Érick Dorion

Sur la région centrale, étude 1
Artist in residency
From November 2 to December 2,

DAÏMÔN is pleased to be hosting artist Érick Dorion for our November residency, where he will be working on his project Sur La région centrale, étude 1.

Sur La région centrale, étude 1 is a reinterpretation of Michael Snow’s classic experimental film La région centrale, realized in 1971 as part of a series of films exploring camera movement. Snow’s 180-minute artwork is composed of a series of slow camera movements filming a remote inland region of Québec’s North Shore. The long, drawn-out takes film every which-way: horizontally, vertically, sideways and in spirals, by means of a mechanical device custom designed for the project. Snow’s film depicts a landscape of pristine nature devoid of human presence, in stark contrast with this soundtrack, itself made up of synthesized abstract electronic music.

Dorion’s Sur La région centrale, étude 1 revisits this filmic oddity through an inverted conceptual perspective, while using the same methods as Snow’s film. In contrast with the “pure nature” of La région centrale, Dorion proposes the indelible footprint of humanity in its most tangible expression, that of garbage. Here, the theatre of human presence takes the form of a dump, or, as it is now called, a waste management centre or ecocentre, more specifically, Gatineau’s ecocentre, situated at 860 boulevard de la Carrière, which will also be the centrepoint of Dorion’s project.

For Sur La région centrale, étude 1, Dorion intends to film a long take lasting 180 minutes and covering 360 degrees, recording both the “unnatural landscape” and the activities of workers and machines involved in the waste management process. As in Snow’s film, filming will be carried out from a single vantage point. This “moving still shot”, or 360-degree gyrating pan, will be controlled by a homemade mechanism allowing for autonomous and stable camera movement, somewhat different from the original version, where the camera essentially moves all over the place.

The final artwork will take the form of an immersive sound installation, accompanied by a looping, 30-minute panoramic projection. The soundtrack will consist of a surround-sound, multi-channel composition using the sonic environment of the ecocentre as base material. Here, again, Dorion applies a logic diametrically opposed to that of Michael Snow, who, in La région centrale, proposes a dichotomy between images of nature and the electronic soundtrack.  

It should be noted that, with this project, Dorion doesn’t aim to take an ecological or political stance per se, but is rather simply proposing a study of La région centrale. This residency at DAÏMÔN is indeed the first phase in a series of works exploring Snow’s film. Dorion hopes to pursue the project in applying the same logic to other regions, provinces and countries.

Sur La région centrale, étude 1 is in keeping with Érick Dorion’s sound art and installation work, inspired as it is by past movements in art history, their creators and artworks. Michael Snow’s oeuvre is a vital part of the histories of both sound art and media art. Snow’s film practice is also of central importance, not only in the medium’s development, but also in broadening the scope of influence of various avant-garde, experimental and contemporary art practices.




Érick Dorion is interdisciplinary audio artist, composer for the performing arts and cinema, musician/improviser and audio curator residing in Montreal since 2015, previously in Quebec City since 1993. Concentrating much of his audio research on digital maximalism, d’Orion performs a work that closely resembles noise, musique concrète, free jazz and electroacoustic. He is part of the duo morceaux_de_machines, the trio BOLD (with Alexis Bellavance and Nicolas Bernier) and the trio Napalm Jazz as well as a multitude of had hoc ensembles.

He has performed with renowned artists such as Evan Parker, Martin Tétreault, Otomo Yoshihide, Robin Fox, Ilpo Vaisanen, Diane Labrosse, Alexandre Saint-Onge, Bernard Falaise, Sam Shalabi, Gunter Muller and eRikm. He also designs the sound environment and music for interdisciplinary projects, cinema, theater and dance.

Since the summer of 2015, he has collaborated with the interdisciplinary artist Catherine Lalonde Massecar (Duo Massecar • d’Orion) and combine both sound creation approaches, real-life practices and clandestine dramaturgy.