Espèces et quasi-espèces
Émile Morin and Jocelyn Robert
Espèces et quasi-espèces is an audio, video, and installation piece that arose directly out of the emerging clip art culture with Avatar support.
The work is made up of a disparate collection of materials including a set of modified toy planes carrying electronic circuits, a motor, the hide of a cow, a series of electric relays, and a video projected on a screen. Beyond its immediate audio and visual impact, the work questions the symbolic continuity so many globalization strategies seem to be founded on.
According to Robert, “reference images” have remained relatively consistent over the centuries. They now serve as “symbolic vocabulary,” a vocabulary that we find everywhere in this time of globalization.
Espèces et quasi-espèces was presented in fall 2004 at the Perth Biennale of Electronic Arts in Australia. It also ran at Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent for Avatar/ Vooruit 2006, the Espace F artist centre in Matane, and Mois Multi in Quebec City.
Jocelyn Robert is a multidisciplinary artist from Quebec. He works in music, audio art, computer art, performance, installation, video and writing. His visual and video work has been shown internationally and his sound works have been published on more than 30 cds. His texts can be found in books at Le Quartanier (Montréal), Ohm Éditions (Québec), Errant Bodies Press (Los Angeles), Semiotext(e) (New York), and in a number of art catalogues. Many texts have been written on his art, and two solo catalogues have been published, one by Galerie de l’UQAM and one by Centre Vox. He is involved in art activism at different levels. Amongst other undertakings, he founded that audio and electronic arts centre Avatar and took part in the foundation of the Meduse cooperative. He taught at Mills College (Oakland, California), at Université du Québec à Montréal and at École d’arts visuels et médiatiques de l’Université Laval, where he is director since 2012.
Émile Morin is an independent artist based in Québec City. His numerous installations and stage works have been presented in Europe, in Australia, in the United States and in Canada, at the Châtelet de Paris (France), at the Tesla de Berlin (Germany), at the BEAP festival in Perth (Australia), at the Banff Center and at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (Canada). During the last 30 years, his professional trajectory has included an ongoing artistic practice and the artistic direction of organizations well-known for their distinct character, Productions Recto-Verso and its Mois Multi festival and Avatar, the audio creation association. Developing a thought-process centered on the renewal of forms, among the forerunners of the creation groups he has led, he has nurtured an advanced knowledge of multidisciplinary creation and digital art (both practical and theoretical), and developed innovating creation strategies as well as unprecedented technical means of creation. He has also collaborated with various national and international events and with governmental structures as a consultant and thinker, to analyse, understand, and define the parameters of the new axes of creation in multidisciplinary and digital art.
Based on what he calls the “aesthetics of complexity”, his work uses and intertwines several disciplines in the creation of installations, scenographic spaces, immersive works and “dramatic” constructions. The unique multidisciplinary character of his works unravels in a systematic use of multiple mechanical devices that reproduce and highjack effects, phenomena and movements of nature or the primary functions of the objects themselves. In creating these audio and visual devices, the artist is attempting to provoke and modify the visitor’s modes of perception, his understanding of the space that he inhabits and that surrounds him. For many years, Émile Morin has made an intensive yet critical use of the new technological tools.