ISEA2015: Marvelous Magnificent Mutek


Image courtesy of Mutek:
For those of you who don’t know Mutek let’s break it down for you. Mutek = new heights in experimental music, performance and visuals. Mutek is over 15 years old and hs put on more than 150 events in Montreal and around the world.
What does MUTEK do?

MUTEK is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination and development of digital creativity in sound, music, and audio-visual art. Its mandate is to provide a platform for the most original and visionary artists currently working in their fields, with the intent of providing an outlet of initiation and discovery for the audiences we seek to develop. MUTEK’s principal activity is the annual presentation of its namesake festival, which has taken place in Montreal since 2000. Since its first edition, the MUTEK festival has distinguished itself as an international rendezvous for original and avant-garde programming. This is a world of constant evolution and incessant refinement – the “MU” in MUTEK refers consciously to the notion of “mutation”.

It is a major coup for Vancouver to have not one, but two Mutek concerts as part of the ISEA2015 programme. The apple doesn’t fall far from the ISEA tree, MUTEK Vancouver is curated by Alain Mongeau who is the founder and director of MUTEK. Alain also happens to have previously directed the 6th International Symposium of Electronic Arts as well as ISEA’s head office from 1996-2000. If anyone is going to be on the pulse of what is happening in music and audio-visual art is is Mongeau.

VIA got in touch with Mongeau to find out what was in store for Vancouverites at the two MUTEK cabarets happening on the 16th and the 18th of August. Mutek is a ticketed event, you can acquire your set of tickets for either evening on the ISEA Evenbrite page.

Details on both cabarets and Mongeau’s vision can be found below. See you at Mutek!

Emoralis a project by Slow Pitch and Wifihifiscifi presented at Mutek. Image courtesy of the artists and Mutek:
Artists: Martin Messier, Myriam Bleau, BetaFeed, Woulg
Artists: Alexandre Burton & Julien Roy (, Nicolas Bernier, Maotik & Metametric, Herman Kolgen
*Both events are curated by Alain Mongeau
In the context of ISEA’s 21st edition in Vancouver, MUTEK is proud to present a series of audiovisual performances from some of Québec’s most internationally renowned and emerging artists working in this field.
Audiovisual imagery from EM15, a project presented at Mutek. Image courtesy of the artists and Mutek:

VIA: Given the theme of ISEA2015 – were you curating artists whose work or practice deals with disruption?  What was the focus for the program on Sunday vs. Tuesday?

Actually we didn’t program the 2 nights in relation to the theme… it’s more a connection with the fact that ISEA took place in Montreal in 1995.
Here’s the rationale:
The 5th edition of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA) took place in Montréal in 1995 and set a new benchmark not only for the symposium itself, but also for Montréal’s creative scene. Alain Mongeau, founder and current artistic director of MUTEK, was the Program Chair of ISEA95. As part of the artistic program of the symposium, he developed The Electronic Cabaret, a site of ongoing activities with a hybrid and eclectic program of presentations, performances and video projections. Twenty years later, ISEA is hosted in Vancouver and proposed to bring Montréal’s Electronic Cabaret back to life, thus connecting Canada’s East and West as well as ISEA’s past and present.
Curated by Artistic Director Alain Mongeau in both instances, this new program features eight startling and mesmerizing, live audiovisual performances representing three generations of Québec artists active in the 20 years since the original Cabaret. Herman Kolgen’s always visionary conceptual and technical intersections between sound and image, and artificiel’s long running fascinations with illumination, power currents and the invention of new digital instruments, epitomize an original vanguard; Bernier and Messier (together and singularly) are a second wave of artists who have furthered audiovisual digital practices that play between the immaterial and material, adding elements of performer intervention and theatrical choreography to the oeuvre, while Myriam Bleau, Maotik & Metametric, Woulg and BetaFeed typify a new generation of practitioners building on the fertile and established terrain that has come before them, always advancing the theoretical, conceptual, affective and technical elements that define this most contemporary of forms.



VIA: When is the next MUTEK Festival? Is it in Montreal or elsewhere?

The next full festival on the horizon is MUTEK.MX which will be presenting its 12th edition in Mexico city Oct 21 to 25th. Just before that we’ll be having the 2nd instalment of the MUTEK_MUTEK.CO in Bogota (Columbia) Sept 24 to 26th and the next MUTEK festival in Montreal, our 17th edition, will be June 1 to 5, 2016.



If you would like to attend ISEA, please visit the Registration Page for more information.