SM Session 1

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EDITED VERSION

1: OCEAN

Ocean is an immersive installation exhibited at Toronto Nuit Blanche 2016. Located within Toronto’s City Hall rotunda, the work is composed of thousands of strands of fabric suspended over the audience in a dense canopy. LED lights attached to the end of each strand create rippling waves of light, accompanied by a soundscape evoking the primal emergence of life through crescendos and roaring sounds. Large fans placed at the work’s perimeter generate increasingly agitated motion through the kelp-like canopy that stir the LEDs in concentrated swarms. Audiences find themselves immersed in a darkened space with hundreds of flickering lights travelling in waves over their head, growing ever more turbulent. The work draws from the idea of abiogenesis, or the emergence of primitive life, evoking the turbulent and sometimes violent emergence of life from the depths of a primal ocean into living forms. Ocean evokes unstable forces and the emergence of life as dark, surging movements alternate with bursts of light and sound. The audience is free to explore or simply sit beneath the work.

Ocean uses recycled fabrics from H&M’s Sustainability program, including donated clothing. Contributing to the creation of the work over a four-month period, fabrics and textiles were initially selected from H&M’s warehouse. Over 2000 garments were transformed through cutting and sewing to create long seaweed-like strands. LED cables were fixed into each strand’s seam with adhesive, and controlled by Arduino boards. Additional mylar fronds fitted with small motors were attached to each of these strands. The work was then suspended on an overhead grid of cables, with spotlights, fans, and control boards at the work’s upper perimeter. The work further involved the coordination of over 200 volunteers and 10 artists, designers, and architects. Sound was developed by Dutch sound designer Salvador Breed.

Ocean was commissioned by the City of Toronto for Nuit Blanche 2016. The work questions the hardened boundaries and forms of traditional architecture and explores what happens when spaces cease to be stable, evoking life-like behaviour. Emotions of the unconscious are further explored through soundscapes that synthesize voice, folie and generative sound. Through this work, we want to provide a meditative space for the audience, albeit a highly stimulating one, where they are immersed for an extended time in this primordial world of emerging life and become part of the rolling sea of form and chaos.

2: ReSource

ReSource uses pages from recycled magazines (ads, gossip columns, art critiques and news) as its source material. New sentences, poetry and narratives are formed from the magazine’s text and projected over the original pages. Headlines, text columns and cropped images from these magazines flash in a collage-like array as a banner of ‘recycled’ text runs across the screen in a loop. The work explores the limits of recycling: if new forms and spaces can be created out of recycled material, can content be recycled and given new meaning? While not always coherent, the results are often poetic. The work was exhibited at PULP 2017, Toronto, Canada (2017).

The magazine pages were first photocopied, then run through an online OCR program that can convert all text found on the pages into editable text. Using a Markov text generator, the text from these pages was re-written into new, separate sentences. In its simplest terms, using a Markov generator allows the programmer to join words together in sequence, with each new word being selected based on how often it follows the previous word in the source document. The scanned magazine pages were then converted into individual PNGs. Using Processing, the PNGs are loaded into an array that cycles through the images randomly. The newly created text scrolls across the screen in a loop.

ReSource is a single-channel video work that explores the boundaries of waste recycling by recycling the content of magazines. In ReSource, I explore the possibilities of recycling narrative and meaning, taking the original content from magazines and creating entirely new narratives using the original words. Through this work, I view materiality and content as both substantive; where materials are offered up for repurposing and recycling, words and narrative can also be used subsequent individuals or communities to re-create meaning.

3: Error View

Error View is a single-channel video work that explores the digitalization of our world. The work is composed of a series of photographs of interior rooms, where digital landscapes of glitched images replace outdoor scenery, visible through each rooms’ windows. The video presents five rooms in a series, with each room and digital landscape suggesting its own mood through sound and colour. Glitched audio accompanies each room, further suggesting ‘mood’ music corrupted into near-cacophony. The video work forces the viewer into a completely digitized world, where the boundary between the digital and non-digital is reduced to the self. Traditional points of reference found in nature are reduced to the inner boundary of our homes, with all else given up to the digital.

Photographs of interior spaces were taken in Halifax, New York and Rotterdam. These spaces tend toward the personal and private; I chose these spaces as they remained under the creative control of their inhabitant(s). In a second phase, photographs of outdoor sceneries (flowers, trees, lakes, landscapes) were run through an online glitch tool that corrupts some bytes in each image. Because of the way JPEG encoding works, the corrupted file still shows a corrupted image. These corrupted images were turned into looping videos by scrambling the bytes of the images between the SOS (Start of Scan) and EOI (End of Image) byte markers, then loading it back into the browser. Photographs of the interior spaces were then photoshopped to remove pictured windows, and overlaid on each video glitch to create the effect of a ‘glitching’ exterior view. The work is further accompanied by glitched audio created in Ableton that abstracts the original audio into atonal frequencies that mirror the rhythm of the glitched videos.

Error View examines the digitalization of our world, and its aesthetic consequences on our perception of it. The work began with my interest in the emergence of digital aesthetics and their ubiquity in popular culture. These include obvious photoshops, pixelated images, glitches, and memes. I began with the glitched image as the archetypal digital image, having only entered into popular conscience with the digital explosion and having its conspicuous visual qualities based exclusively on the behavior of digital formats. The windows found within each still image, of course, represent the windows of our perception; the eyes through which we see the world. Error View takes the digitalization of aesthetics to an extreme, replacing traditional sceneries and landscapes with the absolutely digital. Ultimately, the work images a universe where the digital realm is no longer contained within a screen but permeates all reality.


ORIGINAL VERSION

1: OCEAN

What

Ocean is an immersive installation exhibited at Toronto Nuit Blanche 2016. Located within Toronto’s City Hall rotunda, the work is composed of thousands of strands of fabric suspended over the audience in a dense canopy. LED lights on each strand create rippling waves of light, accompanied by a soundscape evoking the primal emergence of life. Large fans placed at the work’s perimeter generate increasingly agitated motion through the kelp-like canopy that stir the LEDs in concentrated swarms. The work evokes unstable forces and the emergence of life as dark, surging movements alternate with bursts of light and sound. The audience is free to explore or simply sit beneath the work.

How

Ocean uses recycled fabrics from H&M’s Sustainability program. Contributing to the creation of the workover a four-month period, fabrics and textiles were initially selected from H&M’s warehouse. Over 2000 garments were transformed through cutting and sewing to create long seaweed-like strands. LED cables were fixed into each strand’s seam with adhesive, and controlled by Arduino boards. Additional mylar fronds fitted with small motors created vibrations in clusters of strands. The work was then suspended on an overhead grid of cables, with spotlights, fans, and control boards at the work’s upper perimeter. The work further involved the coordination of over 200 volunteers and 10 artists, designers, and architects. Sound was developed by Dutch sound designer Salvador Breed.

Why

Ocean was commissioned by the City of Toronto for Nuit Blanche 2016. The work questions the hardened boundaries and forms of traditional architecture and explores what happens when spaces cease to be stable, evoking life-like behaviour. The work draws from the idea of abiogenesis, or the emergence of primitive life, evoking the turbulent and sometimes violent emergence of life from the depths of a primal ocean into living forms. Emotions of the unconscious are further explored through soundscapes that synthesize voice, folie and generative sound.

2: ReSource

What

ReSource is a single-channel video work that explores the boundaries of waste recycling by recycling the content of magazines. New sentences, poetry and narratives are formed from the magazine’s text and projected over the original pages. Headlines, text columns and cropped images from these magazines flash in a collage-like array as a banner of ‘recycled’ text runs across the screen in a loop. The work explores the limits of recycling: if new forms and spaces can be created out of recycled material, can content be recycled and given new meaning? While not always coherent, the results are often poetic. The work was exhibited at PULP 2017, Toronto, Canada (2017).

How

ReSource uses pages from recycled magazines as its source material. The magazine pages are first photocopied, then run through an online OCR program that can convert all text found on the pages into editable text. Using a Markov text generator, the text from these pages is re-written into new sentences. In its simplest terms, using a Markov generator allows the programmer to join words together in sequence, with each new word being selected based on how often it follows the previous word in the source document. The scanned magazine pages are then converted into individual PNGs. Using Processing, the PNGs are loaded into an array that cycles through the images randomly. The newly created text scrolls across the screen in a loop.

Why

ReSource explores the possibilities of recycling narrative and meaning, taking the original content of ads, gossip columns, art critiques and news from magazines and creating entirely new narratives using the original words. The work views materiality and content as both substantive; where materials are offered up for repurposing and recycling, words and narrative can also be used subsequent individuals or communities to re-create meaning.

3: Error View

What

Error View is a single-channel video work exploring the digitalization of our world. The work is composed of a series of photographs of interior rooms, where digital landscapes of glitched images replace outdoor scenery, visible through each rooms’ windows. The video presents five rooms in a series, with each room and digital landscape suggesting its own aesthetic. Glitched audio accompanies each room, suggesting ‘mood’ music corrupted into near-cacophony. The video piece forces the viewer into a completely digitized world, where the boundary between the digital and non-digital is reduced to the self. Natural points of reference are reduced to the inner boundary of our homes, with all else given up to the digital.

How

Photographs of interior spaces were taken in Halifax, New York and Rotterdam. In a second phase, photographs of outdoor sceneries (flowers, trees, lakes, landscapes) were run through an online glitch tool that corrupts some bytes in each image. Because of the way JPEG encoding works, the corrupted file still shows a corrupted image. These corrupted images were turned into looping videos by scrambling the bytes of the images between the SOS (Start of Scan) and EOI (End of Image) byte markers, then loading it back into the browser. Photographs of the interior spaces were then overlaid on each video glitch to create the effect of a ‘glitching’ exterior view. The work is further accompanied by glitched audio created in Ableton.

Why

Error View examines the digitalization of our world, and its aesthetic consequences on our perception of it. The work takes the glitched image as the archetypal digital image, having only entered into popular conscience with the digital explosion and having its conspicuous visual qualities based exclusively on the behavior of digital formats. The windows found within each still image, of course, represent the windows of our perception; the eyes through which we see the world. Error View takes the digitalization of aesthetics to an extreme, replacing traditional sceneries and landscapes with the absolutely digital.


steveSuggestsSal


Sep 21 Notes