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VAE 9 – Festival Internacional de Video/Arte/Electrónico

9e Festival international de Vidéo/Art/Électronique, Lima

From August 25th to September 25th, 2005

Two Canadian new media artists travel to Peru for the 9th International Festival of Art/Video/Electronics.

New media artists Bill Vorn and Constanza Silva both whom have already presented work with Groupe Molior in Montreal, will be exhibiting their respective works Prehysterical Machine and Silverfish Stream as part of the art and robotics exhibition at VAE9.

Andrée Duchaine

Andrée Duchaine has worked in the visual arts area since several years. From 1974 to 1984 she was involved in setting up the video section at Vehicule Art Gallery and organized and curated VIDEO 84, the first international video encounters in Montreal. Mrs Duchaine curated several video art exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Canada. Between 1985 and 1995 she settled in Paris where she founded a short film distribution company. She worked with T.V. channels across the world.

Andrée Duchaine taught at Paris VIII, at the Université du Québec à Montréal and at the Ottawa University. In 2001 she founded a non-profit company Le Groupe Molior producing, curating and disseminating new media works.


Artists & works

Bill Vorn
Prehysterical Machine


Robotic installation

This project is part of a larger research program on the Aesthetics of Artificial Behaviors and is very much inspired of a previous work based on the Misery of the Machines (Bill Vorn, LP Demers, La Cour des Miracles, 1997). It is conceived on the principle of deconstruction, suggesting dysfunctional, absurd and deviant behaviors through a functional machine. It operates on a dual-level process expressing the paradoxal nature of Artificial Life.

The first prototype of the Hysterical Machine (renamed Prehysterical Machine) has been presented at the Sentient Circuitry show at the Walter Philips Galery (Banff) from June 10 to July 26, 2002, at the Fundacion Telefonica kiosk at Arco (Madrid, Spain) from February 12 to 18, 2003, and at FILE 2004 (São Paulo, Brazil) from November 22 to December 12, 2004. We are actually building six more machines inspired by the prehysterical prototype that will be incorporated into a larger scale environment.

The Prehysterical Machine has a spherical body and eight arms made of aluminum tubing. It has a sensing system, a motor system and a control system that functions as an autonomous nervous system (entirely reactive). The machine is suspended from the ceiling and its arms are actuated by pneumatic valves and cylinders. Pyroelectric sensors allow the robot to detect the presence of viewers in the nearby environment. It reacts to the viewers according to the amount of stimuli it receives. The perceived emergent behaviors of this machine engender a multiplicity of interpretations based on single dynamic pattern of events.

Bill Vorn is working in the field of Robotic Art since 1992. His installation projects involve robotics and motion control, sound, lighting, video and cybernetic processes. He pursues research on Artificial Life (and Death) and Agent Technologies through artistic work based on the “Aesthetics of Artificial Behaviors”. He received a Ph.D. degree in Communication Studies from UQAM (Montreal) for his thesis on “Artificial Life as a Media”. He teaches Electronic Arts in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University where he is responsible of the A-Lab, a Robotic Art research lab. He is also Scientific Director at the Hexagram Institute. His work has been presented in many international events, including Ars Electronica, ISEA, DEAF, Sonar, Art Futura, EMAF and Artec. He has been awarded the Life 2.0 award (1999, Madrid), the Leprecon Award for Interactivity (1998, New York), the Prix Ars Electronica Distinction award (1996, Linz) and the International Digital Media Award (1996, Toronto). He has worked in collaboration with many canadian artists (including Edouard Lock, Robert Lepage, Gilles Maheu, Monty Cantsin and François Girard).

Constanza Silva
Silverfish Stream


Interactive installation

Silverfish Stream is a sensual, poetic exploration of the potentials of human-machine interaction.  Communicating robotic spheres move through the gallery space, adjusting their behaviors in relation to each other; the result is an awkward and unpredictable pas de deux that both absorbs and excludes the viewer.  Within this field of metal and fleshy bodies that adjust and readjust to each other, a complex sound environment emerges.  Sonic vibrations from the machines are transformed and modulated by the movements of bodies within the multi-centric system.

Constanza Silva is a new media artist who creates complex, sound and robotic environments by setting minimal forms in motion within networked, interactive systems.  Since 1995, she has integrated performance, video, sound, and electro-mechanical elements to explore embodied experience and agency within natural, technological and political ecologies.  The environments she creates are dynamic fields in which the concrete and the incorporeal—metal forms, fleshy bodies, information and sensation—pass into and transform each other.

Silva holds an MFA from Concordia University, Montréal and a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. Her works have been exhibited in Vancouver, Toronto and Montréal. Over the last decade she has participated in numerous projects, exhibitions and performances, some of which include: Iguana/Iguana Confirmed (2004) Techno experimentations in gallery, DARE-DARE, Montréal; Sin ruido, en memoria (2002), Transito, Marché Bonsecours, Montréal; and Flagrante Delicto (2001), Planet In Focus, the Toronto International Environmental Film and Video Festival. She has received awards from private foundations, the B.C. Arts Council, le Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatiques, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Silva was born in Colombia and raised in Canada. She is currently working and residing in Montréal.