exPhrasisa strange and evocative wandering

The NEXT welcomes its third traveling exhibition, exPhrasis, curated by Gina Cortopassi & Alexandra L. Martin. The term ex phrasis comes to us from the Greek language, meaning “out of” + “speech.” Thus, the three featured works suggest an approach to human expression that goes outside of convention.

The exhibition was first mounted at the Electronic Literature Organization's Media Arts Festival, held in Como, Italy from 30 May to June 1, 2022. We thank Bertrand Gervais, the Chaire de recherche du Canada en arts et littératures numériques, and (ALN|NT2) Association étudiante des cycles supérieurs en études littéraires (AECSEL|UQÀM) for support in bringing this exhibition to The NEXT where it will continue to showcase the highly experimental art by Canadian artists.
—Dene Grigar, Curator, The NEXT

Curatorial Statement

By Alexandra L. Martin, Co-Curator of exPhrasis

exPhrasis, as its title suggests, is an exploration of movement and space rendered through words, image and sound.

exPhrasis brings together artworks exploring different modes and methods available to convey and represent movement and space and aims to question and expand our conceptions of the body in motion in digital space. Founded on the tradition of text-based adventure games or interactive fictions, exPhrasis requires active engagement from viewers who “interact” with different elements of the exhibition. To move through the exhibition, gain information, and to engage with the artworks, the viewer must enter textual commands as the space reveals itself through text.

The following questions guided our curatorial methods and Martin’s creative writing process: How does one translate movement through text or other mediums in such a way that it can be felt? To what effect? What are other ways in which movement through space is felt? How do other senses contribute to the sensation of movement? What are the implications for this now porous membrane between the digital exhibition space and the viewer’s own physical environment? How exactly does the viewer’s physical person bridge the gap between digital and physical spaces?


Creation : Timothy Thomasson, Léa Martin, Frédérick Maheux, Gabriel Tremblay-Gaudette, Alexandra L. Martin
Curatorship : Gina Cortopassi & Alexandra L. Martin
Development : Ariane Guay & John Boyle-Singfield
Correction : Martyna Kander (IT), Gina Cortopassi (FR), Alexandra L. Martin (EN)


Chaire de recherche du Canada en arts et littératures numériques (ALN|NT2) Association étudiante des cycles supérieurs en études littéraires (AECSEL|UQÀM)

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