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Residency Program in Cybernetics

The Daniel Langlois Foundation partly funded a new phase of development, research and experimentation for Vidéographe. This centre is putting into place a unique program for artists working in cybernetics. Coined in 1947 by Norbert Wiener (1894-1964), cybernetics is the study of auto-operating systems, both animal and machine, the information that flows between them, and the way the systems operate (1).

In 2000, Vidéographe set up a new research and development group called Vitamin Beziehungen. This group, directed by artist and professor Jean Décarie, communications professor Louis-Claude Paquin and Vidéographe's Marc Fournel, explores issues surrounding cybernetics and its artistic applications. To implement its ideas, the group has decided to spearhead a new residency program for artists working in cybernetics. Artists have been invited to produce cybernetic artworks (interactive installations using digital components, DVD video, or artworks designed for the Internet) at Vidéographe. Thus far, the artists invited to participate in the residency are James Partaik, Sophie Bellissent, Simon-Pierre Gourd, Steve Heimbecker.

This new focus has led the centre to develop an extensive lab for creating cybernetic artworks for the Internet and to encourage this creation through artist residencies. The cybernetics program meets a need for spaces dedicated to producing and disseminating new media art. The program represents a repositioning of video production and access centres given that video is now very much intermingled with new technologies. To respond to these new demands and media, Vidéographe is exploring cybernetics as a new direction for creating and distributing media artworks.

Angela Plohman © 2001 FDL

(1) Please see for example Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (1948; Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996); or Norbert Wiener, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society (1954; New York: Da Capo Press, 1988).