About

Jonathan Villeneuve has been creating public art and installation work employing digital and electromechanical technology for over ten years. His artworks spark the viewer’s imagination through movement, sound, and light-emitting elements. Oscillating between uncanny forms and ostensible functionality, his artworks tend to reveal technological underpinnings, while delivering an affective experiential punch.

Born in 1980, Villeneuve earned his MFA in Open Media at Concordia University in Montréal, where he lives and works. He has presented work at numerous exhibition spaces and events in Québec – L’oeil de poisson, Oboro B-312, La Chambre blanche, Espace virtuel, and the Festival de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (curated by Erick Orion) – as well as across Canada – Stride Gallery (Calgary), Grunt Gallery (Vancouver), Eastern Edge (St. John’s), Galerie Sans Nom (Moncton) – and internationally – namely at the Piksel Festival (Bergen, Norway), Festival 404 (Trieste, Italy), and twice in Germany, at Kunstkraftwerk (Leipzig, with Perte de Signal) and Lab-30 (Augsburg). In 2014, he participated in the New Media Triennial at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, curated by Sylvie Parent (Molior) and Zhang Ga. Since 2015, he has focused his output on creating public artworks, notably for the École de cirque de Québec, the Centre Vidéotron (Québec City) and the Bureau d’art public de Montréal. More recently, he was commissioned to create permanent public artworks for the Québec National Assembly and the City of Montréal’s Parc Jean Drapeau, both of which were unveiled in 2019. He has been awarded numerous production/creation grants, as well as artist residencies in Canada, Finland, and Germany.

His artworks foreground the materiality of spaces by framing perimetric paths through sites for which the works are tailored. Through these site-specific pieces, Villeneuve sculpts immersive and sensory experiences that become overlain with narratives both personal and universal so that anyone can feel included in them. Such narratives do not, however, adhere to a linear script; instead, storylines are conveyed via a fragmented syntax that allows the public to project their imagination through the work as an experiential framing device. Each installation is a process that fosters the creation of autonomous landscapes in which the nature/technology binary becomes blurred in favour of a living interrelationship. Thereby, his work invites viewers to see their shared human and environmental heritage through a live lens of history-in-the-making.

Villeneuve’s practice is manifested by lyrical machines that serve both speculative and imaginary functions. While his installation pieces display carefully choreographed technical elements, they tend to elicit emotions and rhythms associated with biotic phenomena. Functioning as both apparatus and ambit, each installation enriches its specific space with the potential for original, and sometimes uncanny, physical or psychic sensations for viewers/users/visitors of the work. His public artworks incorporate sound and light elements that are ostensibly ephemeral or intangible, while simultaneously providing structure for the physical and temporal space the work inhabits with the viewer.


Education

2006-2009 : MFA Studio Arts, Open-Media, Concordia University.
2001-2004 : BFA, UQÀM

Public art

2020 : Gatineau Amphitheatre, Gatineau, Canada, The Idea of North
2020 : Allée Calder / Parc Jean Drapeau, Montreal, Canada, Utopia
2019 : Assemblée Nationnale du Quebec, Québec city, Canada, The Spectrum of enlightenments
2017 : Emery Street / Latin district, Montreal, Canada, Lux Obscura
2016 : Quartier des Spectacles / Luminothérapie, Montreal, Canada, LOOP
2016 : Aires Libres, Montreal, Canada, Potential chargers
2015 : Quebec Multifunctionnal Amphitheatre, Québec, Canada, Le grand bleu du Nord, Interactive light installation / permanent
2011 : Quebec Circus School, Québec, Canada – Organicus : Interactive light installation / permanent

Solo Exhibitions

2015 : L’oeil de Poisson, Québec, QC, Canada.
2015 : Stride Gallery, Calgary, AB, Canada.
2014 : Atelier Belleville, Montréal, QC, Canada. Two Strokes Machine
2013 : Oboro, Montreal, QC, Canada. Well Framed
2012 : Gallery B-312, Montreal, QC, Canada. Do the Wave
2012 : Grunt Gallery, Vancouvert, BC, Canada. Do the Wave
2012 : Galerie d’art du centre culturel de l’Universsité de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada. Wavelength
2011 : Eastern Edge, St-John, NF, Canada. Wavelength
2011 : Chambre Blanche, Québec, QC, Canada. Along Highway 20 / Going by the 15
2011 : Espace Virtuel, Chicoutimi, QC, Canada. Do the Wave
2010 : Gallerie Sans Nom, Moncton, NB, Canada. Mass Movement
2009 : Musée d’Art Contemporain des Laurentides, St-Jérôme, QC, Canada. Do the Wave
2008 : Galerie Art Mûr, Montréal, QC, Canada. Trace

Group Exhibitions

2015 : KunstKraftWerk, Leipzig, Germany, Mass Movement
2014 : Thing World : International Triennial of New Media Art, Curator : Zhang Ga, Nationnal Art Museum of China, Beijing, China.
2013 : Fabriquer l’improbable, Curators Dominique Allard, Véronique Leblanc, Est-Nord-Est, St-Jean-Port-Joli, Qc, Canada.
2012 : Centre d’exposition de Rouyn-Noranda, Rouyn-Noranda, Canada
2012 : Festival de musique actuelle de Victoriaville, Serenade
2012 : Centre nationale d’exposition de Jonquière, Jonquière, Canada, Mass Movement
2012 : Centre d’exposition d’Amos, Amos, Canada, Mass Movement
2011 : Centre d’exposition Raymond-Lasnier, Trois-Rivière, Canada, Mass Movement
2009 : Lab-30, Augsburg, Germany. Trace L
2008 : 404 Festival, Trieste, Italy. Trace L
2007 : Galerie Expression, St-Hyacinthe, Canada. TraceV / Abysse
2007 : Alucine Festival / Galerie 1313, Toronto, Canada. Trace L
2007 : Musée d’Art Contemporain des Laurentides, St-Jérôme, Canada. Trace L
2005 : Piksel Festival/ HKS (Hordaland Kunst Center), Bergen, Norway. Travel Agent
2005 : Printemps Plein temps 05 / Galerie de L’UQAM, Montréal, Canada. Cube
2004 : Paramètre 2004 / Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal, Canada. La Station
2003 : Paramètre 2003 / Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal, Canada. Reflexion

Performances

2014 : Atelier Belleville, Montréal, QC, Canada. Two Strokes Machine
2009 : Athens Video Festival, Athens, Grece. Grace State Machines
2008 : Carte blanche @ Elektra, Maison des métallos, Paris, France. Grace State Machines
2008 : 404 festival, Trieste, Italy. Grace State Machines
2007 : Subtle Technologies festival, Toronto, Canada. Grace States Machines
2005 : Piksel festival / HKS (Hordaland Kunst Center), Bergen, Norway. Drone

Residencies

2015 : HIAP (Helsinki International Artists Programme), Suomenlinna, Finland
2014 : National Music Museum (NMC), Calgary, AB, Canada
2013 : Est-Nord-Est, Fabriquer l’improbable, commissaires Dominique Allard, Véronique Leblanc, St-Jean-Port-Joli, Qc, Canada.
2012 : Avatar, Québec, Canada
2011 : Chambre Blanche, Québec, Canada.
2005 : BEK (Bergen Electronic Kunst Center), Bergen, Norway.

Grant & Distinctions

2012 : Research and Production Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
2011 : Development grants – Research and creation, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
2010 : Development grants – Research and creation, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec
2010 : Short listed for the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art, Concordia University
2010 : Research and Production Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
2008 : Lauréat du concours Jeunes artistes en arts visuels des Laurentides.
2007 : Research and Production Grants, Canada Council for the Arts
2006 : Tuition Remission Fees Award. Concordia University
2005 : Robert Wolf Grant, Printemps plein temps 05 / Galerie de l’UQÀM, for the video installation Cube.
2004 : Discreet Logic Grant, Paramètre 2004 / Galerie de l’UQÀM, for the video installation La Station.
2003 : Mention, Paramètre 2003 / Galerie de l’UQÀM, for the video installation Réflexion.

Professional Experience in the Arts

2012-2014 : Board member at RCAAQ
2011-2014 : Board member at La Chambre Blanche
2010 : Teaching at the Visual Arts Faculty, University of Ottawa, ART4929 / Sculpture Media
2008- 2009 : Board member of CQAM (Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques).
2007- 2012 : Board member at Perte de signal.
2008 : Teaching assistant for Éric Raymond, AVM3301: interactivité, ubiquité et virtualité, UQÀM.
2008 : Teaching assistant for Peter Flemming, IMCA 320: Interactivity Studio in Electronic Arts, Concordia.
2006-2008 : Research assistant de Bill Vorn, Concordia University.
2004-2006 : HEXAGRAM UQAM research-creation institute in media art
2005 : Teach. assist. for Gysele Trudel, AVM2300 Conception et modélisation en imagerie de synthèse UQÀM.

Artist talk

2015 : KIKK, Namur, Belgium
2013 : Oboro, Montreal, QC, Canada.
2012 : Gallery B-312, Montreal, QC, Canada.
2011 : Eastern Edge Gallery, St-John’s, NL, Canada
2011 : Centre d’exposition Raymond Lasnier, Trois-Rivières, Canada
2010 : Galerie Sans Nom, Moncton, NB, Canada
2010 : Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
2009 : Athens Video Festival, Athens, Greece
2008 : Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.
2007 : Festival Subtle Technologies, Toronto, Canada.
2005 : UQÀM Gallery, Montreal, Canada.

Press

2015 : Gauntlet / Calgary : january 15th 2015 – Damaged instruments make beautiful music, INGRAM, Liv
2014 : Le Devoir / Montréal : may 10th 2014- p.: E1 – Concerts de proximité, CHARRON, Marie-Ève
2013 : Le Devoir / Montreal : October 20th 2013 – p.: E9 – Choréographie aérienne, Marie-Ève Charron
2013 : ESSE, arts + opinion: #177, Hiver 2013 – p.: 74 – Compte rendu : Faire la Vague, Galerie B-312, Dominique Allard
2012 : Le Devoir / Montreal : December 1st 2012 – p.: E5 – De mouvements réglés à ceux, troubles, de la mémoire, Marie-Ève Charron
2012 : Canadian Art : Online, October 6th 2012- Sound Waves, Microscopes Bring Science-Fair to Grunt Gallery – Ashley McLellan
2012 : Straight / Vancouver : September 21th 2012 – Villeneuve and Khang, take on complex themes at Grunt Gallery, Robin Laurence
2012 : La Tribune / Sherbrooke : 7 juin 2012 – p.: A5 – Poétiques Machines de Bois, Karine Tremblay
2012 : Inter – Art actuel : #110, spring 2012 – p.: 91,92 – En bordure d’autoroute – Nathalie Bachand
2011 : The Telegram / St-John’s : April 29thl 2011 – p.:B1 – Carving Space – Craig Francis Power
2011 : CBC Radio / St-John’s, NF : April 30th 2011 – WeekendArts Magazine
2011 : Le Soleil / Québec : March 21th 2011 – p.:35 – Mécanismes poétiques – Josiannes Desloges
2011 : Voir – Saguenay / Alma : February 3rd 2011 – p.:10 – L’espace d’un instant – Barbara Garant
2010 : Guerilla / Ottawa : Issue #24, June 2010 – p.: 9,10 – Cultural Metropolis Montreal – Tony Martins
2009 : ETC – Revue de l’art actuel : #86, June-August 2009 – p.: 46,47 – Entangled Technologies – Valérie Lamontagne