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(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Ælab, Sparks, 1999 (video)
Ælab, Sparks, 1999 (video)
Ælab, 2D Study, 1999 Ælab, Hex, 2001 Ælab, Nanospace, 2001
Founded in 1996 by artists Stéphane Claude and Gisèle Trudel, Ælab is a research collective that invites other collaborators to participate on a regular basis. Ælab designates production projects in a more anonymous context, clearly reflecting their focus on an ecological and technological conscience rooted in the arts and sciences. Moreover, Ælab seeks to reintroduce the world of animal/vegetal/minerals into the electronic arts. Ælab produces audiovisual essays, performances, web projects, databases, site specific installations, publications, psycho-geographic walks, and audio recordings that are listened to in the dark…

Stéphane Claude is an electronic musician and sound engineer. He is currently working on the production of a series of conceptual recordings, as well as creating sound installations. He also works with the Oral label and As an electroacoustic and experimental composer, he has composed soundtracks for video, theatre and multimedia projects. His artistic interests revolve around the communication of a formal aesthetic, and the phenomenological and symbolic experience of electronic media. Since 1992, he has taken a particular interest in the presentation of electronic arts through advocating an 'active listening' approach. As a technical director, he has developed immersive environments for several media arts events. As a consultant, he has participated in the development and set up of digital recording studios (PRIM, OBORO).

Gisèle Trudel is a media artist. She has received grants from federal and provincial art councils and has participated in several residency programs in Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. Moreover, she is also very involved in the artist-run centre network, both in Quebec and on a national level. She has also been invited several times as an exhibitor and speaker at universities, galleries and various international events. From 1997 to December 2000, she was the director of the Oboro (Montreal) new media laboratory. She teaches at the École des art visuels et médiatiques (School of visual and media arts) at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

A recent selection of their projects demonstrates the polyvalence of their artistic work: curatorship of the Environ/Mental video program on the invitation of curator Florian Wüst at the Oberhausen film festival (Germany) in May 2002; an audio collaboration with the architects of the Insitu firm for the Chambre d'essais (April-September 2002) at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal); curatorship of Cycles (November 2002), an exhibition of interactive installations for the Centre for Art Tapes of the Dalhousie Art Gallery (Halifax); Hex/Èdre, an image and text collaboration with author Chantal Neveu for the journal Éc/arts (November 2002) in Paris; and Untitled A, a performance that took place in December 2001 as part of the Volt AA series curated by Éric Mattson (Montreal).

Their most well known project is without a doubt the Sparks series – a modular video production and soundtrack (including a performance version) inspired by the inventor and visionary Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). Sparks was presented, among others, at the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) (Rotterdam, Netherlands) in 2000; and also at Mutek (Montreal) in 2000; in 1999, at Inter/Access curated by Nina Czegledy (Toronto); and in 1998, as part of expanded media (HBK, Germany). The installation Hex was presented at Het Wilde Weten in 2001 (Rotterdam). In 2001, the performance version of Nanospace was presented at Mutek and the Blue Room on the invitation of Richard Chartier (Washington, US). The projects Hexand Nanospace, which paved the way for their new project DATA, are inspired by the world of nanotechnology and partially based on Buckminster Fuller's architectural research. Finally, the web project green was part of the group exhibition Location/Dislocation, curated by Valérie Lamontagne and Sylvie Parent, presented at the Media Z Lounge of the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, US).

Jacques Perron © 2004 FDL