University of Montreal
Luc Courchesne was born in 1952 in St-Léonard d'Aston, Québec. He studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. He began his explorations in interactive video in 1984 when he co-authored Elastic Movies, one of the earliest experiment in the field with Ellen Sebring, Benjamin Bergery, Bill Seaman and others. He has since produced numerous installations which have been shown extensively in galleries and museums worldwide: Sydney's Art Gallery of New South Wales, New York's Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo's InterCommunication Center (ICC), Paris' La Villette, Karlsruhe's ZKM/Medienmuseum, and Montréal's Musée d'art contemporain. His installations are part of numerous museum collections. Luc Courchesne was awarded the Grand Prix of the ICC Biennale '97 in Tokyo and an Award of Distinction at Pris Ars Electronica 1999 in Linz, Austria. Based in Montreal, Luc Courchesne is professor of design at Université de Montréal and president of the Society for Art and Technology.
Four walls of a space are "painted", with video projectors, into a single photo realistic 360º landscape representing a public garden. The space, set in Montreal's Mont-Royal Parc, is being visited by real and virtual characters. If the virtual characters appear free to come and go in the garden, real visitors will need help to walk in and explore. For this they have to make contact with one of the virtual character by selecting, using voice or touch, questions or comments from imposed sets. Questions on, for example, where they are, what is around, where one can go from here will engage a conversation leading to some form of relationship. The exchange may be cut short with everyone going back to their business or it may reach a point where visitors will convince a character to lead them somewhere. In such case, visitors are being pulled through the landscape after their virtual guide and the whole room appears to be moving in this direction. The dialogue between the guide and the visitor or group goes on and defines the progression through space. Because real visitors are using virtual characters to steer their way through space, the nature of visitor's relationship to the character will define the space -- physical or metaphorical -- that can be accessed. There are several possible destinations or outcome. Visitors could simply be abandoned somewhere on the way if the connection to the character is broken, or they could be reaching a destination: a lookout or a forbidden boundary. This journey through space is also a journey through words, meanings, language, subjectivity. It highlights not only the physical world in which this is happening but also its diverse meanings and functions to different people.
Landscape one is a multi-user interactive panoramic video installation using 5 networked computers with touch pads, microphones and motion detectors, 4 video projectors and 4 laserdisc players. Created by Luc Courchesne in Montreal in 1997 with support from the ICC -- InterCommunication Center, Tokyo.