The SAT celebrates 25 years of art and technology

May 6, 2022

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Located in the heart of Montreal since 1996, the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT - Société des arts technologiques) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! For the occasion, the public is invited to five days of festivities, from May 31 to June 4, including immersive experiences, exhibitions, workshops, guest speakers and – naturally – evening parties on the terrasse and under the dome!

We spoke with the SAT’s executive director, Jenny Thibault, and artistic director, Alexandre Auché, to learn more about the SAT and the upcoming celebrations.

How would you describe the SAT to someone who’s never heard of it?

Jenny Thibault: The SAT is a Montreal institution, a creative laboratory that’s open to all communities. Most people know that it’s a performance and exhibition venue open to the public, for example for the immersive music shows we present, as well as the Foodlab and café. But the other three parts of its mission are relatively unknown. Since 2012, the SAT has also been a training centre for children and adults. And it has been a research and development centre for 20 years now thanks to the Metalab, which fosters the development of free and open-source software. Lastly, the SAT is a centre for creation and artists’ residencies in the Satosphere. That aspect is important, because we take great pride in developing new talent. The SAT’s founders were visionaries, and the name they chose remains as relevant as ever. It is a society because it’s closely connected with its milieu, artistic because it supports art in all its forms, and it remains highly technology-focused in this digital age.

After 25 years, what makes the SAT special today?

JT: In 1996, when Monique Savoie opened the Society for Arts and Technology on Sainte-Catherine Street, she turned her vision into a reality. Now located on Saint-Laurent Boulevard, the SAT is still a pioneer, but it is no longer alone in its focus on technology. It’s important for us to take stock of the current landscape. That said, I think that the SAT truly stands apart thanks to the collective experiences it offers. Immersive projects, which can be enjoyed by up to 250 people at a time in the Satosphère, are still our trademark. The SAT is also noteworthy for the way it combines the living arts with technology. Our goal is to keep presenting projects that bring people together, whether in-person or remotely.

What can you tell us about the anniversary celebrations?

Alexandre Auché: The SAT will open its doors – including all four floors – from May 31 to June 4 for five days of celebrations and special events: DJ sets, a BBQ at the Foodlab, a salute to the founding team… It’s a packed program that highlights every facet of the SAT. There will be plenty of things to see, like the Couleurs perpétuelles installation, which will be open from June 2 until the end of the year. From May 13 to June 19, the Techno Worlds exhibition, presented in the Espace SAT in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and the Phi Centre, will take a fresh look at rave and techno culture. Lastly, from May 31 to June 4, the party will start on the terrasse at 4 p.m. with a barbecue served up by the Foodlab. On June 1, be under the dome starting at 11 p.m. for a party featuring artists from the SAT’s past as well as representatives of the current scene. There will also be a good mix of DJs and VJs, making this a mega-party where – we hope – the generations will mingle!

What are the SAT’s current challenges?

JT: Everybody knows that technology is evolving constantly and ever-faster. That means it’s an endless challenge to keep equipment on the cutting edge. We also have more mundane issues to deal with, like renovating our building. Lastly, it is essential for the SAT to maintain an international profile and remain a global leader in its field. At the same time, it is still part of the fabric of Montreal, and that is a presence we must continue to enhance.

Finally, can you tell us a little about the SAT Fest and the Dômesicle?

AA: They are our marquee events. The SAT Fest is a creative festival and international immersive short-films competition with screenings inside the dome. This year, for the SAT Fest’s tenth edition, we will have around 40 films in competition! As for the Dômesicle, that’s name we give to parties held in the Satosphère. These parties play an important role for the local scene. There’s always a great vibe, and they’re a springboard for new VJs and DJs.

25 years of the SAT
From May 31 to June 4, 2022
Learn more about the program