Motifs Urbains is a networked performance group in audio-visual animation. Using stop-motion photography, sound effects, drum beats and vocals, two performers work together to build a perpetual loop of sight and sound. Their creations rely on the ToonLoop and Fxloop software applications developed by Alexandre Quessy. The performers are linked together through Telesceno, a free telepresence app from the Society for Arts and Technology. Recorded and looped sounds are broadcast in the concert hall in keeping with the performer's exact position at the time of recording.
Isabelle Caron experimenting with live animation techniques
Alexandre Quessy creating some live sound effects.
In this first performance by Motifs Urbains, both artists perform in Montreal. They offer a poetic impression of the frenetic variety of North America's French-speaking metropolis. The repetitive structure of the piece reflects the hyperactive pace of modern urban life.
Alexandre Quessy is a Montreal-based artist and programmer. His special interests are electronics, experimental audio and interactive video. His favorite themes are movement, learning and outdated technology. Among his past works are humorous installations like The Human Sequencer, presented in 2007 at the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), in New York, and during the Pure Data event at the SAT. As a composer of electroacoustic music, he worked with Darsh Hewitt to create The Rotarian Choir, a choral piece in which the singers are all telephone ringtones. As a programmer, he is involved in developing open source software and participative websites, and regularly gives workshops on the use of interactive technologies for artistic creation. Quessy is currently pursuing a master's degree in communications at the University of Quebec at Montreal.
Isabelle Caron is a visual and media artist who, in tandem with her university studies, has been artistic director, since 2004, of the Cri/art media arts collective. She holds a bachelor's degree in visual media and arts from UQAM and is currently working on a master's in communications. Her research and creative experiments focus on spontaneous cultural events and ephemeral art in an urban setting. Painting is her medium of choice, especially painting on non-traditional surfaces. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec.