Based on the success of the initiatives undertaken by the Foundation since its inception, we embark on our second decade with a desire to pursue the important and intriguing work we began 10 years ago.
The exhibition Communicating Vessels offers the public a fascinating glimpse into the type of artistic research we are pleased to have helped develop and disseminate, and, as a complement to the Foundation's Web site (www.fondation-langlois.org), itself already considered a benchmark for the presentation of art and technology research, this exhibition is also an excellent example of the new distribution approaches we will be focusing on in the future.
When I created the Daniel Langlois Foundation in 1997, my objective was to put in place an organisation dedicated to supporting basic research into the artistic, scientific and technological domains in an effort to deepen our knowledge of the relationship between humans and their technological and natural environments. It is primarily through the convergence of these three research sectors that the Foundation supports artists, organisations and researchers around the world who use new technologies as a medium for expression or in their research processes.
This unique approach has allowed the Foundation to have a significant impact and play a critical role both nationally and internationally in the development of works of art that examine the human relationship with an increasingly omnipresent technological environment. It seems therefore fitting that we have chosen this 10 year juncture to publicly present to a wide audience an overview of the results of the endeavours undertaken by the Foundation to date.
Over and above Communicating Vessels: New Technologies and Contemporary Art, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts wishes to recognise the important contribution Daniel Langlois has made to raising the profile of Montreal on the world stage and supporting local and international artists and organisations. With this major exhibition, which celebrates beauty that runs faster than us, the Museum is adopting a bold vision of contemporary art. This art, driven by the technology of its time, sprints past the merely avant-garde.
On a global scale, few exhibitions of this breadth have been produced, and the institutions that do produce them, such as the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Germany, are the exception. These works pose enormous challenges in the topical themes examined by their artists (artificial intelligence, biotechnology and genetic manipulation, real and virtual worlds, surveillance and profiling, the technological and architectural configuration of the environment) and of course in the techniques applied. This is art that will without question generate public debate on the ethical issues of the day and whose participative works will turn more than one aesthetic tradition on its head.
The Museum applauds Daniel Langlois for his vision – at once altruistic and dynamic – and for his Foundation's 10 years of dedication (already!) to promoting art that has become entrenched in the contemporary landscape. The Museum particularly thanks Jean Gagnon, executive director of the Foundation and curator of this exhibition, who has, over the years, devoted himself to this journey as would an ardent explorer, with unfailing commitment and conviction. The exhibition path was conceived with the help of the talented people at Atelier Big City in collaboration with Stéphane Aquin, Curator of Contemporary Art, and, of course, the entire team at the Museum.