Eastern Bloc




A Micro-FM radio project, lead by Alejo Duque, during Sight & Sound festival 2014

"Today, our microscopic space is under technological control and surveillance.”
- Tetsou Kogawa

Setting up a Free Information Infrastructure is a task that has been taken up by many different groups of people (artists, activists, or even so called illegal networks). During Sight & Sound (May 20th to 25th), artist Alejo Duque (Colombia/Switzerland) will lead a project turning Eastern Bloc’s lab into an open space workshop for the study of radio-electric waves on a wide range spectrum (Micro-FM and/or Net.Radio). In a first phase of the project, on May 20th, Duque, with the help of project participants, will install a micro-FM radio at Eastern Bloc using mostly free, mostly libre hardware and software (raspberryPi + rtl_sdr + homemade antennas). Following this workshop, and for the remainder of the festival, project participants will create and stream content on local Micro-FM waves (out of Eastern Bloc’s lab) and online through net.radio. Artists are also invited to provide already produced audio content to stream throughout the festival dates.

Collectively, project participants will explore notions of radio art, sound art, noise, EVP, and many more issues that might help us redefine what radio practices mean today in this 'digital' age. Duque, together with project participants, will revisit radio and see how one might re-invent it, not just technically and technologically, but conceptually as well. For this, Duque and Eastern Bloc are calling on any sort of sound/music/discussion related participation, which might help invest the lab’s “radio waves,” producing a people’s radio of sorts, helping us reclaim the electromagnetic spectrum for art and politics!

OPEN CALL for NOISE CODERS to join UKI viral performance
Deadline for submissions: 4 April 2014, 5pm

U.K.I. live performance invites local (Montreal based) and Sight & Sound festival participants working in noise/sound/A-V/free-software/open-hardware genres to join Shu Lea Cheang on a LIVE CODE LIVE SPAM viral trip. As a sequel to Cheang's cyberpunk cult movie I.K.U., the replicants of U.K.I. trade sex for code while a virus is born and multiplied to eventually infect a city and take over the BioNet.

Cheang is inviting noise coders to plug in with their laptops/devices on a 70-minute non-stop hyper-jam session.

Viralize Sight & Sound, set Montreal under a UKI viral attack!

To participate, please write to art@easternbloc.ca with links to personal website and/or samples of work online before April 4th 2014. Up to four artists will be selected to participate in this live audio/visual experience.

For more information:

Shu Lea Cheang

I.K.U. the movie

UKI - performance documentation excerpts

UKI Open Sound Berlin OPEN CALL

Sight & Sound festival dates: 20 - 25 May 2014
Date of performance: 22 May 2014
Location of performance: 1564 rue St-Denis (École des médias - UQAM)

Deadline for submissions: 4 April 2014, 5pm
Production residency: 5 May – 15 June 2014
Public presentation: 19 – 22 June 2014

Eastern Bloc’ media lab is a space for experimenting, learning, theorizing and creating – a place to further develop systems-based, networked, generative and hybrid practices through an artist-led discourse. The lab is a site of convergence for artists (both emerging and established), professionals, students, technicians, theorists and curators – encouraged to work side by side, supporting one another conceptually as well as technically.

Eastern Bloc’s residency program, with its three residencies per year (Fall, Winter, Spring), is a chance for artists and audiences to critically engage in the artistic process, with a focus on DIY and open source culture as well as and the political discourse surrounding contemporary digital culture, and a special consideration for pedagogy and technological democratization.

For the upcoming Spring residency, artists (or artist collectives) are asked to submit a project in one or more of the following disciplines: Net art, interactive installation/performance, bio art, audio/video installation, audio/video performance, sound performance, public intervention.

Please include in the project description how the proposed project responds to the following criteria (the artistic merit of your application will be judged based on these criteria):

  • Puts forward a process of exploration/risk-taking/experimentation within a public context
  • Presents critically engaged content
  • Exploits the material framework and conceptual parameters of the mediums and technologies used
  • Use of multiple platforms/systems/networks and/or use of open source technologies
  • Explores current trends in digital culture
  • Investigates the digital language and its norms and structures
  • Looks to build upon or challenge the normative structures of New Media art production and exhibition
The selected artist or artist collective will benefit from a 6 week production residency in the Eastern Bloc lab (5 May – 15 June 2014), followed by 4 days to present the completed work or work-in-progress in one of the centre’s gallery spaces (19 - 22 June 2014). The artist or collective will benefit from the following services:
  • Open access to the research & production lab
  • Guided technical assistance during the 6 week production period (provided by the Lab Coordinator and/or a lab volunteer)
  • Access to the lab’s equipment and tools (click here for detailed list of lab equipment and tools)
  • Access to small storage space for materials and personal equipment
  • A maximum of 10 hours of in-gallery technical assistance for the installation and dismantle of the project before and after the presentation period
  • Photo and video documentation of the residency process (including production, exhibition, workshop and artist talk)
The selected artist or collective is required to give at least one workshop, on a related subject, in the lab (open to Eastern Bloc’s members and the general community, maximum of 15 participants); as well as give an artist talk (open to the general public) about the project created while in residency at Eastern Bloc. The selected artist or collective will receive a total fee of $1150 for the residency (including production, presentation and workshop).

Artists must submit the following:
  • Artistic statement (max 250 words)
  • Detailed description of the project including technical requirements (max 500 words)
  • Bio and up-to-date CV of all collaborators
  • Support material of current or past works (max. 10 images and/or 3 audio/video excerpts)
All completed submissions must be sent by email to art@easternbloc.ca no later than 5pm on April 4th, 2014.

Ongoing call

For its third consecutive year, the Data : Salon series invites current and potential members of Eastern Bloc to present a recent project or work-in-progress. From September 2013 to June 2014, the bi-monthly events, informal and open in nature, allow for direct and immediate feedback with the public. Participating artists are given access to the centre’s exhibition space, our technical resources, the team’s expertise and a range of documentation services and marketing tools. Please submit your proposals in the field of New Media (audio/video installation, A/V performance, sound performance, interactive practices) throughout the 2013 – 2014 season.

Participating artists will receive:

  • A free yearly membership to the centre
  • A participation honorarium
  • 4 hours of technical assistance for the installation of the project in gallery
  • An orientation session with one or more members of the administrative team about grants available to emerging artists
  • Photo and video documentation of the project (including a short interview with the artist)

Please send completed applications to art@easternbloc.ca with the following:
  • Artist statement (max 250 words)
  • Artist bio (max 250 words) and up-to-date CV
  • Project description (max 500 words)
  • List of technical requirements
  • Maximum of 10 images and/or 3 audio/video excerpts