Artist Lecture: Chris Salter

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This last Thursday I had the privilege of hearing a lecture on campus by visiting artist Chris Salter, the Director of the Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research-Creation in Media Art and Technologies and Associate Professor of Computation Arts in the Department of Design and Computation Art at Concordia University, Montreal.

Salter is the author of a number of publications regarding technology and performance. His most recent book, Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance, has been brought up in many conversations in the Interdisciplinary Arts Department recently.

Entangled explores technology’s relationship to artistic performance practices in the 20th and 21st centuries. In this book, Salter shows that technologies, whether analog or digital, have been closely connected with performance across a wide range of disciplines.

We had the privilege of seeing a lot of his work, which was often fairly large in scale and frequently explored the development and production of real-time responsive performance environments.

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Much of Salter’s work revolves around art and science collaborations or art and any other discipline collaborations. In his opinion, that’s the only interesting art: art inspired by non art disciplines. He was not interested in art about art.

This was a wonderful talk that was beneficial to me in a number of ways, especially because I’m currently taking a class called Art & Science Collaborations. In this class, we’ve been learning a lot about different art/science projects. Much of my work recently has revolved around collaborations with performers, creating interactive video projections for performers and dancers. Being introduced to Chris Salter’s work definitely gave me inspiration for possible directions I could go with these responsive performance environments.

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