Turbine is an art creation center involved in training, research, and the dissemination of current practices in art and pedagogy. The multidisciplinary approach is implemented by developing joint projects with various education, artistic and community organizations. Turbine offers spaces where artists and art teachers can collaborate by way of training workshops, pedagogical creation projects, colloquiums, artist residency programs, and publications.
Its main activities are:
- Designing educational programs within artistic and cultural communities
- Developing pedagogical creation projects within the artistic, cultural, community and school milieus.
- Training cultural mediators.
- Organizing training workshops on the integration of technology and current teaching practices in art education.
- Creating teaching tools.
- Offering artist residencies which are linked to pedagogical projects.
- Publication of research work and art education practices.
Contemporary art opens new horizons for reflection and exchanges on compelling social issues. This contribution is crucial because it provides the opportunities for everyone to create spaces for experimentation, liberty, play, creativity, healing and for civic development. The Turbine centre stimulates these experiences by bringing communities, professional artists and art educators together in a spirit of reciprocity that is truly open to emerging perceptions and realities.
• Contemporary art offers an abundance of forms and content, by which it acquires an essential role in valuing differences whether cultural or social, and whether knowledge or experience-based.
• The respect of the artist’s process and of the community’s aspirations and abilities are important elements of an ethical relationship.
• The unexpected and the adaptation to the singularity of the involved actors are part of the creative process. Turbine values exploration and risk taking.
• It is fundamental to widely share the experience and knowledge gained through projects.
Since its foundation in 1999, the Turbine centre has underlined the importance of professional artists, educators and communities getting together in a mutual and equitable creative relationship.
In 2002, Turbine initiated its artist residency project with videographer Chantal du Pont. At Saint-Ambroise school, she created In Utero, a videographic work tackling the subjects of the body and the intrauterine experience. Three other major projects resulting from artist residencies in an educational setting, La Fabrique by Jean-Maxime Dufresne (2010), utile[in]utile by Geneviève Godin and Ximena Holuigue (2011), and (GR)ONDES by Étienne Grenier (2013) were documented in publications through words and images. Since 2007, Turbine has presented its “technowalk”, a project looking into the potential of walking accompanied by technological devices, which was the 2010 recipient of the award for “Most innovative cultural project” given out by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, regional directorate of the Lower Saint Lawrence.
Since 2012, Turbine has been proud to set forth a whole new artistic experimentation platform dedicated to the creation of objects using a 3D printer. The Fablab mobile project was launched in spring 2012 to promote research and reflection on the uses of new technologies through various concepts, like the creative residencies by artists Manon Labrecque and Diane Morin.
In fall 2014, Turbine celebrated its 15th anniversary with the event art PLASTIQUE, a series of meetings offering a wide range of activities that highlighted the creative potential of the 3D printer, in addition to the issues arising from its use.
In 2015, cinematographer Marie Valade invited first graders to take part in a creative project, Cacographie, which aimed to forge ties between matter, technology and learning how to write. The same year, artist Jonathan Villeneuve introduced secondary school students to digital arts, as part of the first residency of the Fablab project.
Several communities of different generations have participated in Turbine’s projects. For example, with Intersections PNH + YUL, cinematographer Paul Tom along with Cambodians of all ages, co-created a theatrical performance and a short film, which resulted in an intergenerational space for dialogue. In 2015, this project was awarded with the title of “Best artistic project” by the organization Intergénérations Québec.
In line with its objectives of creating spaces of interaction between contemporary art and citizens, Turbine also organizes workshops led by professional artists in Montreal libraries. Also, through collaboration with the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française, Turbine has coordinated artist residencies in the cities of Caraquet, Winnipeg and Ottawa. In 2015 and 2016, some 933 participants attended Turbine’s training workshops in Toronto, Rivière-du-Loup, Ottawa, Sudbury, Caraquet and Montreal.
In summer 2016, Intervalle, an art installation by Émilie Rondeau consisting of an audio recording, took place aboard the ferry connecting Trois-Pistoles to Les Escoumins, where more than 21,000 visitors had the chance to discover the artistic practice of a professional artist from the Lower Saint Lawrence.
Firmly convinced of its role as a promoter, Turbine produces publications following its artist residencies. After La Fabrique by Jean-Maxime Dufresne, utile[in]utile by Geneviève Godin and Ximena Holuigue, and (GR)ONDES by Étienne Grenier, L’instinct dans l’instant by Sylvie Cotton was the latest project to culminate as a publication in 2016. L’instinct dans l’instant explores the notion of “traces” through interviews conducted with 19 children from the Maison André-Gratton, a pediatric palliative care facility. Also taking place in a hospital setting, the project Se raconter maintenant by author Johanne Jarry, for its part, was presented on a web platform. This co-creation of the artist together with senior citizens with reduced autonomy consists of photographs and texts. Turbine also assisted Mexican artist Alfonso Arzapalo with his residencies S’emplacer and Parcours, which allowed recent young immigrants to discover their school and to play an active part in their new living environment via performances and in situ installations.
Also in 2016, Turbine sent a call for collaborations to Montreal’s artistic community, an initiative whose purpose is to bring together professional artists (43) and educators with whom Turbine develops, finances and implements projects in accordance with the centre’s vision and mission.