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August 6, 2020
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MUTEK-Avatar residency

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Photo: Aydin Matlabi

As part of an unprecedented collaboration, the Avatar art center is pleased to welcome harpist Alex Tibbitts for 4 weeks in its Quebec City studios. During this MUTEK-Avatar residency, the artiste will devote herself to the creation of a performative work. This work will then be presented during the 21st hybrid edition of the MUTEK festival, which will be held online and in Montreal from Tuesday, September 8 to Sunday, September 13.

With a particular interest in spatialization, exploring the relationship between movement and sound, the artiste will dedicate her residency to the realization of immersive performance, far from the traditional perspectives of the instrument. Using a custom control interface, her research will integrate visual synthesis, light control and visual elements to achieve a holistic performance for MUTEK 2020.

To do so, Tibbitts will benefit from technical and artistic support at Avatar, access to studios and equipment, and a collaborative atmosphere conducive to creation. This unprecedented collaboration between MUTEK and Avatar reflects, now more than ever, the effervescence and resilience of the artistic community, its ability to build bridges, renew itself and overcome obstacles - from a health crisis - to continue to create. This residency in Quebec City will provide an opportunity for the Avatar Center to document the artist's creative process.

Alex Tibbitts
An American-born classical musician and experimental improviser based in Montreal, Tibbitts is a harpist who commandeers the digital arts as her preferred medium of expression to develop her concept of the bionic harp. The bionic harp originates from the underlying connections between Tibbitts' personal obstacles, themes of death and reconstruction, and has found new avenues of expression through instrumental augmentation. Through a collaboration with the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Music, Media, and Technology (CIRMMT), her projects take the harp into uncharted territory with gestural control and innovative interface design.

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MUTEK-Avatar Residency
Last winter, MUTEK and Avatar jointly launched a call for applications for the brand new MUTEK-Avatar creation and dissemination residency. The opportunity to be supported in its creation process by a pioneering artist-run center in audio and electronic art research, with an exceptional venue for dissemination, aroused great interest within the community. At the end of the selection process, the jury was won over by harpist Alex Tibbitts' project.

Avatar
Avatar is dedicated to the research, creation, dissemination and circulation of works and artists in audio and electronic art. To support creation, Avatar organizes projects, invites artists, engages in reflection on practices and promotes new collaborations through local and international networks. Located in the heart of Quebec City, Avatar offers a place for exchanges and initiatives, explores new artistic territories and provides access to equipment and specialized skills.
In North America, Avatar is a pioneer in audio and electronic art research. At Avatar, audio creation covers a wide range of activities, from the creation of listening devices and the invention of instruments to sound installation, performance, radio art and sound sculpture. Audio art crosses the fields of music, visual arts and poetry, and is open to hybrid forms of audible performance, sound excavations and acoustic environments. Avatar also participates in the development of software and electronic interface programming as well as interactive and kinetic installation systems and telematic performances.

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