Hektor (2019) – Digital installation, photo and video

Hektor is a device – a bot – that creates works from photographs by Isabelle Gagné and those spontaneously proposed by citizens of the village of Saint-Camille. It diverts the use of a neural processing algorithm, normally intended for the transfer of artistic style, to use images from local sources that testify to the daily life of the village: photos shared by citizens and images captured via surveillance cameras placed in the city. Randomly, the device will also integrate words or phrases from the work of the Camillois poet Gaston Gouin. The latter wrote this sentence which embodies the principle at the base of the project and of the “approach” of Hektor: “Art is an accidental gesture” (Temps Obus, les deux mains dans la cendre, 1963-1968). Through this almost Dada posture, the project relies on a certain number of hazards: the contribution of citizens and that of the cameras installed in the village, and the bot’s algorithm that operates a mise en image.

The creation of this fictional character was built in this way: Hektor is at the same time Gaston Gouin, the citizens of Saint-Camille, an artist in the making and a bot in “machine learning” mode. Hektor is everyone, but it is also the territory and what it contains: roads, architectures, landscapes – all these hectares that constitute, in a way, the DNA of Hektor.

Bringing to the forefront issues related to surveillance in public space, to algorithmic automation that is increasingly present as soon as there is a connection to the network, and to the notion of author when it comes to generative work, Hektor paints a certain portrait of a community and questions, at the same time, our relationship to the digital and what it represents in our lives.


Satellite projects – creative residencies and works in the periphery

For the first time since the beginning of EIM, Sporobole created bridges with three regions of the Eastern Townships on the outskirts of Sherbrooke: Saint-Camille, Compton, Valcourt and Mont-Mégantic. These bridges took the form of in-situ creation residences where artists were invited, in May, June and July, to conceive a creation project anchored in the community. With the punctual contribution of citizens in various forms, in connection with the projects, the artists produce works that put into perspective certain distinctive values that help define these regions. Whether it is a question of mobility, precision agriculture, robotization of agri-food processes, transformation of the landscape or connected territories, the axes of reflection that have given shape to the projects are the common threads that allow artistic creation and the specificity of the contexts to be linked together.

Each in their own way, these projects also call upon the notions of connection, transmission, surveillance, capture, observation, infiltration and invasion, which constitute the reflective foundations of this 5th edition of EIM.

Saint-Camille :: Isabelle Gagné (QC-CA) – Hektor (2019)
Compton :: Mériol Lehmann (QC-CA) – 308 lots (2019)
Valcourt :: Alexandre Castonguay (QC-CA) and Mariangela Aponte Núñez (CO) – Agit P.O.V. (2012-)
ASTROlab du Mont-Mégantic :: Jean-Pierre Aubé (QC-CA) – From Mont-Mégantic to exoplanets (2019)