Istvan Kantor, recipient of the 2004 Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts, also known as Monty Cantsin, open-pop-star, the founder of Neoism, “Self-Appointed Leader of the People of the Lower East Side” is an action based media artist/subvertainer/producer, active in many fields, performance, robotics, mixed media, installation, painting, sound, music and new media. Kantors's performance based work explores the body as well as technology, from blood to video to physical gestures via digital sampling, breathing, computers or pneumatic machinery. He often incorporates objects such as steam irons, coat hangers, clocks, flags and megaphones into his actions. He likes to break things and set things on fire. He uses conflict and crisis to present his cause, often placing himself in the center of danger and uncertainty. Throughout the past three decades he has been arrested and jailed many times for his guerilla interventions in museums. He also received many prestigious awards among them the Telefilm Canada Award for Best Canadian Film and Video in 1998, in Toronto and the Transmediale Award in 2001, in Berlin. Besides his individual work he is bandleader/singer of the Red ArmBand and founder-member of several performance groups among them Puppet Government, MachineSexActionGroup and Kantor Family Circus.

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