Vidéo Pistoletto
Oli Sorenson

Window Display Installation and Performances
5445 de Gaspé Ave. / Ground Floor
January 23th to February 20th, 2016


From January 23th to Fabruary 20th, 2016, Agence TOPO presents the installation and the performances Vidéo Pistoletto by Montreal-based American artist Oli Sorenson.

Video Pistoletto registers under a remix approach: it is directly inspired by Michelangelo Pistoletto’s recent mirror smashing performances, the artist will partially break video monitors. With the destruction of liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions using a sledgehammer and chisel, the surface of these technological devices are transformed into constellations of illuminated cracks and splinters, to take a surprisingly organic character.

Every Saturday afternoon, Sorenson will occupy the interior space of the TOPO window display to gradually break one of the two vertically hung 42-inch monitors. The second monitor will serve to broadcast a cumulative edit of the individual performances, captured using a digital video camera. Thus, at any one time, audiences can experience all the actions from the previous performance, between the ‘archiving’ monitor (playing back the performer actions) and the ‘artifact’ monitor (exposing the destructive traces).

With this performance series, Sorenson aims to emphasize the materiality of technological objects, too often set aside to promote the so-called immaterial properties of digitalism. Yet the planned obsolescence and rapid mass consumption of digital products make these among of the most common seen items in waste dumpters and landfills. By producing seductive abstractions with the controlled demolition of monitors, his intention is to maintain a troubling ambiguity within a gesture that is simultaneously creative and destructive, an ambiguity which he hopes will influence our perception of digital media to better unveil both their economic and environmental impact.


Screen shot 2015-02-17 at 6.24.28 PMBorn in Los Angeles, Oli Sorenson has lived and worked in London (UK) between 1999 and 2010, to combine VJing, visual art shows and curatorial work (including several events at Tate Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the British Film Institute). Sorenson has exhibited at the Millennium Museum (Beijing), the Media Art Institute (Amsterdam), ZKM (Karlsruhe) DokFest (Kassel) and more. He performs regularly in media festivals such as ISEA (Helsinki and Nagoya), Mapping Festival (Geneva) and MAF (Bangkok). He is now based in Montreal, Canada since 2010.

Sorenson started his artistic career by subverting preconceptions of originality and identity in his digital and performance works, to thus shoot to international acclaim under the moniker “VJ Anyone” and collaborated with numerous bands such as Leftfield, MIA, Block Party, Talvin Singh and more, simultaneously to his studio production. Recognized as one of the world’s top ten VJs between 2003 and 2008 by DJ Magazine (UK), Sorenson describes his approach as that of a remix artist: “I produce art as a DJ produces music.”


This exhibition is in collaboration with Art Souterrain.