We Make The City! We Are The City!
September 11-15th, 2013

We are the city. Collectively we form the fabric that ties it together. Outside of shopping malls, office blocks, restaurants, cafes, condo towers and government houses there is a common space we all navigate. How we move, meet and play in this space shapes the city itself. More than a collection of pathways, the city unfolds from the connection, friction and contradiction of the shared world between the buildings around us. Together we make this city; the city is us and we are the city.

This city, Ottawa-Gatineau, is the venue for Electric Fields 2013. We turn ourselves inside out and move from the lab, the studio, the gallery, the theater and onto the streets, sidewalks, courtyards, front yards, backyards, back alleys, buildings and balconies. The projects at the heart of the festival are a part of the city and the city is part of these projects.

Check out our partner festival the Ottawa Mini-Maker Faire taking presented August 31st and September 1st in partnership with the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology.

Project Highlights

When building projects from the street upwards it is not always clear what it will look like in the end. The steps that bring us to the festival this fall will be as much about discovery as intention. Look for us building our projects in your neighbourhood!

Dirty Rectangles and Electric Fields have teamed up to turn the fabric of the city itself into a play structure. Sidewalks, stairs, fences, foundations become the boundaries of new games unfolding during the festival. Check back and find out where you can play along.

Agit POV is a simple project illuminating people's voices through the movement of their bicycles out on the street. Using custom-built LED technology, participants will learn about the tools of expression but also consider their part in speaking out in public space. If you are interested in signing up to be part of this project get in touch with us at

Audiosphere is a new soundtrack to underscore the everyday drama of your public transportation experience. Working with a roster of local musicians We Make The City! will produce new songs to accompany different parts of some of the most active bus lines in the region.

Ghetto Blast Soundsystem will be building a new kind of parade that turns your bicycle into a musical instrument for a collective sound project roving through the city streets.

Kwende Kefenste, Mathieu Trudel and Elizabeth McKinnon have been working together to reconsider our movement through the built world around us. How can we change our relationship to the buildings that shape us?

A full list of participants includes

Sofian Audry
Daniel Felipe Valencia
Ghetto Blast Soundsystem
Mariángela Aponte Núñez
Alexandre Castonguay
Kwende Kefenste
Elizabeth McKinnon
Dirty Rectangles
Megan Smith
Jesse Stewart
Mathieu Trudel
and you
and your neighbors
and your family
and your friends

About EF

Started in 2003 at Galerie SAW Gallery by Jason St-Laurent and Tam-Ca Vo-Van as a spotlight on electro-acoustic and audio-visual performance and installation, the biennial event moved to SAW Video and evolved to focus on local, national and international music and media artists with a increasing technological engagement in their work.

In 2008, Artengine took over the project and produced a third edition, expanding the reach of the festivals programming, while fostering stronger networks between new media artists in and outside the capital region.

As a deeper engagement with technological expression winds through many forms of creative expression, so expands the collaborations at the heart of the festival. From the Canadian Film Institute to The Ottawa Art Gallery to local music promoters the festival weaves a thread through the creative fabric of the city and pulls it together into a concentrated week of electric events.

How do you make the city?
Design Challenge

Think about how we can build a better city together.

Shouldn't we share these ideas with others?

Let's get started!

This year the Electric Fields Festival is about the city, so it's also about working together. Not only do we want the festival to happen out in the city, but we want the city to help us build it. With this in mind we have launched a design challenge to get everyone involved in making the city we are in. Go to and find out details about how to submit your ideas!

Project Funders

Canada Council

Ontario Arts Council

Sponsors and Collaborators

City of Ottawa Community Arts

Velo Vogue

Ottawa Mini-Maker Faire

Nuit Blance Ottawa Gatineau