June 10 - July 17, 2011
As part of the Common Pulse Multi-Arts Festival, the Gallery is presenting two exhibitions of work that address media technology and the new social and personal behaviours it has unleashed.
As a proxy for communication or as an independent agent, the works in these exhibitions underscore some of the themes of the gallery’s recent Common Pulse Festival: the role of the viewer, and the landscape of the network.
InterPlay features interactive artworks by Steve Daniels and Isabella Stefanescu. In very different ways, these two artists guide us to an understanding of the relative autonomy of an artwork. While both pieces in the exhibit interact with us, they also spark a dialogue with each other about the relationship between the artists, the viewer and the work.
In Steve Daniels’ work, Sessile, a colony of creature-like objects respond to our presence and to each other by opening and closing their limbs. Although the individual creatures share a common form, each reacts to their experience of the world in subtly different and often surprising ways. As fellow creatures, we become aware that our presence can calm or irritate these buggy beings, and we are forced to choose what role we want to play in their lives. Just like in our other relationships, we may encounter passive, aggressive or defensive reactions to our decisions.
The Notebook Project, by Isabella Stefanescu, opens up and exposes the artist’s process for physical manipulation by the viewer. Using her own sketchbooks from the 1990s, Stefanescu creates wall-sized projected images that depict unfinished drawings, washes, elaborations and erasures. Viewers create a narrative interaction with the pages by moving stones around in the architectural space – the very antithesis of a virtual experience – while the images and a soundtrack respond accordingly. In these ways Stefanescu reveals the artist’s notebook as a kind of place, similar to a studio, for thinking, musing and creating. The Notebook Project was created in collaboration with Rob Gorbet, Nick Storring and Nathan Saliwonchyk.
Common Pulse Artists in Residence Laura Kikauka, Jessica Field, Ken Gregory, Andrew McPherson and Karo Szmit present the creative outcome of their residency at the Gallery in their playful exhibition CrissCross. Each of the pieces is interconnected and synchronized by a digital signal: the common pulse.