31 January - 27 February 2013

  • Vernissage: 7 February 2013, 18:00
  • Artist talk with Zeesy Powers: 27 February 2013, 19:00

“Carrier Pigeon” is a group exhibit, which seeks to explore the ways in which ideas and actions circulate. The two projects presented, “Subjects” by Zeesy Powers and “Society’s Space” by Dominic Gagnon, more specifically examine the notion of contagious activity and the persuasive power of language, visual or spoken. “Carrier Pigeon” addresses the social constructs inherent to viral activity and the ways in which ideas themselves can become so.

While the practises of Powers and Gagnon are radically different, their work echoes one another on a thematic level. Despite a common use of vernacular technology – at-home video editing techniques, Internet video sampling, mash-up and remix –they approach their subjects – of a societal and personal nature – from a distinct frame of reference. Powers’ “Subjects” uses the methods and aesthetics of reality television documentary to examine how and why we construct our personal narratives for a mass audience. The interviewed subjects speak in their mother tongue on topics of understanding, mistranslation and adaptation, effectively (or ineffectively) exploring the contrast between what we say and how it is interpreted. Gagnon’s “Society’s Space,” on the other hand, am audio/visual remake-installation of Guy Debord’s 1973 film “The Society of the Spectacle,” uses current video material from the Web, specifically YouTube, to reveal the Internet as a modern-day converged space for media consumption.

At play in both works is an attempt to expose intertextuality within video-making practices in a digital era. Powers and Gagnon make use of layered references to current topics of a social, economic, and cultural nature. The fragmented nature of Gagnon’s work alongside the socialized mini-universe that Powers creates, both seduce and challenge the viewer. By situating both artists’ work at the intersection of vernacular video, intervention politics and Web-based art, “Carrier Pigeon” provides valuable insight to the idea of contamination on a psychosocial level.

Subjects (2013)

“Subjects” is a reality TV show that invites participants to speak on a range of topics in exchange for the opportunity to see themselves in the eyes of another. For the Montreal episode, participants are invited to speak in their mother tongue on topics of understanding, mistranslation and adaptation. What does it mean to share your story when your words cannot be understood? After being interviewed by someone who does not understand what they are saying, the footage is used as collage material in a video work, creating a poem that can't be comprehended as words, music made entirely of language. The final, TV-show length video will be played alongside the unedited interviews, exploring the contrast between what we say and how it is interpreted. Powers will use the first week of the exhibit to interview and videotape participants. The final edited videos will be screened during the exhibit vernissage on February 7th. Audience members are invited to sign up for interviews between the 31st of January and the 6th of February.

Zeesy Powers is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto who likes to play with expectations and the nature of performance in a culture dominated by mass media and technologies that permit instantaneous production and dissemination. Her performance and video work has been exhibited in festivals and galleries around the world, while her online work confuses and amuses international audiences. She is a past resident of CCA Kitakyushu (Japan), The Banff Centre (Alberta) and Palomar5 (Berlin). She is currently writing a collection of short stories about people's relationships to the bodies of others.

Society's Space (2013)

“Society's Space” is a 60 minute A/V remake-installation of Guy Debord’s 1973 film “The Society of the Spectacle.” Originally 88 minutes long and shot entirely in black and white, Debord’s film is based on his 1967 book of the same name, and was his first feature-length film. It uses found footage - jumbling sequences from feature films juxtaposed with still photographs, industrial film stock, early 1970's glossy 'lifestyle' TV ads, pornography and news footage of unrest in the streets – to act as a radical Marxist critique of mass marketing and its role in the alienation of modern society. 40 years after the making of Debord's film, “Society's Space” superimposes a contemporary aesthetic onto “The Society of the Spectacle” by using current video material from the World Wide Web. It also dissolves the revolutionary Marxist project of Debord in order to enrich the original criticism of the spectacle formulated in Debord’s early writings. Debord's voice over accompanies the new collage, like a ghost from the past, to provoke insightful clashes between time and space, as well as meditative moments.

A director, inventor, performer and filmmaker, Dominic Gagnon is an internationally recognized video artist, whose insightful and enigmatic films have screened recently at Transmediale, Berlin, and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Gagnon has been making videos and films since the nineties and his work is an exposé of obsession, identity and culture. Gagnon considers cinema as a technique for measuring the immeasurable or as a discipline of chaos.


1:45pm: Departure from Eastern Bloc. Presentation by Dominic Gagnon on bus.
4:00pm: Arrival at Sporobole. Sound Pollution conference.
5:00pm: 5 à 7 and visit of "Postillons/Intempéries du langage," solo exhibit by Catherine Préfontaine. Tour of Sporobole’s new lab.
7:00pm: Departure from Sporobole. Festive return with karaoke on bus.

Postillons/Intempéries du langage, Sporobole

Catherine Préfontaine is interested in the visual schematization of non-visual natural phenomena. By the implied filter of the body as both barrier and receptacle, Préfontaine probes the integrity of the human body that digs its heels into the sensorial invasions of the world. "Postillons / Intempéries du langage" proposes an installation whereby the artist invests herself in the practice of drawing within a site-specific work. Space is approached as a recording of sensorial perceptions. The installation can be seen as the amplified field of the tormented clamour of a deafened world.

The conference on sound pollution will be given by Alain Berry, Co-Chair of industrial research at NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) in aviation acoustics and professor at Université de Sherbrooke. The presentation will discuss the issue of sound pollution, and will approach the notion of sound as a physical and perceived object. Some examples of recent research in noise reduction will be presented.

Sporobole is a centre for production and exhibition of contemporary art that catalyzes artistic research through technical support while adopting an experiential approach. The centre provides a context of exchanges – between creation, exhibition and reflection – carrying a renewal of modes of understanding of the practices that are developed and presented within the centre’s activities. Thus it recognizes itself as a propeller of new forms of knowledge on both technical and discursive levels. Thanks to this integrated context of presentation and production, Sporobole reaffirms the role of the artist and of his practice within the social ecology.

Regular 40.00$
Reduced 30.00$

31 January - 27 February 2013

  • Vernissage: 7 February 2013, 18:00
  • Artist talk with Zeesy Powers: 27 February 2013, 19:00