5TH INTERNATIONAL DIGITAL ART BIENNIAL - BIAN 2021

Exhibition at Arsenal Contemporary Art - Montreal

By ELEKTRA

The theme of this 5th edition was METAMORPHOSIS - a topical subject that echoes the pandemic situation and the changes it brings in our lifestyles. Co-curated by DooEun Choi from South Korea, with East Asia - South Korea, Japan, China - as the guest region, the BIAN brought together 17 works, some of them North American and Canadian premieres, by 15 local and international artists and collectives.

Soul Shift; Antibodies; Kiss, or dual monitors; I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit), Justine Emard, Exonemo, Daniel Iregui, Bill Vorn, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit) (2021) by Bill VornELEKTRA

I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit), Bill Vorn

A robotic installation staging bedridden, sick, and suffering machines that react to the presence of viewers in a disjointed medical allegory where the mechanical creatures and their life support system start to move with pain and struggle, stretch, curl up, dislocate and resume form. 
Produced with the help of the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec (CALQ). 

I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit) (2021) by Bill VornELEKTRA

Through the metaphor of an intensive care unit, this installation suggests alienation by an artistic appropriation of robotics and automation technologies. 

I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit) (2021) by Bill VornELEKTRA

The strength of the simulacrum is emphasized by the inevitable instinct of anthropomorphism and projection of our internal sensations, a reflex triggered by any responsive phenomenon that challenges our senses.

I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit), Bill Vorn, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Unfold (2016) by Ryoichi KurokawaELEKTRA

unfold, Ryoichi Kurokawa, 2016

Inspired by the latest discoveries in the field of astrophysics, unfold, the immersive and sensory installation of Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, seeks to translate into sounds, images and vibrations, the phenomena surrounding the formation and evolution of stars. 

Unfold (2016) by Ryoichi KurokawaELEKTRA

Liminal (2018) by Louis-Philippe RondeauELEKTRA

Liminal, Louis-Philippe Rondeau, 2018

LIMINAL is an interactive installation that embodies the inexorable passage of time, seeking to reify the limit between present and past. When we cross the arch our reflection projected on the adjacent wall seems deployed in time thanks to the slit-scan technique.  

Liminal (2018) by Louis-Philippe RondeauELEKTRA

Liminal, Louis-Philippe Rondeau, 2018, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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I+CARE, Ahreum Lee, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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I+CARE mimicked a set of IKEA instructions for imagined self-care, DIY medical equipment for a home in the near future. The “Do It Yourself” culture constantly being marketed to us as a form of empowerment, is, in fact, a cost-cutting measure where labour previously done by employees is being offloaded onto consumers. These surrealistic instructions for home equipment mock the ubiquity of commercial ads for DIY products and expose their system of influence.

I+CARE, Ahreum Lee, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Kiss, or Dual Monitors, Exonemo, 2017, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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In  Kiss, or Dual Monitors two LCD monitors are hung from a ceiling, displaying faces of various people on the screen, and placed as people on the screen kiss. The work questions the relationship between emotional feeling and information devices.  

ANTIBODIES (2020) by Daniel IreguiELEKTRA

Antibodies, Daniel Iregui (Iregular), 2020

Developed into a physical installation, Antibodies was initially created during the pandemic-induced lockdown as an interactive web experience, as all social gatherings were transformed into video-conference calls.

Antibodies (2020) by Daniel Iregui (Iregular Studio)ELEKTRA

Antibodies (2020) by Daniel Iregui (Iregular Studio)ELEKTRA

Gravity Series, David Spriggs, 2018, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Gravity Series, David Spriggs, 2018, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Form is the visible configuration of parts coming together into a shape or structure. The Cubists painted objects simultaneously from many viewpoints in one image. It is in our mind that we join these various viewpoints together to understand of how an object resides in space.  In a similar manner, the separate multiple layered images in the artwork ‘Gravity’ are collectively joined together in our mind to reveal the sense of a three-dimensional form. 

Doku-Human, Lu Yang, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Doku is Lu Yang’s latest nonbinary avatar named after the phrase, “Dokusho Dokushi”, meaning “We are born alone, and we die alone.” The central question is whether our lives in the digital realm - made so acutely apparent during the pandemic - have undermined or replaced ancient religious ideologies. 

Doku-Human, Lu Yang, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Castles Made of Sand, Michel de Broin, 2015, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Castles Made of Sand (2015) by Michel de BroinELEKTRA

Castles Made of Sand, Michel de Broin, 2015

The sand is then collected and recycled to create a new castle. It is set to the relative position of the moon influencing the tides.

Castles Made of Sand (2015) by Michel de BroinELEKTRA

The installation functions as a production line that casts sand castles, dispatches them along a conveyor belt, and eventually sends them forward to crumble.

LifeFORM (2020) by Herman KolgenELEKTRA

LifeFORM, Herman Kolgen, 2020

Human beings, caught between the infinitely large and the infinitely small, remain connected to everything. The pandemic forces the human society to evoke this ignored axiom. It explores our “humble position" and need to metamorphose and innovate. 


Commissioned by Paradise City

LifeFORM (2020) by Herman KolgenELEKTRA

LifeFORM (2020) by Herman KolgenELEKTRA

Prosperity II, Samuel St-Aubin, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Prosperity II, Samuel St-Aubin, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Prosperity II, Samuel St-Aubin, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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A stand-alone device that manages grains of rice. A tweezer moves them from one surface to the other, and then deposits them in an orderly manner on another surface. The grain of rice, symbol of fertility and prosperity, is carefully digitized and memorized to be moved. 

Space Dreams, Urban Dreams, Nature Dreams by Refik AnadolELEKTRA

Refik Anadol - Space Dreams - Urban Dreams - Nature Dreams

These 4K videos based on a Style GAN algorithms, respectively use images captured from International Space Stations (ISS), the cities of New York & Berlin, as well as some national parks, Iceland and other natural wonders, to create a dynamic data painting.

Space Dreams, Urban Dreams, Nature Dreams (2020) by Refik AnadolELEKTRA

Alter Ego, Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules, 2020, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Alter Ego (2020) by Cadie Desbiens-DesmeulesELEKTRA

Alter Ego, Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules, 2020

Alter Ego is a generative video installation exploring the increasing role technology and artificial intelligence play in the course of humanity.

Alter Ego (2020) by Cadie Desbiens-DesmeulesELEKTRA

Cadie Desbiens-Desmeules turns the technology back on itself, hacking Instagram’s API to present an unfiltered glimpse of human activity before it is skewered by algorithms. Images posted on Instagram are rearranged to take the form of AI-generated “influencer” faces (GAN). 

Soul Shift, Justine Emard, 2018, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Soul Shift depicts an interaction between two humanoid robots powered by AI. Alter 1 invents gestures and attempts to engage in interaction with the other robot, Alter 2. Alter 1 appears intrigued by the inertia of its lookalike, approaching it in a movement of recognition and affection. 

Panorama de l'anthropocène, Oli Sorenson, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Panorama de l'anthropocène, Oli Sorenson, 2021, From the collection of: ELEKTRA
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Oli Sorenson presents Panorama of the Anthropocene, a sequence of animations composed of simple geometric shapes in extremely vivid colors. Created in a hybrid style, this video recalls the square layout of Instagram, the pixelated landscapes of Minecraft as much as the works of american painter Peter Halley.

Credits: Story

BIAN 2021: METAMORPHOSIS
Held at Arsenal Contemporary Art (Montreal), Novembre 19, 2021 to February 13, 2022
Guest region: East Asia

Curators:
Alain Thibault, Artistic Director of ELEKTRA - BIAN (CA)
DooEun Choi, Artistic Director of Hyundai Motor Company (KR)

All photos and video: Gridspace
with animations by: Baillat Studio


Partners: 
Arsenal Contemporary Art
Canada Council for the Arts
Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
Conseil des arts de Montréal
Canadian Heritage
Gouvernement du Québec
Ville de Montréal
Filaction
Consulat de France à Québec
Korea Foundation
Paradise Art Space
Paradise City

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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