas Stedman is a Canadian artist living in Toronto and Buffalo. He works with various forms of technology to produce objects that exhibit behaviours. Currently he is making machines to insert into various social situations. Stedman works both independantly, and in collaboration to produce artwork. He is pursuing an MFA at UB. For the past three years he was the studio manager at InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, and has also worked for Banff Centre for the Arts as a production associate.

Dan Zen

Canadian New Media Award winner and Professor of Interactive Multimedia at Sheridan, Dan Zen, has been making original online games and gadgets for over ten years at Now he is about to reveal a new Philosophy called Nodism including a Node Globe driven Web application called Node Notes

Painting the Myth

By Anthony Saad, Trevor Haldenby, James Chaarani and Gordon Culley

Participants first encounter a blank canvas on an easel, and a painter's brush. Behind the easel are a video camera, computer and projector. As a user paints, the system tracks and processes the motion of the brush, and in response projects digital brush strokes onto the canvas. Simultaneously, the action of painting triggers a dramatic audio narrative complete with sound effects and music.

Visually, the layers of a famed artist's work are progressively applied, while the audio narrative exploring the story of the artist is controlled by the speed at which the user is painting.

Experientially, the user is literally painting the story of the artist - all through a magical interface designed to be as simple and accessible as a paintbrush and canvas.

Painting The Myth seamlessly integrates form and function, setting a new standard for interactive installation. The system benefits both clients and users in the art gallery sector with an innovative and educational technological experience, offering access to a state of emotional and physical involvement impossible in traditional media.



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