Darsha Hewitt lives in Germany, where she teaches at the Faculty of Media at Bauhaus University. She also creates electromechanical sound installations, drawings, videos and experimental performances with handmade audio electronics. Her first solo exhibition was co-produced in 2013 by Skol and the Elektra Festival in Montreal. She recently presented her work at Modern Art Oxford (UK), WRO Media Art Biennale (Poland), CTM Festival and LEAP Berlin (Germany), Sight + Sound – Montreal’s International Digital Arts Biennial, and the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville. In 2011, Darsha was awarded an international production stipend from the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg, Germany. In 2013, she was nominated for the Marler European Sound Art Award (Germany) and completed a fellowship in the Sound Art program at Hochschule für bildende Künste in Braunschweig, Germany. Also in 2013, she founded the DARDI_2000 Mentoring Program in partnership with the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) in Amsterdam.
After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in art history, Nelly-Ève Rajotte completed a second undergraduate degree at UQAM’s School of Visual and Media Arts, followed by a master’s degree in 2006. In addition to numerous exhibitions on Québec soil—such as at SAT, the Darling Foundry, Parisian Laundry, Occurrence, Clark, L’Oeil de Poisson and Optica, among others—Nelly-Ève’s work has been shown at several Canadian festivals such as at MUTEK, Antimatter Underground Film Festival, International Festival of Films of Art, as well as throughout the world, including at the International Short Film Festival of Berlin and Official Selection Transmediale Berlin (Germany), Otherworldly, Manchester Urban Screens (UK), EXiS2007 (Korea), the Moscow International Film Festival, and the Finnish Contemporary Art Fair and Taide.
Darsha Hewitt (Germany) and Nelly-Ève Rajotte (Canada) / Goethe-Institut
Darsha Hewitt has spent the last year contemplating the aesthetic and innovative potential of bringing back the Wurlitzer Side Man 5000—the oldest commercial drum machine in the world. Created in 1959 and weighing 38 kg, it is also the world’s heaviest portable electronic music instrument, able to produce an infinite number of strange rhythms akin to ballroom music in various tempos conducive to dancing. Darsha exhibits this fascinating machine and presents tutorial videos explaining how it works. The public can also attend a hands-on workshop called The Sideman 5000 Sample, accompanied by the artist, at the Goethe-Institut as part of MUTEK_IMG.
Meanwhile, Nelly-Ève Rajotte offers a lush and immersive outdoor multi-projection project that exposes the complex and unique workings of the Wurlitzer Side Man 5000, accompanied by a composition of sound bites produced by this instrument.