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    Québec and Aix-En-Provence: Tales of two cities

    By Future DiverCities 1 year ago
    Home  /  Portfolio Item  /  Québec and Aix-En-Provence: Tales of two cities

    Before the beginning of the Québec and Aix-en-Provence lab here are echoes from this project with a dual citizenship, conducted by our partners La Chambre Blanche and Seconde Nature and developed by two artists: Peter Sinclair (FR) and Owen Chapman (CA).

    A little bit of History about Québec

    Founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, Quebec is the oldest French-speaking city in North America. The city of Quebec is recognized internationally for the richness of its history, its breathtaking scenery, and its dynamism in terms of culture. Its historic district, Old Québec, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. Its literary life stands out for its innovation and reflects the richness of its Francophone, Anglophone, and Aboriginal heritage.

    With 532,000 inhabitants, it is the second largest city in Quebec. The city council, elected by universal suffrage every four years, counts a mayor and 21 municipal councilors.

    The economy, founded in services, is prosperous. The population frequents assiduously the major cultural places: House of literature, Palais Montcalm – House of Music, two museums of State, five theaters, etc. In 2016, Québec won the prestigious cultural destination of the year at the Leading Culture Destinations Awards.

    The municipality co-founded the Network of Francophone and Francophile Cities of America, hosts the headquarters of the UNESCO World Heritage Cities Organization and maintains official partnerships with Bordeaux and Paris, Namur, Belgium, Calgary (Canada) and Xi’an (China) as well as links to many other cities.


    A little bit of History about Aix-en-Provence

    Aix-en-Provence is a city in the south of France, 30 km far from Marseille. The city is part of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône. Aix counts approximately 143,000 inhabitants and it was in 2010 the 23rd city in France in terms of population.

    Culturally hectic, Aix is famous for its Festival international d’Art Lyrique, founded in 1948. It is an opera festival known internationally. It takes place in late June and July each year.

    The main venues in Aix itself are the outdoor Théâtre de l’Archevêché, the recently restored 18th-century Théâtre du Jeu de Paume, and the newly built and famous Grand Théâtre de Provence; operas are also staged in the outdoor Théâtre du Grand Saint-Jean outside Aix. Over the four-year period from 2006 until 2009, Sir Simon Rattle’s version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle with the Berlin Philharmonic was performed at the Aix festival.

    Aix-en-Provence was also part of Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long cultural festival when the region served as the European Capital of Culture. Aix hosted several major cultural events including one-half of the Grand Atelier du Midi gala exhibition and an episode of the Révélations pyrotechnical performance. The city also unveiled major new cultural infrastructure to coincide with Marseille-Provence 2013, including the Darius Milhaud Conservatory designed by Kengo Kuma.

    In October 2017, the international and futuristic campus The Camp will open its doors in the Europôle de l’Arbois. Extending over 11,000 m² inside the Aix countryside, the site will be home to an expertise and training center, an experimentation center, and an accelerator for innovative companies dedicated to the smart city of tomorrow and innovative technologies.

    Photos on the left: Live Coding Perfomance at La Chambre Blanche / Credits : Pierre-Luc Lapointe

    Photo on the right: Hologram workshops at Seconde Nature / Credits: Secone Nature

    A Seconde Nature and La Chambre Blanche: a fraternal understanding

    The bromance between the two organizations starts in 2013 with two artworks of the French artist Adelin Schweitzer. Curated by La Chambre Blanche, the multimedia installations Dichotomie #The Fisherman and Dichotomie #Eyeswalking were showed in Aix-en-Provence during the 10th edition of the Gamerz Festival of which Seconde Nature is a partner.












    Photo: Dichotomie – Adelin Schweitzer / Québec – La Chambre Blanche

    Who are the artist lab Owen Chapman and Peter Sinclair? 

    Peter Sinclair (FR/UK)

    A sound artist and researcher in audio art, he began his career by building musical machines that it presents in exhibitions and performances, alone or in
    collaboration with musicians. He starts computer coding as a creative tool while keeping in his projects a strong relation to the “physical” space.  Research manager at Locus Sonus (ESAAix), the majority of his artistic work is realized within a team or implies other artists and researchers.


    Owen Chapman (CA)

    As a musician, composer of electronic music and sound artist, Owen Chapman uses a combination of digital and analog technologies to
    live audio-visual re-mixing. Professor of sound studies at the University’s Department of Communication Concordia, he is also co-director of Community and Differential Mobilities Cluster “at Concordia University (Montreal).