Chris Salter

art / design / research / writing


Chris SalterChris Salter is Concordia University Research Chair in New Media, Technology and the Senses, Co-Director of the Hexagram network, Director of the Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research and Creation in Media Art and Technology and Associate Professor, Computation Arts in the Department of Design and Computation Art at Concordia University, Montreal.

Living and working in both Montreal and Berlin, Salter’s work explores the borders between the senses, art, design and new technologies over a range of large-scale installations and performance projects as well as in books, critical writings and lectures, all on the international scene. His immersive and physically experiential works are informed by theater, architecture, visual art, computer music, perceptual psychology, cultural theory and engineering and are developed in collaboration with anthropologists, historians, philosophers, engineers, artists and designers.

Salter studied economics and philosophy at Emory University and received his Ph.D. in  theater directing and criticism with a second concentration in computer-generated sound at Stanford University where he worked with former Brecht assistant Carl Weber as well as pioneers of digital synthesis John Chowning, Max Matthews and Chris Chafe at the Center for Research in Computer Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He was visiting professor in music, graduate studies and digital media at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) before joining Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 2005. He was also Guest Professor at the KhM in Cologne in 2010 and Guest Faculty at the Masters program in Media Arts History. Institute für Bildwissenschaften. Donau University. Krems, Austria. October 2011. He was appointed Director of Hexagram-Concordia in 2011 and co-Director of the larger Hexagram network in 2013.

Between 1993-1995 he lived in Germany on an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Chancellor’s (Budeskanzler) fellowship, where he guest assisted with theater directors Frank Castorf (Pension Schöller/Die Schlact, Volksbühne) and Peter Stein (Anthony and Cleopatra, Salzburg Festival). He worked as an assistant with Peter Sellars (The Persians, Salzburg Festival, 1993 and Mathis der Maler, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden 1996). From 1995-1998, he collaborated with William Forsythe/Ballett Frankfurt, where he worked on sound design and interactive systems on the full length works Eidos:Telos (1995) and Sleepers Guts (1996-1998). In 1996, he co-founded the art and research organization Sponge.

His work has been seen at major international exhibitions, festivals and presentation venues in over a dozen countries including the Venice Architecture Biennale (Venice), Nuit Blanche (Paris), Chronus Art Center (Shanghai), HAU (Berlin), Muffathalle (Munich), Lille3000 (Lille), National Art Museum of China (Beijing), Laboral Centro de Arte y Creacion Industriel (Gijon, Spain), Vitra Design Museum (Germany), Ars Electronica (Linz), Pact Zollverein (Essen, Germany), CTM (Berlin), Villette Numerique (Paris), Todays Art (the Hague), Meta.Morf (Norway), Mois Multi (Quebec), Transmediale (Berlin), EXIT Festival (Maison des Arts, Creteil-Paris), Place des Arts (Montréal), Venice Biennale, Elektra (Montréal), Shanghai Dance Festival (Shanghai), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), the Banff Center (Banff), Dance Theater Workshop (New York), V2 (Rotterdam), SIGGRAPH 2001 (New Orleans), Mediaterra (Athens) and the Exploratorium (San Francisco), among others.

Salter’s projects have been written about or reported on in the New York Times, NPR-Berlin, We Make Money Not Art, Design Boom, ID Magazine, The Wire, Leonardo, and Decouvrir and received major grants from Canadian research councils such SSHRC and FQRSC, Hexagram, CINQ, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the Creative Work Fund/San Francisco and the LEF Foundation, among others. He is a regular presenter at national and international conferences, has given over 100 invited talks at universities and festivals worldwide and has sat on numerous juries including NIME, ISEA and the Prix Ars Electronica.

In addition to his artistic work, Dr. Salter is the author of numerous publications in the areas of technology and performance, Science and Technology Studies, real time responsive environments, sensory studies in relationship to art and technology and cultural politics. His book Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance was published by MIT Press in 2010 and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making, was published by MIT Press in March 2015. He is currently working on a collaborative book project focused on the contemporary interconnections between art, research and the contemporary technosphere.