Chris Salter

art / design / research / writing


Increasingly as artists and designers we are confronted with situations and paradigms that can be described as performative: a focus on dynamic and temporal processes over static objects and representations. Indeed, as our understanding of interaction as a paradigm is shifting from a one to one relationship between user and computer and towards that of the embodied inhabitant in a complex, dynamic environment, practices ranging from interaction and game design, architecture, sound design and creative applications of ubiquitous computing increasingly demand an approach which is situated, embodied and concrete.

Based at Hexagram/Concordia University, Montreal, Lab Xmodal is dedicated to a deeper exploration of the concept of interaction that goes beyond the traditional one-to-one relationship between user and computer and instead towards that of the embodied inhabitant in complex, dynamic environments. To accomplish this, we focus on interdisciplinary research-based practice involving collaborations from the visual and performing arts, design, engineering and computer science, computer music, anthropology, architecture, sociology, philosophy and techno-cultural studies. xmodal produces three outcomes from its research:

1). Artistic performance/installation/research projects that tour internationally and explore the intertwining of human perception and technical systems.

2). Scholarly work in the form of books, essays, conference presentations and technical proceedings.

3). Development of hardware and software tools for sensing and dynamic control of media environments.

Artistic :

Sensor based environments, installations and performance events; audio-visual performance; public media installations

Technological :

DIY Wireless sensor networks and ubiquitous computing technologies in artistic contexts, cross modal perception (haptic-sonic-visual-olifactory feedback), enactive interactive systems, dynamical models of sensor data; real time audio.

Critical/Philosophical :

Critical studies of media, technology and performativity; philosophy of technology; art and science studies approaches to performativity; sensory studies.

Xmodal is funded by SSHRC, FQRSC, Hexagram, CINQ, CALQ, Canada Council for the Arts, Concordia University and other sources. For more information about funded research projects, please see