Well Framed (CA)



Electromechanical installation: cactus rain stick, wood, motor, plastic, microcontroller, and computer screens

Jonathan Villeneuve (CA)


Jonathan Villeneuve’s work attempts to define a space and frame a trajectory. The artist assembles scenes through which the public is invited to move about. These automaton-landscapes engage a dialogue between nature and technology, in which both are equal and neither dominates over the other. While the rhythm of these assemblages reveals a planned orchestration, their overall organic movement points to the instability characteristic of living beings. His works physically involve the viewer, and, due to their scale, trigger a personal and embodied experience of architecture as a built environment.

With the project Well Framed, Jonathan Villeneuve seeks to delimit a space and indicate a route. Operating like coded signage the animated objects mark the space and draw the viewer into a familiar and hypnotic experience. The artist creates a series of moving guide posts which trace the possible itineraries and modify them as time passes, while also toying with the notions of distance and proximity between the animated object and the sound it produces. The choice of materials, the spatial arrangement, and the aural dimension contribute to the scene’s development. Attracted by the movement and the various sounds produced by the automatic manipulation of the objects, the viewer is encouraged to move about the space, so as to discover the multiple possible viewpoints it offers. Via a process of accumulation, the various assembled structures create a soundscape that involves viewers in an immersive and poetic experience.

Well Framed was produced with Samuel St-Aubin (electronic / hardware and programing) and Thomas Ouellet Fredericks (software programing).


Artist Bio:

Jonathan Villeneuve is a mechanically inventive artist who creates poetic machines by repurposing familiar materials. His works move, emit light, and produce sounds in ways that challenge one’s assumption about their imaginary function. He received a BFA from Université du Québec à Montréal in 2006 and a MFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 2009. His solo work has been shown in Québec and Canada, including Gallery B-312 (Montreal, QC), Galerie d’art de l’Université de Sherbrooke, Grunt Gallery (Vancouver, BC), Eastern Edge (St-John’s, NF) and at Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville. He also participated in several collaborative media art works, which have been shown in many festivals and events in Europe, including Carte Blanche: Elektra (Paris, FR), Lab30 (Augsburg, GR), 404 Festival (Trieste, IT) and Athens Video Festival (Athens, GR). Born in St-Sauveur-des-Monts in Quebec, he lives and works in Montreal.