About Carrie Gates

Carrie Gates’ Biography

Carrie Gates’ video mixing works use sound-reactive 3D processing and unusual rhythmic juxtapositions to create throbbing, psychedelic, responsive compositions that add a new dimension of interaction and intrigue to any environment. Abstract digital imagery is mixed live with hand-shot, performance-art-influenced footage, to create a hypnotizing, bent reality that is infused with concepts of visual music, set in a glitched-out 3.0 fantasy realm. She has played an active role in experimental electronic music communities and independent artist-run organizations since the mid-1990s.

Carrie Gates has been a featured artist on Undervolt & Co.VICE’s ‘Noisey’ site, VICE’s ‘The Creator’s Project’, Print All Over Me, and VirtualGallery.com. Gates’ live performances and digital art screenings include: The Wrong – New Digital Art BiennaleThe Others pavilion (International, 2015-16) and the Young Internet Based Artists pavilion (International, 2013-14), RENDER Vancouver International Music Festival (2015), GIFs to Have Sex By (TRANSFER, New York, 2015), X+1 (MAC Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, 2015), DTV 2015 Winter/Spring Season (The Drake Hotel, Toronto, 2015), REFRACTION (TRANSFER, New York, 2014), 28 SECONDES (GALLERY T, Lyon, 2014), Unbecoming Glitch (Vidéographe, Montréal, 2014), ZERø 0ne (POWERPLNT, New York, 2014), BYOB Prague (Signal Festival, Prague, 2014), MEME Festival (Winnipeg, 2013, 2015), Hacktist (Nomade Art Space, Hangzhou, 2013), Saskatoon Fashion and Design Week Runway Show (2013-2015), SPAMM / CUPCAKE net art exhibition (Super Arte Moderne Musée, Nice, 2013), Glitch Symposium with Jon Cates (Neutral Ground, Regina, 2013), Blue Balls Festival (Lucerne, 2012), Sight & Sound Festival (Eastern Bloc, Montréal, 2012), Montréal Fetish Weekend (2012), INDEX Festival (New York, 2011), Vancouver New Music Festival ( 2011), RE:FLUX Festival (Moncton, Canada 2011), Kassel Dokfest (2010), Mapping Festival (Le Zoo, Geneve, 2010), Queer City Cinema (Regina, 2010), Club LUX (Berlin, 2010), and send + receive (Video Pool, Winnipeg, 2006, 2007). She is a resident of the Motion Notion Festival (Golden, Canada, 2005-2011, 2013-2015) and has headlined the main stage for nine years. Gates’ video work is screening internationally in 2015-2016, as part of Lorna Mills’ collaborative project “Ways of Something”, in which contemporary digital artists remix the classic art history documentary “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger. Gates also creates websites and print materials for small businesses, academic organizations, Indigenous communities, artists, and music labels. Carrie Gates has a degree in Art History from the University of Saskatchewan.

Carrie’s special projects have taken her in many directions over the years: Pizzabook (browser plugin extension for Chrome that turns Facebook into an interactive pizza adventure), Net Art Ipsum (lorem ipsum generator that scrambles theory about internet art to make dummy placeholder text for designers), Social Media Manager for Undervolt & Co. (video art label and collective),  J + C Feedback Factory (experimental no-input analog audiovisual system), Psychic Armchair TV (brainwave-controlled video mixing installation), Unslumber (curator of audio art sleepover-gathering and concert at AKA Gallery), and Z-Axis (curator of 2 month long new media event at Paved Arts).

Collaborators and Colleagues

I have collaborated with, created tour visuals for, and performed with a wide variety of talented musicians, DJs, bands, and visual artists, including Venetian Snares, Girl Talk, Phon_oJason Baerg, Michael RedZebbler Encanti Experience, Scream ClubNicky ClickAnnie Hall, DJ KERO, CMD, CJ MilliJon VaughnEther FiendTurner Prize*YUNG PHARAOH, TUSK / Adrienne Teicher, A_Dontigny, DJ Deko-zeAmon Tobin, Infected Mushroom, Lennie BudgellPeter Quistgard, Cindy Wonderful, Sarah AdorableCastle IfLeeane Berger, 7=5, Marinko Jareb, Esther Bourdages, and Ze and the Boyfriends.

Contact me if you have a proposal.

Production and Style

My video style has the look that it has for a few different reasons. I create almost all of the footage I use by myself, then often combine the live video recordings with sound-responsive 3D glitched digital imagery.

I usually create forms either in advance or within modul8, and then use specific parameters and combinations of tools within the VJing software to bring it to life. The sound-responsive animation techniques make the images move perfectly in sync with different parts of the music I am working with. I also bring in clips from my analogue glitch projects, screen captures, and experiments with software art, then create multilayered textures that get morphed into the other digital animations and raw video footage. I usually spend a long time programming things in advance to look just so before hit record or bring it to a live audience.

Video Shoots

For the video shoots, I come up with different concepts, costumes, characters, and scenes, then invite people to some sort of place with a white wall and get them to video model for the camera with my direction. I egg them on and encourage playful, yet uncanny and sometimes disturbing performances from the people I work with. The video shoots are a lot of fun, and I think that there is something really special that happens between the models and I when we work that comes across on camera. I shoot a lot of different kinds of source material for different projects and I currently have several TB of unique footage to work with in my performances.

Creative Process

Sometimes I use detailed storyboards and graphical scores to map things out beforehand, other times I improvise, it depends what the project calls for. I almost always record each of my finished videos in one live take.

I would like to work on more interactive video and web projects in the future.

Technical Information

  • I work with a variety of software, including modul8, Max/MSP/Jitter, Cosmic Painter, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and Syphon.
  • I use a Macbook Pro with an SSD drive for live performances, sometimes with a MIDI controller.
  • Sometimes I also work with an IBVA EEG brainwave unit to control audio and video in installation environments.
  • I prefer to work in full 1080p whenever possible.
  • I don’t yet use mapping software. I might someday, I’m a bit undecided on how video mapping affects the display of content.

Please see my tech specs page for more information.