Navid Navab & Michael Montanaro

Aquaphoneia 1
Aquaphoneia 1

The place




Hours and dates

  • From 10am to 6pm daily
CALQ Québec
Québec délégation

Navid Navab, born and raised in Tehran (IR), is a Montreal-based media alchemist, tabletop cosmologist, antidisciplinary composer, and audiovisual sculptor, who investigates the forming-giving potential of chaotic material processes, in search of collaborative ethos for playful sense-making with ecological indeterminacies. Interested in the poetics of schizo-phonia, gesture, and materiality, for over a decade, Navab has been composing multi-sensory experiences, entangling humans, machines, and materialities both in-situ and in concert, in ways that enable critical engagement with excitable matters-of-process.

Navab’s artworks, which take on the form of gestural sound compositions, responsive architecture, site-specific interventions, participatory environments, and kinetic sculptures, have been presented internationally at festivals such as Ars Electronica (AT), Kapelica Gallery (SL), device_art triennial (HR), NEMO Biennale (FR), Sonica Biennale (BG), Eufònic (ES), Canadian Center for Architecture (CA), Japan Society (US), Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (US), ISEA (SP, CA), milanOltre (IT), HKW (DE), Kiblix (SL), Guelph Jazz (CA), and FIMAV (CA).

Michael Montanaro is a trans-disciplinary artist who is best known for his work in the field of contemporary dance and mixed media. A graduate of the Hartford Conservatory, he has performed with the Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens and Le Groupe de la Place Royale where he also served for 5 years as co-artistic director. In 1985 he founded Montanaro Dance, developing a reputation for using cutting-edge technology to create theatrical environments for his choreography. Since 1996 Michael has worked as a choreographer, director and collaborator on numerous projects. A Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, Michael was Chair of the Department of Contemporary Dance from 1999 through 2014. As the co-director of the Topological Media Lab, since 2015, Montanaro is dedicated to the envisioning, design and creation of projects focused on evolving innovative ways in which new technologies are used to enhance the interactive experience.

Navab Montanaro


Aquaphoneia is an alchemical installation centred around the poiesis of time and the transmutation of voice into matter.

A large horn floating mid space echoes the ghosts of Edison, Bell and Berliner’s machines. But unlike early recording, herding sound energy to etch pressure patterns in solid matter, this odd assemblage transmutes voice into water and water into air. Disembodied voices abandon their sources to cross the event horizon of the horn. Estranged, the schizo-phone falls into the narrow depths of the bell, squeezed into spatiotemporal infinity, calcinated, liquefied and released : the aqueous voice then flows into three alchemical chambers where inner time is surrendered to the tempi of matter : unbound, yet lucid and sound.

In one corner, voices bubbling inside a sphere of fire are brought to entropy and transmuted into a timeless concentration of spectral mist and phonetic vapor. An Ouroboros chamber twists fermented vowels into distilled consonants to release a thin blade of prosody. This viscous alchemical matter lowers itself to the terra beneath where matter dances to its own affective tonality. Another apparatus separates speech into vital elements a drop at a time: words into phonemes, into phono particles, and the invisible quanta of silence.

Aquaphoneia 4
Aquaphoneia 3
Aquaphoneia 2