The Dust Agitator series (2018-2019) explores the aesthetic, critical and sensory potential of a residual material at the end of its cycle: a fine and harmful dust produced by the glass recycling industry in Quebec. The kinetic installation which highlights fine particles initially intended for landfills produces chromatic light modulations interfering with the peculiarities of this materiality: volatile clouds which, over time, fall back, sediment and accumulate.
Proceeding by resonances between the studio, the recycling centres and the gallery, this research results from field work carried out with recyclers in Quebec and Belgium and emerges from a sensitivity to the interaction processes underlying material production. In the context of of ecological emergency, the work inspired by the operation of recycling centres intend to shift pressing issues into a new field of vigilance. This sustainable engagement with an “exhausted” materiality thus addresses sentience from the perspective of the ecosophical world: it investigates the geological, socio-environmental and artistic entanglements mobilized by this dust, linked to raw materials and technology, as well as artistic and industrial practices.
Alice Jarry is an artist-researcher and professor of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University. She specializes in site-specific responsive works, sci-art practices, socio-environmental design, and tangible media. Her research brings concerns about sustainability, aesthetics, and politics to bear critically upon materiality and urban infrastructure. Her current works focuses on residual matter and smart and biomaterials for the built environment. She examines how materiality – engaged in processes of transformation with site, technology, and communities – can provoke the emergence of adaptive forms and resilient socio-environmental relations. She is the director of Milieux Institute’s Speculative Life Biolab and member of the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Next Generation Cities (Concordia); Kheops – International Consortium on the Governance of Large Infrastructure Projects; Hexagram – International Network dedicated to Research-Creation in Media Arts, Design, Technology and Digital Culture; Topological Media Lab, the Living Architecture Systems Group, and collective Perte-de-Signal. Her works have been presented – among other locations – at Centre George Pompidou (Paris), Vox (Montréal), Biennale Nemo (Paris), Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology (Milan), International Digital Arts Biennial (Montreal), Device_Art Triennale (Zagreb), Invisible Dog Art Center (New York), and Mons 2015, European Capital of Culture (Mons).