26 November 2010
During the Electric Fields biennial festival of electronic art and music in Ottawa, Karsh Masson Gallery hosted the Prototype exhibition, which focused on the iterative processes behind electronic-based art.
Unfortunately I don’t have as many photos of the exhibit as I’d like, as the whole experience was a bit of a whirlwind, with two days dedicated to installation and only four full days of exhibition.
Since DOTKLOK is still in the prototype/development stage, it made for a perfect candidate for the exhibition. Alongside a working beta model, I hung a series of photos illustrating the various stages of the clock up to the present, along with a time line documenting DOTKLOK’s progress to date:
Since I consider them “works in progress” which I adapt to the context at hand, I also installed my cold cathode pieces, Flaven and Mantelpiece, in the gallery windows, which provided some extra “flash” to the show in an attempt to grab attention from passers by.
Of particular interest to me was Donna Legault‘s work, which makes use of numerous woofers connected to amplifiers controlled by Pure Data to translate the ambient sound in the exhibition space to “infrasound:” low-frequency signals that rattle the woofers in a more visual manner than aural. For the Prototype exhibition, Donna was experimenting with inputs from touch sensors located at either side of her installation, transposing the electrical energy picked up from gallery visitors into signals which visibly rocked a “pool” of woofers:
Upon realizing the obvious overlap occurring from Donna’s practice of transforming sound to movement and my regular practice of using movement to trigger lighting, some sort of collaboration was inevitable.
Taking the ethos of the Prototype show to heart, we spent some time in the studio the night before the exhibit opened to get a working proof of concept up and running:
In a short time, we were able to merge our two practices: Donna’s portion listening to the ambient noise in the room with a microphone and sending the transposed infrasound to the speaker, and my part using a light sensor to detect the movement of the speaker cone and modulate the color and brightness of an LED strip.
The result was repeatable enough that we installed it the next day as an impromptu addition to the show:
Perhaps not such an interesting result on its own — and I do wish I’d had a chance to get some better documentation prior to the show’s tear down — but an encouraging combination of electronic practices absent of any electrical connection between the two systems. I look forward to seeing what we come up with in a larger, more directed context when the opportunity arises!