Eastern Bloc, Canada • www.easternbloc.ca
:: Scroll down to view the President of the Eastern Bloc Esther Bourdages' presentation below ::
Esther Bourdages, President, Eastern Bloc • www.esthersophiebourdages.blogspot.com
More information on Eastern Bloc’s upcoming winter residency and other calls for submissions is available at www.easternbloc.ca/en/about/calls-for-submissions.
Eastern Bloc is a space for research and the creation of digital and electronic art and a platform for experimentation, hybrid and interactive practices, networking and process. Since 2007, the center has been at the forefront of the distribution, production and promotion of digital art in Montreal. It particularly encourages creative experimentation in art, technology and science, as well as all emerging digital practice. Hybridity and new modes of production are at the core of its mission, along with supporting the arts community to allow creative exchange between emerging and established artists through dissemination initiatives both locally and internationally. Eastern Bloc facilitates public participation, technological democratization and the enhancement of urban space through public intervention projects. While encouraging innovation through artistic practice and emerging technology, the organization also aims to defend a critical point of view on these developments.
Eastern Bloc has a gallery space, a Media Lab and an annual festival called Sight & Sound www.sightandsoundfestival.ca) that brings together Canadian and international new media artists. The festival showcases digital artists who work with hybrid, interactive and networked approaches. The goal of Sight & Sound is to provide a privileged dissemination platform for emerging digital artists, alongside well-established, world-renowned artists.
Eastern Bloc has a great interest in artistic explorations involving new forms of language and textuality that confront the contemporary issues of our digital age – forms such as hacking, programming, net art, algorithms, DIY culture, ecology and internet politics. Last year, we were able to organize a total of 15 workshops. With an average of 12 spots for attendees, the workshops held in the last year have been a great influence on the success of our last Sight & Sound Festival and the sound-related work that came out of it.
Alongside these efforts, Eastern Bloc’s Media Lab holds itself to its commitment to new technologies and new media by offering numerous workshops aimed at mastering Arduino programming cards or the Python programming language, creating models for 3D printers or even building a robot. It also facilitates many explorations of technological democratization and beautiful sensory experiences.
The residency program at Eastern Bloc involves three residencies per year. These residencies are a chance for artists and audiences to be critically involved in the artistic process, with a particular focus on open source and DIY culture and the political discourse surrounding digital culture. Special consideration is given to pedagogy and technological democratization. Artists in residence have full access to the lab. The residency program is instilled with the objectives of Eastern Bloc: To reinterpret and broaden the definition of new media art beyond the simple use of new technology, promoting better integration of practices and models based on processes. The Media Lab is a place to experiment, learn, create and theorize; a space for advancing hybrid, generative, networking and systemic practices that are guided by artistic discourse.