In the Blog
The HTMlles Festival: Opening Night!
Image courtesy of The HTMlles
Saturday, November 8th was an evening to remember, as it marked the opening of the 11th edition of Festival HTMlles at Studio XX in Montréal. As I walked down the hallway leading to Studio XX, I could immediately sense the excitement that filled the room ahead of me.
Upon entering, I was consumed with a sense of curiosity that urged me to wander. The gallery was packed with spectators, artists and speakers, allowing anyone attending to speak to the festival’s artists one-on-one. Artists Valerie d. Walker and Bobbi L. Kozinuk, stood out among many with their vibrant glowing headpieces and welcoming smiles.
There were no less than 15 artists featured at the evenings’ event, presented over two floors. As I walked through the space, I watched as people eagerly interacted with Angela Gabereau’s Future Visions, an online tarot-esque website of 83 video cards holding the hopes, dreams and fears of our shared future. Also featured on the main floor of the gallery was an installation by Alisha Wormsley, and the digital collage of Mehreen Murtaza.
Photo: Lisa Harris and Alisha Wormsley – “PROOF”
After a welcoming speech introducing the festival staff and volunteers, attendees were encouraged to stick around for performances by Lisa E. Harris and micha cárdenas. Harris’s vocal performance was engrossing as she slowly moved around audience members while singing in high operatic tones. Her gestures continuously pointed towards Wormsley’s installations, beautifully tying together the installation and performance.
Photo: micha cárdenas – “Redshift and Portalmetal: Femme Science Findings”
The second performance by micha cárdenas can be compared to a choose-your-own adventure story. As the story was projected behind cárdenas, audience members were encouraged to shout out their choices for the characters’ journey. cárdenas recited the story as she moved melodically to the rhythm of her words.
Photo: Jenny Lin – “Replay: A Memory Game”
My favourite activity of the evening was a computer memory game created by Jenny Lin. Found in the basement of Studio XX, the work called for viewers to sit down and click around a computer screen. This non-linear, interactive narrative explored the experience of stasis and interruption from a first-person vantage point. I attempted to navigate through the scenes and texts, examining a variety of objects typically found in a hospital room, while clicking randomly all over the computer screen, never knowing where each click would lead me.
The evening was a great experience filled with wonderful people and excellent performances all of which engaged attendees with feminism and cyberart. As I left to head home after the evening’s events I couldn’t help but be excited for the rest of the weekend’s happenings.
This is the fourth and final post in a series produced in conjunction with The HTMlles Festival
The HTMlles ran from November 7-15, 2014.
Photos by Romina Cameron