16 January - 12 February 2014

  • 16 January 2014, 18:00
  • Opening hours: Tue. - Sun., 12 PM - 5 PM

The practice of drawing and its inherent representational quality boasts a robust heritage as a subject of scholarly and artistic investigation. Drawings are objects that are consumed, circulated, and invested with social, political, and economic value. Although these stakes have been widely examined in the past, such examinations have primarily been organized around traditional definitions of drawing that involve two-dimensional supports such as paper or canvas. Eastern Bloc has now curated a group exhibit, TrailMix, that will expand upon these investigations by attending to the practice of drawing in contemporary society and confronting it to technologically innovative processes and the use of digital media.

The three works included in the exhibit mobilize platforms and practices that are typically relegated to the realm of the digital (web servers, Google Maps, online interactions, hacking) and situate them in dialogue with more conventional, non-digital media and artistic strategies (found objects, chalk, screen-printing). Through a series of accumulations, combinations, and repetitions, a memory network spanning multiple dimensions is created, capable of revelatory experience and ambiguity through loss. Identities, impressions, and gestures are not only retranscribed and conserved through the artist’s use of digital tools; they are rendered abstract, they are distorted, they find themselves in perpetual transformation between past and present, ad infinitum. The mechanism thus observed within the works becomes representative of a fluid process with an inherent incertitude.

The artist’s subjectivity unfurls in a widened spatiotemporal environment, encountering that of the spectator, who is thus intrinsically invested in the creative act. The artist is absent, but, by intervening on and in the gallery space, his presence is felt through the co-creating experience of the spectator. This triggers a heightened experience, a site-specific hyper-encounter and, ultimately, a physical record of a shifting collective experience.

Alice Jarry & Christian Pelletier: _v2Récurrences
The silkscreen studio is filled with ghostly artefacts: machines, obsolete equipment, and quotidian objects, which embody the gestural memory of actions repeated thousands of times in the past, now forgotten. In the installation “_v2Récurrences,” Alice Jarry and Christian Pelletier explore the recollection of the residual materiality of the imprint. The act of printing is here detached from its mechanical, normalized nature, and becomes instead a point of emergence for the subtleties, which are, in principle, imperceptible on paper. The printed matter is put into motion, generating a proliferation of dynamic forms.

As part of the installation, an electronic squeegee picks up and archives information relative to the repeated movement of printing, such as the tool’s position, the fluctuating pressure of the artist’s hand, and the body’s weariness. The data, differing from one artist and one spectator to the next, subsequently serve to generate distinct animations, projected in turn on a silk structure created specially for the installation.

The motion is amplified, and the silkscreen becomes kinetic. By manoeuvring the squeegee, the spectator manipulates the animations being projected and contributes, by their own movements, to the accumulation of data. Over time, the repetitions make the layers more complex, which are successively accumulated. The public’s gestures are thus archived, kept in memory, and the trace of this archive is projected onto the installation’s surface for the duration of the exhibit. The squeegee is no longer an inert object; rather an interface – between body, matter, and surface – allowing for the archiving of a collective trace, a living memory in movement.

Alice Jarry (Montreal, QC) trained in Design and Computation Arts and holds a Masters degree in Visual and Media arts from UQAM. She teaches at Concordia University. With a background in print media, today, her practice has expanded to include installation and digital art. She is interested in transformative movement and the exchange between physical and digital space. Her site specific installation work emerges from a process of hybrid materiality. She has shown in diverse exhibition spaces across Canada and the United States.

Engineer by training, Christian Pelletier (Montreal, QC) is interested in telecommunications and information theory. His research deals with notions of complexity and the non-linearity and internal makeup of adaptive systems. His interests include the transformation of visual and sound information at the interactive moment between a system and its environment. Pelletier’s approach explores the connections of art and engineering and questions the relationship between the individual, their environment and new technologies.

Andrea Campbell: Transaction Trails
Andrea Campbell’s “Transaction Trails” questions the construction of identity in our contemporary society. Each of us meets its double, the collection of data recording and tracking our consumer activities, building itself over time. The work, which frames a range of related critical questions, closely follows Andrea’s consumer trail out of which will emerge a new representation of herself. According to the artist, this shadow of herself does not exist entirely independently, but rather, confronts and confuses her actual identity.

The work consists of three drawings made with digital tools, each with an accompanying black book. These drawing-book couples are produced from data extracted from the receipts the artist has accumulated in her consumer life. Each stands in for one year of transactions in their entirety. With the application Google Earth, Campbell makes a geographical mapping of her purchases. The books act as memory-documents of the creative process, showing where each line drawn corresponds to actions in Andrea’s twin trajectory. The drawings are the newly emergent visual representations of her movements’ totality.

Andrea Campbell (Ottawa, ON) received her Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa and her Bachelors degree from NSCAD where she majored in photography with a minor in digital media. She also holds a diploma in applied photography from Sheridan College. Working in photography and digital media, her work explores the ways in which existence and each person’s identity is catalogued and altered through technology in contemporary society.

Jan Hostettler: Chalk Circle
Jan Hostettler’s most recent work, “Chalk Circle”, maps, by way of a hacked electronic door opener the interior spaces in which it is installed. An installation drawing, it consists of a mechanical arm that endlessly traces an arched line on the wall using the brightly coloured blue chalk attached at its end. The work maps the room and, by extension, the artist’s intervention as such, laying claim to the space through its residual markings. At the intersection between drawing and installation, mirroring the artist’s hybrid approach, “Chalk Circle” is characterized by essential ideas of movement and “trompe-l’oeil” games in perception.

Jan Hostettler (Basel, Switzerland) is an emerging artist sharing his time between Basel and Zürich. He is a 2011 graduate of the Basel School of Art and Design. His work has been shown in New York, Montreal, Basel and Zürich. Hostettler draws on a variety of artistic mediums and employs chance as a formal strategy in his artworks. His works are in a constant state of material transformation and he is inclined to tamper with perspective and scale. He is also co-founder of the art space Tom Bola in Zürich.


16 January - 12 February 2014

  • 16 January 2014, 18:00
  • Opening hours: Tue. - Sun., 12 PM - 5 PM