Philomène Longpré

PHILOMÈNE LONGPRÉ is a media artist whose research encompasses robotic art, interactive video, and performance. Since 1999, her works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. Recent exhibitions include Cereus: Queen of the Night, at the PHI Center during Elektra International Digital Arts Festival and Formica, at the C-2 Mtl and at the BIAN International Digital Arts Biennial in Canada; Illusio, at the EXIT and VIA Festivals in France; Telematic Exchange, at the Looptopia Festival and at Collider Festival in United States; Octopus, at FILE Electronic Art Festival in Brazil and AIR Hong Kong Arts Centre in Hong Kong ; and Passage, at BUDI in South Korea, Thaïland New Media Art Festival and at the Festival Di Cupramontana in Italy.

Longpré has developed a series of video systems that translate body language while exploring the interaction between the physical and virtual world. These environments juxtapose virtual characters, robotic sculptures, video membranes, abstract sounds, and digital interfaces, to elicit multi-sensory experiences. The initial systems—Plato’s Cave (2000), Cycle (2001), Passage (2002), and Silence Not Present (2002)—feature characters who interpret changes in their environments. In her most recent pieces—including Octopus (2003), Formica (v1, 2003; v2, 2007), Vita (2005), Illusio (2006), Underlayers (2007), Xol (2008), Cereus: Queen of the Night (2009–2013), and Xia (2011)—virtual characters redefine themselves by virtue of their interactions with visitors. In these systems, interaction is designed to occur not only among the video, the audio, and the visitors but also with the physicality of the video display, which is specially created to respond both physically and conceptually to the selected content.

In 2006, Longpré obtained an MFA in Art and Technology from the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 2014 a PhD from Concordia University in Montreal. Her doctoral dissertation “Video Screen as Matrix of Sensations: A Multisensory Approach to the Artistic Development of Responsive Video Membranes” investigates multisensory manifestations in interactive video installations and proposes a transdisciplinary inquiry into the artistic development of responsive video membranes. An essential aspect of her artistic approach involves a unique collaboration among the fields of fine arts, anthropology, computer science, and mechanical engineering. All hybrid displays designed by Longpré influence the perception of moving images, and transform the audio–visual experience through the involvement of other sensory modalities.

Longpré’s work has won support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture. She has also been sponsored in part by companies such as MicroVision Inc., Keen Projection Media Ltd., and NEC Display Solutions.

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