Summer 2013 : Collectif Termostat

15 June - 8 September 2013

  • Collectif Thermostat

In the context of Eastern Bloc's Open Residency program, the centre has invited the Collectif Termostat to occupy the lab over the 2013 summer months. The collective's work will be oriented towards the research and development of several collaborative and interventionist projects. Throughout their work, Termostat’s members put forward an interest in the unstable, the universal, the adaptable, as well as those forgotten (and omnipresent) objects that occupy our collective memory. Termostat is interested in the conditions of exhibiting works of art that are relative to the phenomenological reception of a work, rather than the traditional parameters often thought to be necessary in experiencing a work of art. It is by turning an ironic gaze at the implicit framework proposed by institutions that the collective equips itself with a variety of mechanisms and manoeuvres with which to explore the limits of this framework, by way of playful and at times subversive means. Furthermore, the collective members are concerned with the oftentimes-ambiguous border that exists between the private realm and the public realm. They believe that the ubiquity of contemporary technology reminds us of the importance and fragility of the concept of intimacy. Their marked interest in the issues surrounding the preservation of an intimate space manifests itself through projects highlighting the flaws in the arbitrary division between private and public. 

Established in 2011, the Collectif Termostat is composed of three founding members, emerging artists Jenny Abouav (FR), Romain Berger (CH) and Stephanie Castonguay (QC). Together they produce interactive works combining computer programming, video, sound, and electronics and robotics, with the intention of integrating open source software into their practice whenever possible. In 2012, they presented work during Montreal’s Nuit Blanche in the context of the public exhibit “Empreintes sur la Main.” In the same year, they took part in the first International Digital Arts Biennial (Elektra) as part of the exhibit “Variances” at the Maison de la Culture Frontenac. Collective member Jenny Abouav also presented a talk entitled “Wi-Find a Data Space! Or the Subversion of the Mic,” during the Symposium “Colloque International Pionniers-Innovation Création-Médias” at the École des Médias at UQÀM.

Eastern Bloc’s Open Residency program is an interdisciplinary production/research exchange between Eastern Bloc and a particular group or collective whose members may come from a variety of backgrounds: artistic, technological, scientific. The selected collective will be invited to spend time in Eastern Bloc’s lab, on an informal, regular basis, over a predetermined period of time ranging from one to three months. The purpose of the Open Residency is to provide a group or collective the opportunity to advance their research, experimentation, or production on a project (or projects) of their choosing. The residents would be encouraged to animate the lab through discussions and/or workshops thereby creating a dialogue between Eastern Bloc’s membership and the general public and engaging with a variety of disciplines. The group in residency would have open access to the lab and its tools and materials in addition to technical assistance from the lab’s coordinator and volunteers. The Open Residency is an invitation only program designed to host one collective annually (generally over the summer months). Groups, however, are encouraged to submit an application at any point during the year. Groups or projects that do not emanate directly from the digital art milieu will be prioritized.


15 June - 8 September 2013