Special event

Taking place this spring for its third and final season: an installation of international collaboration between cultural curators encouraging reflection.

Coming up: Keep an eye on the Facebook event for details on the Surprise Programming in Milwaukee connection.

Wednesday to Sunday from 11 AM to 7 PM

315, Saint-Paul West
Montreal (Quebec)
H2Y 2M3

The PHI_portal is an immersive public art installation and long-term participatory initiative (from July 2020 to June 2021) that brings the Montreal public face-to-face with communities from 50 cities across time and space – from Berlin, Milwaukee, Bamako to Gaza. In partnership with Shared_Studios, The PHI_portal is embedded in a network of varying geopolitical realities that facilitate the emergence of a third space.

Through immersive live-stream technology, the experience of entering the PHI_portal is akin to sharing the same physical space as someone on the mirrored side of the screen engaging the entire body and corporal language. It is now, more than ever, the medium for them to transcend borders while taking part in powerful artistic encounters, critical cultural exchange and cross border workshops. Spring 2021 unveils the third and final season of the PHI_portal between the cities of Montreal, Milwaukee and Kigali. This season involves personal encounters, workshops, musical performances and more.

Web Series

Although PHI was forced to close its doors to the public due to health measures last fall, the PHI_portal remained very active. The Artists are Present series of interviews showcases the connections in the PHI_portal while exploring the approach and initiatives of local talents seeking sustainable artistic development in their communities. Directly linked to the activities taking place in the PHI_portal, these artists advocate for greater involvement and innovation in their respective spheres.

Check out all the video interviews in our series playlist. New video content will be available to watch in June.

Video installation
Available online

In collaboration with Shared_Studios, we invited the curators of the 18 portals located around the world to collaborate during the first wave of COVID-19 in a collective short film. Discovering their documented environments with all available digital cameras, we are invited to go to the other side of the portal through personal testimonials and performances.


Workshops and discussions
Every Wednesday from 3 PM to 4:30 PM

During our formative years, there are a handful pivotal moments that shape our views of the world and the parts that we play in it. Those moments, more often than not, can set us on a path filled with distractions, suppressed trauma and cause us to disconnect from the Men we were truly meant to be.

This four-part portal experience, presented by La Rue Inspire and curated by Travis Gellizeau, is geared towards the young men growing up in our communities. The goal is to provide them with the tools to inspire, reconnect and rediscover themselves through the activations and testimonials from guest experts.

Guest Curator: Travis Gellizeau
Guests: Miro LaFlaga; Ash Phillips; Sétiz Taheri; Rama Sow; Brandon Dawson-Jarvis

Creative Workshops and Performances
Friday May 28 from 6 PM to 8 PM

Led by NoBad Sound Studio (NBS), this two-part portal series featuring sound clashes and workshops led by NBS Studio artists and mentors. Each sound clash showcases NBS performers, who exchange verses back and forth with an artist on the other side of the portal. Using NBS’ current for-youth, by-youth model, the workshops and conversations will teach hands-on, practical skills—how to record vocals, how to make beats, how to style and arrange songs—while sharing ideas on empowering independent young artists with limited resources.

Guest Curator: Jai Nitai Lotus
Performances by: Kamino, Melodix, Kazzu, Kaytesla, Skiifall
Creative workshops with: Jai Nitai Lotus, Sam, SG2B, YAMA//SATO, Jon Pierre-Louis

Special activities
On Saturday May 22 and 29 from 4 PM to 5:30 PM

Throughout the month of May, Milwaukee_portal curator Lewis Lee will introduce Montreal audiences to his city’s creative community by welcoming surprise guests from the worlds of music, poetry, and dance into the PHI_portal. Each connection will transport us into performances and dialogues that root themselves in the cultural specificities of Milwaukee. Enter the PHI_portal each Saturday to find yourself face to face with Milwaukee’s finest.

Curator in Milwaukee: Lewis Lee



Workshops and discussions
Guest Curator: Lucas LaRochelle
Guests: Moisés Horta Valenzuela, Anastasia Davydova-Lewis, Xuan Ye

Workshops and discussions
Guest Curator: Kim Knight, The Villij
Invités: Yoyo Michele, Rebecca Manankil, Kim Knight

Musical performances
Guests: Mariam Sangaré, Nfaly Diakité, Sahel Roots et Tamala Mali

Radio show
Behind the scenes: Partout au Bled, a show recorded in the PHI_portal

Montreal x Erbil | Berlin
Performance and artistic encounter

Commissioned by Yves Sheriff, the given connexions bring together local and international artists of all ages. They explore the physical relationship with others through unexpected encounters. Using each their own language, guests meander through their artistic practice to nourish a reflection on as many questions as the intimacy within the distance, the very essence of the performance, the role of the performer as well as his relationship with the public.

Guests: Adam Kinner, saxophonist and performance artist; François Blouin, theatre director, filmmaker and performer. Leonard Roy, child prodigy of acrobatics and juggling. 

Montreal x Mexico | Ede | Berlin
Experimental performance

Within the four walls of the portal, two strangers are guided by a coded algorithm to generate action-reaction choreographies between participants. This series examines the possibilities of human intimacy through the intervention of technology and code. Personal anecdotal gestures are transformed into choreographies between a human- human- machine interaction.

Guest: Andrea Peña, choreographer.

Montreal x Mexico
Listening sessions

Throughout fall 2020, emerging musical artists were be paired across distance for a performative exchange in the portal. Sharing experiences and feedback as artists were at the heart of these connections, providing them with inspiration and motivation to sharpen their talents and pursue their musical career.

Guests: XLoww, music producer and singer/songwriter; Montrealways, R&B artist.

Montreal x Bamako
Workshops and discussions

PHI opened a dialogue at the intersection of artificial intelligence, artistic production and ethics through hands-on technical workshops and critical conversations. Local and international technologists, critics and emerging artists  were invited to present their approach to students  from Kabakoo Academies in Bamako.

Guests: Moises Horta Valenzuela, electronic musician and creative technologist; Suzanne Kite, performance artist, visual artist, and composer; Rouzbeh Shadpey, sound and transdisciplinary artist.

Montreal x Berlin | Herat
Research Creation by Bettina Szabo

Cuña is a contemporary dance project combining dance, video-mapping and live music. The central theme of the work is internalized misogyny: sexist behaviours and attitudes enacted by women toward themselves or other women.

Guest: Bettina Szabo, director, choreographer and dancer.

Montreal (Tio’tia: ke) x Mooniyang | Milwaukee
Workshops and discussions

First presented in November 2020,  Cultivating Care is a series lead by Nènè Myriam Konaté of cross-border exchanges through which artists, arts administrators, and cultural practitioners are invited to partake in intimate conversations that lie at the intersection of art and community organizing.

Montreal x Bamako | Kigali
Discussions on contemporary diasporas

Presented by The Clap Back and the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, (Be)Longing is a series of international conversations. You are invited to participate in these intimate exchanges around modern diasporas, exploring the multiple ways in which displacement and identity shape our understandings of language, proximity and (in)visibility.

Montreal x Berlin
Choreographic workshop

Through a combination of two of AP&A's creations (Andrea Peña), an interactive experience comes to life through the portal. It will focus on the creation of a choreographic system to guide the interactions and improvisations of two people who connect through the portal. The encounters are guided by dancers/performers from AP&A in Montreal, and can be experienced either with other dancers in Berlin or with members of the public.

BLACK ON BOTH SIDES: Cultural Exchange with Rito Joseph
Montreal x Milwaukee
Workshops and discussions

Based around knowledge sharing, Rito Joseph facilitates a series of connections about the history of Black Canadians in Montreal. It will allow him the liberty of inviting certain artists.

Montreal x Milwaukee
Listening session

After a first exchange on July 23rd 2020 with producer and songwriter Kamino, Montreal’s NBS Studio listening sessions continued in August.

Montreal x Milwaukee
Public reading

Lewis Lee, music producer and curator of the Milwaukee portal, is an advocate for social justice. Reading chapters from his memoir Lewis & Laverne in 20- to 30-minute sessions, he invites the public to an intimate one on one connection followed by a 15-minute discussion.

Nènè Myriam Konaté

Nènè Myriam Konaté is a transdiciplinary artist, founder of The Clap Back, a dialogue-based space that facilitates the emergence of transdisciplinary experiences and a co-founder of Collective Culture, a platform highlighting the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. As a curator participating in the programming of the portal, they will facilitate fruitful exchanges between communities through art.

Lucas Larochelle

Lucas LaRochelle is a multidisciplinary designer, artist and researcher whose work is concerned with queer geographies, critical internet studies, and community-based archiving. They are the founder of Queering The Map, a community generated counter-mapping project that digitally archives queer experience in relation to physical space.

Yves Sheriff

Born in Bolivia, Yves Sheriff is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked as a programming assistant, moderator and creation consultant for various festivals and circus companies around the world.
Now established as an independent curator, he has directed Les Projets du 3e since 2014, a laboratory for emerging choreographers at Usine C and has set up a contemporary circus investigation group at Théâtre La Chapelle. He is a founding member of the publication Turba: The Journal for Global Practices on Live Art Curation.

Travis Gellizeau

Travis Gellizeau’s journey started with a curiosity for food, which became a jumping-off point, leading him to travel to 20 countries and over 30 cities since 2015. Travis experienced incredible flavours, but more importantly, it introduced him to a plethora of cultures around the world. Travis believes that culture is something that is experienced outside of oneself, but it also causes us to look inwards, by questioning what we bring to our own communities back home.

Jai Nitai Lotus

Hip hop artist, father and social worker, Jai Nitai Lotus runs NBS Studio, a studio music program for youth and by youth, in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood of Montreal. A sensitive and responsive approach to the needs of his community.

Kim Knight

Kim Knight is an Inclusive Health and Wellness Advocate cultivating a culture of wellness in marginalized communities. Three years ago, after noticing health disparities and the lack of representation in traditional wellness spaces, she co-founded The Villij, a growing wellness community promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of womxn of colour. As a digital marketer and researcher by training, she is driving by social impact and is fulfilling her life’s purpose of building healthy communities.

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