"Artengine - Where technology comes to play."
The success of the creative economy depends on the vision of its artists. At the fringes of mainstream feature films and television commercials, there is video and performance art. At the edges of mainstream music, there are audio-visual festivals taking audiences to their sensory limits. On the margins of engineering, there are do-it-yourself makers and Hackers. And so on.
More than any other sector, at the very heart of the creative economy, media artists engage with new technologies with a sense of play. Inspired by the powerful possibilities afforded by new technologies, media artists open up to new ways of thinking about, of doing technology. The stuff of Media Arts today encompasses online communities, game play, distributed and open source technology development, mixed or augmented reality experience, assistive technologies, cyborg bodies, and other as yet unimagined territories of invention.
From the very small DIY projects, to the spectacular events altering our sensorium, to virtual communities of technologists and creators, the Media Arts today remind us of technology's potential to elicit wonder. They are where technology – and human beings – come to play.
Artengine is an Ottawa-based collective of artists, technologists and interested members of the general public with strong ties to the local, national and international community of technologically-based artists.
Our mission at Artengine is to drive your creativity.
Our vision is to connect artists, art audiences and the general public locally, nationally and internationally.
We aim to be a highly flexible organization that leverages strategic partnerships to produce ambitious public projects with an international reach, reputation and contribution, combined with responsive, short term programming and the capacity to incubate new artistic ideas and trends through their natural life cycles.
We value democratic access to our facilities and know-how as well as to our organization as a whole.
We value and facilitate connections between artists and members of the general public with an interest in technology.
Artengine presents, promotes and enables technologically based artistic creation.
Artengine is an artist-run media arts production and presentation centre located in Ottawa's Arts Court. A leader in Media Arts development in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, we share our expertise in a number of open-source programming languages of interest to artists, participate in international networks of artist programmers, and provide tools and instruction to interested artists of all disciplines to develop their own work independently. Artists interested in digital media arts production now benefit from Artengine's M70 Lab, offering a flexible workspace, technological tools for use on-site and in the field, as well as professional training in the use of Artengine's technological tools and tool development.
Artengine's many programming events offer sophisticated, intelligent and entertaining programming to the largely professional population of the nation's capital, and extending to youth of all social classes. These events garner enthusiastic media attention, no doubt encouraged by Artengine's inclusive Artlist – an online promotion tool for use by all interested arts organizations, which boasts a 1500 member subscriber list and growing.
In addition, Artengine's critically acclaimed bi-annual media arts festival, Electric Fields/Champs électriques, has grown significantly, reaching larger audiences with local, national and international programming. It's sister event, the Electric Fields symposium which is held in the Festival's off-years, brings together a host of partners from the arts and research communities in Ottawa and Montreal, advancing critical discourse around technologically-based arts creation.
Artengine is committed to:
The creation, presentation/dissemination and promotion of art concerned with technological experimentation, both online and in physical space.
Ensuring that artists have affordable access to specific technological resources needed for their work. This would include both physical and information based resources. Relevant artistic endeavors include computer programming, custom electronics, network adaptation and many other practices in which the production or presentation technology plays a distinct role in shaping the work.
Carving out artist-run space in the on-line world by owning and operating its own server with the direct goal of providing more accessible services to artists and other art and artist-run organizations. These services include web space for presentation and promotion, email, listservs and other network based services as well as technological support and guidance.
Maintaining a space dedicated to technological experimentation with the recognition of the important role a locally-based community of practice plays in the artistic process. This space functions as a laboratory for production and presentation, and for the exchange of ideas and methods, both formal and informal, as they relate to technological based art.
Actively supporting the open source movement by working with specific software projects that provide artists with distinct and accessible tools for the creation of their work.
Artengine was created in 1996 to promote the accessibility of technological tools to the local and regional arts community. Artengine serves our membership, local and regional artists and many cultural organizations by providing essential on-line tools such as website/email services, community networking, shared knowledge, and most importantly conceptual and technical assistance in the creation of artworks.
In 1999 Artengine created the Artlist, our most significant point of public access and the oldest cultural mailing list in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Serving many communities, including the Francophone and Anglophone art communities, the Artlist maintains a subscription base of 1800+ email addresses all free of charge. In 2007, the Artlist was incorporated into the new Artengine website. A customizable on-line events calendar was built onto the existing service to expand the networking capacity of this valuable free regional service. With the recent upgrade from multiple text-based emails to a single daily html email-Artlist ONE, Artlist continues its evolution in a way to proactively respond community's fast changing needs.
Over the years, Artengine has engaged in a wide variety of programming including exhibitions, both online and in local galleries, artistic residencies, performance series, workshops, lectures, artist talks and master classes. With a new strategic plan in 2007 we identified "a unified and identifiable programming vision" as key to organizational growth; expanding presentation opportunities for local and national artists in electronic art; increasing professional capacity of the local community, and educating new audiences.
In 2005, Artengine expanded from a solely virtual space into a physical lab as well. This organizational evolution reinforced Artengine's role as a central hub for all artists impacted by the electronic arts in Capital Region. In 2007, Artengine moved into the City of Ottawa's Arts Court facility, further centralizing the organization and securing an important space within the cultural community.
In 2008, Artengine took over the primary direction of the biennial Electric Fields festival from SAW Video. It has developed the festival project into a significant programming venture drawing on extensive collaborations across the city and into Montréal and Toronto. The collaborative nature of the festival has strengthened the organization's access to resources while increasing the exposure and awareness of the electronic arts across all disciplines.
Artengine has a strong historical connection to the Open Source movement. We have contributed custom scripting and programming to the open source projects PureData and GridFlow, playing a key role in the internationally networked community including co-hosting the 2007 International PD Convention in Montréal. In more recent history, we have fostered significant relationships with the maker community developing networks of exchange for both open software and hardware platforms.
We recognize that shaping the organization requires a holistic approach, combining all of our resources in terms of programming, technological infrastructure, and human resources. Artengine's Board of Directors is also in place to help shape our future vision. True to its identity as an artist-run centre, Artengine is governed by a six-member Board of practicing artists.
Rupert Oliver Allen, Chariperson, is an economist and stakeholder engagement specialist with the Federal Government of Canada where he has worked for the past four years. Prior to this he worked in a variety of national and international arts institutions including Itau Cultural in Sao Paulo, the National Gallery of Canada and the Venice Biennale. He sits on the executive for the Council of the Arts in Ottawa and is a research associate with the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation. Mr. Allen has a Masters degree in Contemporary Art and Criticism from the University of Essex and a graduate degree in Sustainability from Carleton University.
James Acres is currently the Algonquin College coordinator for the Bachelor of Information Technology IMD program, a partnership between Algonquin College and Carleton University. Prior to accepting this teaching appointment, Mr. Acres was a founding partner of the local advertising agency Fuel Industries. Having switched his focus from online advertising to interactive and generative art, he spends much of his time hacking interactive projects together using open source tools such as Arduino, openFrameworks, and Processing.
Diana Cantu is a specialist in the intersection of art and new technology. She is a career technology evangelist, who is currently doing international business development for Newtec, a Belgian satellite broadband infrastructure company. She is also a professional whose background features a mix of tech and the arts including: pioneer satellite broadband networks (for digital broadcasting, IPTV, digital cinema, and distance learning), a 3D technology company in Montreal, running a small arts-oriented graphic design practice in NYC, commercial and non-profit art galleries, and a small opera company. She is President Emeritus of the Ottawa School of Art Board of Directors. As an enthusiastic longtime social media netizen, she is found blogging, tweeting, networking and hanging out online in a variety of places —cataloged here: www.about.me/dianacantu. Her passion spans around geek culture, street & graffiti art, travel, hacking (the creative/good kind), languages, food, art, wine, technology, dance, social media, 3D, social justice, mentoring, all things nerdy, and art.
Dipna Horra is a multidisciplinary artist, architect, and educator living in Ottawa, Canada. She is a PhD student at the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism at Carleton University and has received a Master of Fine Arts from Ottawa University. Horra has been an educator in the field of architecture and new media in New York and Canada. She has exhibited her art in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, New York City, Brooklyn, Berlin, London, and Dubai. Recent audio installations such as Avaaz and Dhunia are inventive explorations of cultural and technological hybridity at intersections of sound and sculpture. Horra’s current projects involve field recordings, micro broadcastings, as well as hand made microphones and speakers.
Luc Lalande is an Ottawa-based consultant specializing in the design, development and delivery of regional innovation programs. His extensive experience in collaborating with scientific, technical and engineering talent in both the public and private sectors, with business and community leaders, and venture philanthropists helps him tailor custom programs that generate economic and social impact for urban and rural areas. He is the co-founder and past Chair of the Eastern Ontario Student Technology Venture Challenge, the founder of the highly acclaimed Carleton University Foundry Program, curator of TEDxCarletonU and active volunteer advisor in numerous local initiatives in support or regional innovation and talent development. Past Board experience includes Ottawa Life Sciences Council, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada and the James Street Recovery Program. He is also a Founding Partner of the Ottawa Creatives Guild, a novel initiative to organize local creatives at the intersection of art, science and design.
Andrew O'Malley, is a practicing visual artist with an electrical engineering background who combines work in acrylics and collage with new media such as electronics/lighting, audio and video. He maintains an active involvement in the Ottawa arts scene, having exhibited in numerous exhibitions in the Ottawa area. Andrew also hosts a monthly DJ+VJ night called Techcetera focused on "techno-media", with electronic music from resident and guest DJ's, and live visual/video performances by rotating VJ guests. Recently, Andrew has been selected as one of two artists for permanent public art installation for the City of Ottawa's Bronson Avenue Renewal project. He is currently employed as a Patent Examiner at Industry Canada.
Alexandre Castonguay, Ex-Officio, currently teaches at UQAM's Ecole des arts visuels et mediatiques and is represented by the gallery Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain in Montréal. Castonguay's practice is based in new media and digital art, and his works exploit both obsolete technology and open source software. His work is exhibited widely in major museums and public galleries in Canada, the US and Europe, such as the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Jack Shainman and Laurence Miller Galleries in New York, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa and the Ottawa Art Gallery.