Martin Laviolette |  techno project maker

Martin Laviolette | techno project maker

Every year, the International Electronic Arts Symposium brings together thousands of people from dozens of countries. It’s an unmissable event for digital art enthusiasts and creators. This year it is held in Barcelona. The main event of this 27e The edition will be dropping one of the paintings memory city, by artists Michel Lemieux and Victor Bellon, produced by H2Emotion. In short, Montreal’s talents and expertise will be showcased every night, from June 14-16, in this wonderful city.

Posted at 7:15 AM

The selected painting is the one usually displayed on the huge wall of the Montreal courthouse. Lasting 35 minutes, it evokes the American Indian presence, the French regime, and the British invasion to conclude with contemporary Montreal.

In Barcelona, ​​it will be shown on the facade of the Sant Pau de la Recinte Modernista Hospital, an impressive building from the beginning of the 20th century.e Century listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located not far from the Sagrada Familia. It is one of the most visited places in the capital of Catalonia.

Before he traveled to Spain with Michel Lemieux (the auditions took place over the weekend), I wanted to meet Martin Laviolette, the man in the shadow of memory city. With 200 projectors, this homegrown project is the longest video projection cycle in the world.

Coming from a societal background, Martin Laviolette is a pure Montrealer. Originally from northern Montreal, he was one of the first street workers to join Rue Action Prévention Jeunesse. This hyperactive (he was already a small hockey player in Europe) founded, in 1997, FestiBlues, which he held for 19 years.

I consider myself a project maker. When someone entrusts me with something, I like to see it through.

Martin Laviolette, Producer memory city

While working in the city of Montreal as a social development consultant in the Ahuntesek-Cartierville district, he was told about the “Festival in History” project. We are in the year 2006. Take the ball in a jump.

“I thought long and hard about what it could become and came up with this phrase: ‘A historical event in a contemporary set.’ It was a blur, but I had a direction. »

Armed with this sentence, Michel Lemieux and Victor Bellon invited steak frites on Rue Saint-Denis one evening. Martin Laviolette recalls: “During the meal, someone said, ‘The walls are talking to us.’ There was a click. I like to light the spark and then see things explode. I am happy to let the artists dream.”

Technological art has few secrets for Lemieux and Pilon, the project takes the form of lyrical paintings displayed on blind walls or on the floor telling parts of our history.

Once the concept was created, playwright Michel Marc Bouchard was hired. The team gets to work. NPO H2Emotion has been created. In 2016, a year before 375e Anniversary of the creation of Montreal, 19 paintings were unveiled in Old Montreal. Today, there are 28.

At least $28 million has been pumped so far into this project, which is attracting the interest of many cities around the world. “Only 12 to 18% of the money we get comes from grants,” says Martin Laviolette. We cannot say that we are consumers of public money. »

Martin Laviolette matches many projects. He recently unveiled an interactive floor display in the Pointe-aux-Trembles neighborhood. This painting, presented at the Place du Village-de-la-Pointe-aux-Trembles, is the first to be displayed in the east end of Montreal.


Photo Victor d. Lamisch, presented by H2EMOTION

H2Emotion recently unveiled an interactive floor display in the Pointe-aux-Trembles neighborhood.

Five-schedule courses will soon be established in other cities in Quebec. Details will be revealed soon. In addition, a wonderful augmented reality project called On sitea work by Michel Lemieux, will be presented to the public and tourists starting in August.

After trying it first with its creator, I can tell you that the result is absolutely amazing.

Then there’s this project called Espace Saint-Denis which is in development. It will occupy 3,500 square feet of space in the Cinéma du Quartier Latin building. There will be eight thematic rooms focused on Montreal and will combine artificial intelligence, metaverse, and forecasts.

Martin Laviolette says: “I admit that I am ambitious. I am also stubborn. But in all this I leave plenty of room for pleasure. It is fundamental to me.”

I leave Martin Laviolette and tell myself that we have a lot of talented creatives in Quebec, but we need more “project makers” like him. Artists need it. And the United States, too.


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