Institutional presentation / Creating digital & thinking about Frontiers
- Abstract: TOPO was founded in Montreal (Canada) in 1993. The centre grew out of the will of its founding members to develop a structure for the organization of collective and multidisciplinary projects, a will that very soon expanded to explore a digital new era for the artists.
TOPO’s creative, circulation, training, and mediation activities contribute to the development of its disciplinary field, at the crossroads of the visual arts, literature, and digital media. The centre guides, supports, and produces interactive projects, receives artists in residence, and offers specialized workshops. Its dissemination component explores innovative modes of presentation for digital artworks through exhibitions, performances, publications, and circulation on the web and in local, national, and international networks.
A member of the creative hub and exhibition space Pied Carré, in Montreal (Canada), the centre occupies a multifunctional production space open to the community and has an exhibition showcase on the ground floor of the building, in the Mile-End neighbourhood of Montreal.
From 2019 to 2022, TOPO proposed a thematic program around “Frontier”, with exhibitions, workshops, performances, artist presentations and a printed publication with a digital version to enhance the user experience.
Anchored in humanity’s history, this subject combines many questions brought up by the artist-centre which are as much political and social as physical and technological.
Seven authors have been invited to express a deeper reflection about borders by writing theoritical esays, three of them about the exhibitions and web projects, and four others about different meanings and approaches to the notion of border.
This presentation will also address the strategies adopted by this artist-run centre to cross over physical exhibitions towards online dissemination. TOPO is a pioneer in web art and its director aims to bridge the past with the present times.
- Biography: Michel Lefebvre is General Director of TOPO, an art center dedicated to creation, production and dissemination of new media projects at the crossroads of visual arts, literature and digital narrativity. The centre celebrates in 2022 more than 20 years of presence on the web which started with the web-radio fiction LIQUIDATION, a photonovel created with photographer Eva Quintas. The photonovel was also produced on a CD-ROM as a random fiction using a generative engine. Since then he has pursued the exploration of digital writings with TOPO, which has created and produced numerous interactive projects with artists of different disciplines. Michel Lefebvre started in the 80’s his artistic career as a poet, author and cultural organizer.
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