Mélanie Crespin, Etienne Paquette and Muriel de Zangroniz selected for Art & AI with their project, L’éclat du rire

Press release | For Immediate Release

Montreal, May 13, 2019 – The National Film Board of Canada, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Element AI and the Conseil des arts de Montréal are delighted to announce the participants selected for Art & AI, a new artistic residency for research and creation in artificial intelligence.

The proposed work, L’éclat du rire, by author and multimedia artist Etienne Paquette, multidisciplinary designer and scenographer Mélanie Crespin and clown and street-performance creator Muriel de Zangroniz, charmed the jury with the universality of its artistic statement: laughter transcends borders, spans time and bridges generations. In all the call for proposals attracted 111 submissions, from which six finalists were selected.

“This an exceptional opportunity for us to participate in a research and creation lab using cutting-edge technology, and to work with exceptional researchers. Our experimentation will push AI closer to the mainstream, and add a new artistic and social dimension to AI research. We are very happy, and will undertake this residency with intense interest combining seriousness, pleasure – and laughter,” the winning team stated.


L’éclat du rire is an astonishing, contagiously fun experience that reminds us that living together means laughing together. It will reveal the depth, collective nature, liberating power, and different moods, sounds, aesthetics and drama associated with simply bursting out laughing.

During the residency, the collective will explore the role of intelligent systems by training an AI to identify human laughter and respond by bouncing the sound back, or by mimicking it. Is it possible, paradoxically, to bring more humanity and poetry to our cities – or even create spaces for resistance – through artificial intelligence?


The purpose of the residency is to explore, through the prism of art, the possible role of AI in the city of the future and in citizen participation in downtown Montreal in particular. The winning team will benefit from 200 hours of professional support from the AI specialists of Element AI, as well as access to the most recent developments in the discipline. The artists will have a budget of $50,000 for developing a prototype making original use of AI’s potential.

This unique residency will take place from May to October, 2019. It will call upon the expertise of four partners that apply the creative power of multidisciplinary art to their respective areas of activity.



L’éclat du rire


Quartier des Spectacles Partnership :
Marie Lamoureux | | 514 923-6772


Element AI :
Caroline Bourbonnière | | 514 261-4740
Conseil des arts de Montréal :
Raphaëlle Catteau | | 514 280-6973