Faux Lab

  • Exhibit: 26 January - 8 February 2012
  • Vernissage: 26 January 2012, 18:00
  • Artist talks & roundtable discussion: 28 January 2012, 14:30
  • Workshops: 4 February 2012, 14:30
  • F^X

FAUX LAB, an exhibition of recent works by members of Les Laboratoires Foulab – a hackerspace based in the St. Henri neighbourhood of Montreal, aims to demonstrate the work of hackers, the mad scientists of the maker world, whose work is steeped in a DIY ethos. Whether interactive, circuit or electro-mechanic based, the projects presented question the limits of science and art, and put into question the position of hackers as hobbyists. The projects provoke the user to examine the implications of the use of common communication tools – devices like our personal computers or iPhones – illuminating their fluid integration in our daily lives. The exhibit further pursues the perceived sense of anonymity and isolation these tools facilitate and/or create.

Throughout the exhibit, each installation explores ideas of obsolescence and the inherent beauty in our discarded technologies. The binaries at play between function and beauty, hacker and artist, invisible information and visible objects, led the curators of the exhibit – Eliane Ellbogen and Amber Berson – to imagine a simulated lab space within Eastern Bloc’s gallery walls. On the one hand, the exhibit aims to mimic the chaos that typically reigns at Foulab, be it discarded electronics, soldering equipment or computer parts; on the other hand, by means of a web of wires connecting the installations to sheets of code, the curators’ goal is to make sense of the mysterious devices which were taken apart and pieced together by Foulab’s hackers. The members of Foulab, motivated by aspects of reusing and repurposing ‘obsolete’ technologies, invite the viewer to take a new look at the ubiquity of electronics.

Net tune (2011)


Net Tune highlights the transfer of data through virtual networks. The project aims to make visible the inner workings of the Internet, by way of a site-specific generative audio work. As data packets travel through the network, their coming and going is sonified. The public is invited to reflect on the quantity of information that circulates as a result of Wi-Fi technology and the ways in which we perceive it.

Maxster, multidisciplinary artist born in New Brunswick and based in Montreal, is one of the founding members of Foulab in 2008. Passionate about technological bricolage, he is currently completing a BFA at Concordia University in the Intermedia/Cyberarts program.

Phase lamp (2011)


Phase Lamp attempts to draw attention to the consumer’s use of power by representing minute changes in the main power signal as a change in ambient lighting. By measuring the power supply frequency, breaking it down and visualizing its barely perceptible changes via the modulation in intensity of a light bulb, these variations in colour and light reveal the variations in electric current, reminding the viewer of the source of this invisible current.

Sean Boyce is also a cofounding member of Foulab. While he is technically a biologist, he studies the disparate fields of science and engineering.

tweletype (2010)

F^X (Michel Gallant)

Tweletype makes clever use of an archaic machine popular in the fifties: the Teletype - a machine originally invented around the beginning of the 20th century, used for sending and receiving messages electronically, using a typewriter-style keyboard and printing mechanism. The software running the machine transcribes onto thermal paper posts from the popular social network Twitter.

Born in Nova Scotia and currently based in Montreal, Michel Gallant is a maker who specialises in repurposing old technology. He has worked with materials and systems as diverse as ancient teletype machines, LED lighting, the PDP-8 minicomputer, and the Apple II.

ibox (2011)


iBox provokes the viewer to restrict use of their smartphone by securing it under lock and key in a box equipped only with a one-finger interface, rendering the use of the phone all the more bothersome. In its “locked” state, the device reveals an inherent mechanism of its operating system: the software running the system is itself also “locked”, thus restricting its usage under the guise of a simpler user interface.


28 January, 3:30pm
What space do/can/should hackers occupy in the gallery?
Artists and hackers will discuss the points of intersection between the art of hacking and hacking as an art. Should curators and galleries make a distinction between artists who use electronics as a core material and hackers who, although routinely make use of discarded electronics, might not necessarily see themselves as artists, and often shy away from the designation. Should each have their own space in the gallery?
Panelists: Sofian Audry, member of Perte-de-Signal ; Walter Langelaar, member of WORM, Rotterdam ; Maxime Damecour, member of Foulab ; Rupert Brooks, member of Foulab.
Moderator: Sophie Le-Phat Ho, founding member of Artivistic and Upgrade! Mtl


4 February, 1:00pm
GO! Going Open - Getting started with open source creativity tools
An intensive workshop, offered at Foulab, which will cover installing Ubuntu Studio, getting familiar with the Linux, and a quuick introduction to JACK, OSC, PureData, Ardour, Inkscape, Gimp and more.


Foulab, founded in 2008, is a non-profit organization that aims to provide a collaborative and well-equipped environment that allows its users to explore new technologies while sharing knowledge and ideas. They are specifically involved in “open source” knowledge and are part of the international network of Hackerspaces.

  • Exhibit: 26 January - 8 February 2012
  • Vernissage: 26 January 2012, 18:00
  • Artist talks & roundtable discussion: 28 January 2012, 14:30
  • Workshops: 4 February 2012, 14:30