Media@McGill is contributing support to Eastern Bloc's hosting of Claude Périard and her project "Holy Numbers" for a creation and production residency. Claude Périard will be in residence for four weeks from 5 February to 5 March 2018.
Holy Numbers will be presented during Montreal's Nuit Blanche on March 3, starting at 8 p.m., at Eastern Bloc.
An eclectic and eternally curious being, Claude Periard first belonged to the musical world. She awoke her interest for sound as a medium while studying classical piano. She has released a dozen music albums, published essays, short stories and poems in independent publications, and exhibited her paintings and sculptures. In 2017, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in electroacoustic studies at the University of Montreal and since has increasingly oriented her practice towards video, sound art and multimedia installation. A multiform creature, Périard is always eager to explore and her desire to provoke reflection fuels the political, philosophical, and feminist qualities of her work.
As a multidisciplinary artist and musician, Périard aims to create connections between visual and aural mediums. She articulates her creations around political contexts or different concepts. Using open source softwares combined with a low-tech approach rather than cutting-edge technology, her rough-textured aesthetics transform and produce new shapes. In her recent new media, sound, and visual works, we identify a minimalist exploration with reduced elements. Périard’s philosophically rather than politically engaged art, is expressed via visual and aural “images” (often abstract) aiming to “touch” the spectator and make them think.
Holy Numbers is a multimedia installation transforming stock exchange values onto harmonic synthetic sounds in real time, by the diffusion of sound through a steel acoustic wave transducer. While the stock exchange values fluctuate slightly, the results are transmuted into drone-like sounds with mild and slow tonal changes, with reference to La Monte Young’s timber variations work. Originally the word “timbre” means “bell“, and so Périard uses 8 bells triggered by electronic motors relying on an arduino algorithm language to produce the work.
Just as the artist herself, the work displays an ironic attitude towards this financial system where neophytes only see numbers with no meaning. She aims to produce a distancing effect by keeping us away from this powerful gambling system that remains hermetic to many of us. The bells are meant to symbolize spirituality and the collective, and for the artist, nowadays, the collective is seen as atomized into individuality and spirituality has since been replaced by capitalist success. Holy Numbers is therefore a call and a meditation.