What is Interstices?
We are a media arts research-creation group based in Montreal. Founded in 2000 by Jean Dubois and Lynn Hughes, the group aimed initially to bring together artists from the French and English speaking art/design communities to work loosely together on individual or collaborative projects that explored the aesthetic, poetic and critical significance of interactive technologies.
The group’s activity up to now has consisted of two cycles during each of which a group of about eight artists worked to produce works which were then exhibited together (before going on to more separate destinies).
During the first cycle (2001-2005) we deliberately worked without a common theme, relying instead on working towards the group exhibition using shared space and technical resources. We also shared some thematic concerns such as the body and the environment, ambiguity in interpersonal relations, the cooperative reception of works and site-specific integration. During the second cycle (2006-2010) we chose the idea of proxemics 1 as a way to produce works around a common theme that was intended as open and flexible rather than constraining. (See essay on Amplified Intimacies/ Quotient d’intimité) .
The projects use a broad range of technologies -some commercially available and some custom designed. More importantly, work in and across the group juxtaposed or crossbred different types of art and design practices, including sculpture, video installation art, games, architecture, music, fashion design, etc.
After ten years, and with the completion of the second group exhibition it feels like some kind of turning point. Jean Dubois’ work is now increasingly focused on architectural and public interventions along with the technical, political and aesthetic challenges associated with digital work in public space. Lynn Hughes is now committed to conceiving and producing games that occupy a space between the large scale experimental interactive environments she has already produced and commercial games. These “games” currently focus on full body interaction and on content that is poetically and critically challenging.
In short, we are pausing to talk and think about where Interstices needs to go next. What kind of context is now relevant, how and for whom?
1Hall, Edward T., The Hidden Dimension. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1966
Lynn Hughes was instrumental in founding Hexagram, the Montreal-based Institute for Research-Creation in Media Art and Technology, and made major contributions to its structure and financing over the years. She was co-founder of Interstices in 2000 and more recently has also cofounded the Technoculture, Art and Games group (with professor Bart Simon) based at Concordia University. Lynn is currently Associate Dean of Research and International Relations at Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts where she also holds a Research Chair in Interactive Design and Games Innovation.
Jean Dubois creates media installations using a poetic and critical approach to address interpersonal relations, combinatory textuality and intersubjectivity. He uses media interfaces that integrate spectators’ bodies to bring them into contact with fictional characters and environments. He is pursuing his research exploring the intersection of body interfaces and public spaces. He teaches at UQAM’s École des arts visuels et médiatiques in Montreal and is chair of the board of directors for the Vox Contemporary Image centre. He is also a member of the Hexagram Institute. His work has been presented at a number of artists’ centres and museums in Canada and abroad (in Poland, China, the United States, Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands and Luxembourg).
- Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC)
- Groupe Molior