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DCA Archive

Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett

Luke Fowler

Luke Fowler's Electro-Pythagorus is an intimate and subjective portrait of Martin Bartlett (1939–93), a Canadian experimental electronic musician who pioneered the use of the ‘microcomputer’ during the 1970s and 80s. His contribution as an inter-disciplinary composer, educator and founding member of the artist-run centre Western Front is undoubtedly extensive, but his legacy risks fading from cultural memory since his death from AIDS in 1993.

Created largely from archival material as well as new 16mm film footage shot in and around Vancouver and Amsterdam, the film navigates an array of Bartlett’s archival materials including letters, correspondences, notebooks, personal photos, and a huge body of unreleased music and field recordings held at the archives of Simon Fraser University. Softly guided by Fowler’s insightful camera and montage, Electro-Pythagorus is a journey through the evolution of Bartlett’s musical time and space, creating an experimental portrait that defies one-dimensionality.

Electro-Pythagorus will be presented on 35mm and will be followed by a Q&A with Luke Fowler, hosted by Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions at DCA. 


Image credit: Luke Fowler, Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett, 2017. Courtesy of the artist, LUX and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow.