Eastern Bloc

Eastern Bloc is an exhibition and arts production centre dedicated to New Media and interdisciplinary art. The vision at Eastern Bloc is to explore and push the creative boundaries in digital and electronic arts, audio/video installation, multimedia performance and other emerging practices.

The organization’s mandate is to support the work of emerging artists by providing them with an exchange platform with more established artists, allowing them to gain access to a larger body of spectators and to a network of established art organizations and professionals in the milieu.

Founded in 2007 by Eliane Ellbogen and Sandor Poloskei, the organization’s Artisitc Director and past Technical Director, Eastern Bloc fills a void in the professional art milieu in Montreal, as there are currently no other artist-run centres or art spaces that cater specifically to young artists or post graduates in the first five years of their professional career working in New Media and related disciplines.


Device_Art // Triennial : 5th International Art Triennial of Robotics, Gadgets and Devices

eastern bloc digitalarti

First initiated in 2004 by Croatian organization KONTEJNER | bureau of contemporary art praxis, Device_art is a triennial international festival exploring the relationship between technology, art, and utility. The project is focused on exploring and communicating an artistic medium, which takes the shape of a technological device in a critical, provocative, or playful manner. It aims at contextualizing and presenting works that are the result of creative tendencies located at the crossroads of art-design, gadget-hack, and hybrid technologies.

The fifth edition of the Device_art triennial will be presented at Eastern Bloc in Montreal, Quebec, featuring an exhibition and performances by Croatian, Slovene and Japanese artists: Martina Mezak, Vitar Drinković, Davor Sanvincenti, Margareta Lekić, Lightune.G, Marko Batista, Robertina Šebjanič, Ida Hiršenfelder & Aleš Hieng-Zergon, Saša Spačal, Takeshi Oozu, and Hiroo Iwata.

Opening : May 12, 6 PM

Duration : May 12 - June 1 2016
Gallery hours : Tuesday – Sunday | 12 PM – 5 PM

Martina Mezak (Croatia)
Vitar Drinković (Croatia)
Davor Sanvincenti (Croatia)
Margareta Lekić (Croatia)
Lightune.G (Croatia) x2
Hiroo Iwata (Japan)
Marko Batista (Slovenia)
Robertina Šebjanič, Ida Hiršenfelder & Aleš Hieng-Zergon (Slovenia)
Takeshi Oozu (Japan)
Saša Spačal (Slovenia)

MARTINA MEZAK (Croatia): Urania

Urania (Martina Mezak) is a cloud-making device that allows the control of a cloud's density by blowing on it. This installation deals with the technological simulation of nature through the means of an interactive visual imagery that allows the user to participate in the creation of a virtual sky. By blowing into a long velvet tube, clouds can either be created or dispersed from the sky. The participant lies on a soft mattress beneath computer-generated clouds on the ceiling.


VITAR DRINKOVIĆ (Croatia): Breathing time

This work consists of a belt that contains a pressure sensor which is connected to an apparatus and nine reflectors. The user puts the belt around their belly, pushes a red button and starts breathing deeply, with the lower part of their lungs, from the abdomen. The reflectors follow the breathing of the user, with the inhalation making the light become more intense. It is a response to an accelerated and stressful way of life, in which one is constantly thinking and multi-tasking, always in the past or the future, never the present. This work forces the viewer, through a single action, breathing, to embrace the "here and now".



The interactive sound installation Ø is a continuation of an earlier exploration of the relationship between the Universe and man, sound and space, the materialization of noise and the localization of the infinity of sounds in the expanse of space. The work consists of a trunk of an old Istrian olive tree, brought down by the forces of nature, polished using the Japanese technique of revealing the growth rings. The visitor is invited to gently touch the time of the tree and activate the sounds, noises and harmonies. The object becomes a musical instrument with a multitude of combination.


MARGARETA LEKIĆ (Croatia): Under the hammer

Viewed from the perspective of mythology, "egg" means life, life being energy. According to the law of conservation energy, it is indestructible. So if energy is indestructible, it would follow that life is indestructible too, leading to the assumption that the egg is indestructible as well, or in the case of Under the hammer, apparently resistant to the forces of gravity, impact, and thus unbreakable.


Lightune.G (Croatia): Lighterature Reading

LIGHTUNE. G (light+melody+tone G/50Hz) is the name of the collaborative duo consisting of Bojan Gagić and Miodrag Gladović. Their first collaborative project, Lighterature Reading, is based on the conversion of light from luminous objects into tone images via the photovoltaic effect generated through solar panels (under the influence of light, solar panels - silicon cells - produce electricity the strength of which depends upon the intensity of the light). Hence the name that defines the performance and the composition technique, luminoacoustics.

Lightune.G (Croatia): Route 666

In the continuity of their research on light, the Lightune.G collective introduces a new approach to luminescent sound content.This time, the work is based on the relation between accidental light elements needed to produce a sound image. Six solar panels are set on the roof of a van and connected to the audio system of the vehicle through a computer. Six passengers choose six city routes during a night ride. City street lights, window shops, advertising lights, create a sound composition depending on traffic and the vehicle’s direction. The driver is the composer in this case and every performance is unique.

Hiroo Iwata (Japan): BigRobot Mk.1

Large-scale humanoid robots, such as Gundam or Macros, are popular in Japanese animations and mangas. What if such robots were to appear in the real world? Whereas these robots are often used in battlefields in fictional stories, their large-scale humanoid counterparts in the real world are highly vulnerable and fragile machines, such that they could never be used on the battlefield. On the other hand, the very existence of real large-scale robots may work to inspire courage among the audience. Thus, proving they have potential as an art form.

The Big Robot Project emerging out of the PhD. program in Empowerment Informatics at the University of Tsukuba, aims to develop the world's largest robot in which a pilot can ride and move at its will. The Big Robot Mk1 has two legs with wheels, mounting the pilot at a 5m height position. Thus, the pilot feels as if their body were that of a powerful 5 meter giant.

Takeshi Oozu (Japan): The Escaping Chair

The Escaping Chair is a chair-shaped device, which tries to escape from nearby people. When it detects a person approaching, the chair automatically moves away to prevent people from sitting. Ironically, this in turn makes the person more aware of their desire to sit down. Though the chair only has the simple function of moving away from approaching people, it is possible to feel its will through its actions.

Marko Batista (Slovenia): Bentronix 

Bentronix is a sonic research project or composition for a variable number of hybrid generators of sound, that, under an electronic voltage, produce auditory frequencies. All generators have different architectures and thus each of them produces a fraction of the spectrum, which produces a composition of sound textures. Generators are connected to sets, so they can communicate simultaneously with each other and transmit signals to sound amplifiers connected to the speakers in the gallery.

Robertina Šebjanič, Ida Hiršenfelder & Aleš Hieng-Zergon (Slovenia): Time Displacement / Chemobrionic Garden

Programming: Slavko Glamočanin
Production: Projekt Atol & LJUDMILA

Time Displacement / Chemobrionic Garden is an interactive and generative chemical sound installation. The installation explores the relationship between hydrothermal chemistry, the passage of time, and sensory systems tracing changes outside of the human scale.

The artists created an installation comprised of several small chemical garden formations in a water glass solution, to provide an insight into research on the origin of life and on chemical processes. The chemical reactions are monitored by camera to detect changes in color and in shape by means of a microcontroller. The changes affect the code for live sound generation and slowly work to alter the generative drone composition pervading the gallery space.

Saša Spačal (Slovenia): Cycles
Sonic close-up with live crickets Acheta Domesticus

Cycles seem natural and eternal, however their constant metamorphosis is never quite the same. Cycles follow their own trajectory of evolution and emerge as sequences of moments. Moments, which are sliced, lived and experienced. Experiences, which can perceive a cycle, however only thought can follow a trajectory from the past through to the present moment and into the future. Saša Spačal employs all available technological means: sound is produced with DIY and other analogue synthesisers and manipulated by computer software, and environmental sounds are captured with a recorder used as a sound amplification detector. Spačal treats technological means as no more and no less than an essential part of a biotope, i.e. like any other organism.

Official website: http://www.kontejner.org/en/project/deviceart-5016-canada

This event is part of the progamming of the International Digital Art Biennal (BIAN 2016)


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