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Machine art master joins QUT

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Prof Louis-Philippe Demers’ most recent work – Inferno, created with fellow artist Bill Vorn is a star attraction of CreateX 2018, an immersive festival of performances, exhibitions, screenings and panel discussions from 13–17 November at QUT’s Creative Industries precinct.

He will join QUT in 2019 as Professor of Creative Innovation and Director of the Creative Lab.

Described as an unforgettable cyborg experience – part robotic dance party, part wake-up call from the future – Inferno invites participants to be fitted with robotic exoskeleton suits. Inspired by ideas of control and Dante’s depiction of the Circles of Hell, Inferno confronts what it means to surrender to human-robot symbiotic relationships.

Announcing the appointment, Prof Mandy Thomas, Creative Industries’ Executive Dean, said it was a great coup for QUT to attract someone of his stature.

“Prof Demers is an extraordinary artist, designer, researcher and entrepreneur, pushing the boundaries of machine art and so much more. We are honoured he is joining QUT,” Thomas said.

“He has been a very influential figure in construction and machine art over the last 30 years. His often interactive robotics works have been staged for theatre, opera, subway stations, art museums, science museums, festivals, music events and trade shows. Now Brisbane audiences can participate in Inferno next month and there is a lot of excitement building around those performances.”

Thomas said Demers has collaborated with many other artists, including Bill Vorn, Garry Stewart, Christian Möller, Stelarc, Robert Lepage, Peter Gabriel and Le Cirque du Soleil.

“Originally from Canada, where he was artist-in-residence at the media arts section of the renowned Banff Centre, Prof Demers went on to become a Professor of Digital Media and Exhibit Design at the Hochschule fuer Gestaltung Karlsruhe, the academic institution affiliated to the world-renowned ZKM in Germany. He joins us from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where he was attached to the School of Art, Design and Media,” Thomas said.

Demers said he was drawn to QUT for its world-class reputation in creative industries, its research and development focus and its unique global connections.

“The internationally acclaimed Creative Lab caught my attention as the perfect incubator space. I was particularly drawn by how directly engaged the Creative Industries Faculty is with the creative process; its embrace of real world practice which is such a fundamental, necessary exploratory reflex of a laboratory space.

“I think with QUT’s unique attitude towards practice, the Creative Lab is poised to become a singular destination on the global landscape of art and technology."


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