Driven by experimentation, Castonguay investigates electronic audio circuitry as a physical process and phenomenon that leaves a palpable, audible trace. Her approach to sound and DIY electronics is playful, practical and organic: she disassembles and repurposes small, obsolete, barely audible machines to reveal the resonance, glitches and random sounds unexpectedly hidden within.
After studying music and art and teaching herself how to use inductive sensors, solar panels, DIY amplification circuits and processing systems to broadcast sounds, Castonguay has coupled her academic background with her DIY ethos. From early work with Haiti-Québec solidarity sound art project SONDES in 2013, she’s since exhibited and performed in numerous festivals and gallery settings. Her performance at Les Percéides festival in 2018, Elettronica Povera, gave new life to abandoned electronic objects, such as small fans, scanner heads and long-forgotten toys, by revealing the complex sound matter of their still-functional electric currents. With 2018 installation Floating Ground, she treated electronic circuits with a chemical compound of peroxide, sugar and copper, disrupting the circuit through crystal-forming oxidation and reconnecting it with sound-activating drops of seawater. At Centre Clark in 2017, she collaborated with artist Émilie Mouchous on New Goddesses (Accessories of Connection), a biofeedback sound device that encouraged visitors to experiment with their bodies while reflecting on the history of women in technology. Motivated by concepts of the commons and open practices, she's lead hands-on sound workshops for artists, communities and families in Montréal, Tunis, Casablanca and beyond.
Castonguay performs Scanner Me, Darkly at MUTEK, a real-time sound processing project made from modified scanner heads, arranged in a system of motors and magnets to rotate by themselves and emit pulses of light in relation to their speed. She captures those light frequencies on amplified solar panels, turning optical signals into rhythmic, hypnotic sound.
Appears as part of AMPLIFY D.A.I, an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires, Artlab in Argentina, Oi Futuro in Brazil and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Instituto Nacional de la Música and Fundación Williams.
La performance Scanner Me, Darkly (2019), l'installation Floating Ground (2018)
At MUTEK Castonguay performs Scanner Me, Darkly, converting the optical signals of altered scanner heads into sound. She also performs in Ensemble d'oscillateurs, an analog oscillator ensemble conducted by Nicolas Bernier, re-sculpting pieces by early electronic music composers