For over a decade, award-winning artist Alexandre Burton has been producing artworks using digital technologies both on his own and as a member of the Montreal-based group, Artificiel. Burton’s newest installation entitled Impacts - curated by DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art and presented at the Phi Centre - is no exception to the rule.
Tesla coils each fitted with a glass pane and suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition space make up the components of this "live" sculptural installation. The presence of the visitor before each sculptural device activates an audio and visual experience. The visitor's proximity to the works engages arcs of electricity of variable intensities as well as a rhythmic articulation, generated by the impact of the electrical arc on the glass pane. In this way, Burton's self description as a digital luthier makes complete sense.
As a symbolic and sonic source, the Tesla coil's ability to throw electric arcs has been employed by a wide spectrum of artists, from Doug Hall to Björk. With this new work, Alexandre Burton proposes the use of plasma (loosely defined as an electrically neutral medium of positive and negative particles) as matter and medium itself, circumscribed by a defined frame and articulated through unique programming. In this way, Impacts serves as a reminder of the danger and muscle of this marvel while capturing its sublime beauty and rhythmic potential.
Impacts is also presented as part of the BIAN (International Digital Arts Biennial).
About Alexandre Burton
Artist and digital luthier, Alexandre Burton's interest for new media technology stems from a desire to reveal new forms of expressivity through digital processes. His practice conveys an essential concern for the relationships created between audio, visual and somatic phenomenon. His works are regularly presented at international digital art and music festivals such as Sonar, Ars Electronica and Transmediale. In addition to his activities as part of the group, Artificiel; he collaborates with other artistic and cultural bodies as a consultant and technologies integrator.
He is the recipient of the first prize at the Bourges Electro Acoustic Festival for Cecilia, a sound processing software (with Jean Piché), an honorable mention at Ars Electronica for the installation Condemned_Bulbes (with Jimmy Lakatos and Julien Roy) and a FILE prize from São Paulo for the project POWEr (with Julien Roy).