jury: Amit Zoran, Basak Senova, Cezanne Charles, Kate Armstrong, Mona Kasra, Mushon Zer-Aviv
artists: Paul L. Stout, Rachele Riley, Yunsil Heo, Hyunwoo Bang, Joseph Farbrook, Yoichi Ochiai, Yunsil Heo, Hyunwoo Bang, Inmi Lee, Kyle McDonald, Zohar Kfir, Sam Blanchard, Kirk Cameron, Robert Redfern, Sergio Bernales, Bo Li, Michelle Will, Hung-Ching Chang, Kelsey Farenholtz, Brandon Deaguero, Timmy Meyer, John Mooring, Ali Butt, Erik Brunvand, Alon Chitayat, Jeff Ong, Emilio Vavarella, Fito Segrera, Burak Arikan, Ed Konowal/GraphicsNet
art gallery sub-committee: Kate Armstrong, Sue Gollifer, Mushon Zer-Aviv
technical director: Jim Clark/Freeman
network: DB Burnett/GraphicsNet
art gallery wall design: Mushon Zer-Aviv
venue: Vancouver Convention Center
coordinates: Vancouver, 2014
Translation, as a term and as a tool, generates plenty of potential fields for art production in disconnected trajectories. These fields have the capability to cover and merge with other fields of knowledge. Translation indicates a detached and forward movement from the source. It is a freeing act, which paradoxically contains a burden of responsibility for the source. Therefore, this movement has fine borderlines, yet it could designate “more” than the source. Translation may also refer to global and local societal developments such as resistance movements, alternative economies, information leaks, migration flows, and mobility that are processed by the works in the Art Gallery.
Works in the Art Gallery has several common approaches and angles. Some of them position the viewer as the witnesses of what the work is criticizes and/or processes; whereas some of them encourages the viewer to be the part of their content through interactive approaches. Some works inhabit experiences with different media and formats, wome phile sroduces inquiries about technological developments and their political, ideological, cultural, and economic implications.
Points of View (2013-2014) by Zohar Kfir is an ongoing interactive database-driven web documentary that represents a collaboration between the artist and B’Tselem’s Camera Distribution Project (The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories www.btselem.org). The work enables viewers to navigate through a variety of scenes, locations and timelines in the West Bank and Gaza from multiple points of view. Points of View is a perfect example of translating traditional cinematic techniques with interactivity, layering visuals, compressing and expanding time, and fracturing narrative. The project conveys both the day-to-day lives of Palestinians and documents some of the human rights violations that occur in the region. Subway Stories (2013) by Alon Chitayat is another work about personal stories and how they are merged with daydreaming and imagination. The work also inhabits a strong criticism of control mechanisms and isolation, experienced on daily basis: the ‘conductor’s box’ enables the viewer/user to control the projection and its focus point. While one handle is controlling the train’s speed, the other handle sets the camera zoom. The thoughts and sounds of the passenger in focus are heard according to the movements and decisions of the viewer/user.
Paul Stout’s Apparition (2014) is an installation that is composed of many contrasting materials such as glass, plastic, electronic components and wire, brass, steel, LCD screens, preserved plant and animal matters. The work eliminates the interaction factor by positioning the viewer as ‘the witness’ of its continuous course. Apparition has an articulated content by observing and exposing a set of natural processes envisioned as elaborate machines. Ecological catastrophes are also the subject of Rachele Riley’s The Evolution of Silence (2013). The work is a web-based archive, visualizing the scale of damage brought about by nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site. By navigating through this archive based on a non-linear map, the viewer experiences this restricted desert landscape as a personal voyage.
Yunsil Heo’s Levitate (2013) is a kinetic sculpture, directly related with one-to-one translation. The sculpture is composed of levitated ping pong balls in acrylic tubes that are activated by interacting with audiences. Whereas, his other work The Modern Video Processor (2013) is about the political and ideological language of the technology through 80’s style wooden video effecter modules. This interactive, loud, and amusing work not only questions our limits to control the technology today, but it also underlines the gender-based inclinations of the power nodes that control, filter, and disseminate technology. Likewise, Emilio Vavarella with his work TRANSICONMORPHOSIS (2013) questions the transformation of our perception along with new forms of communication technologies. A simple chat with emoticons is the nucleus of the translation, depicted in this work: With a series of electrodes connected to the face of a viewer/user, the emoticon received through the chat is translated into electrical impulses. Through the electrodes, the viewer’s/user’s facial features are forced to mimic the expression of each emoticon. The work also subtly detects the control mechanisms beneath the daily life technologies. On the other hand, Speculatorum Oculi (The Eyes of Spies)(2014) by Erik Brunvand presents an exaggerated reaction to the current surveillance activities. Huge surveillance cameras, monitoring an architectural model with no action along with the ones monitoring the monitored site by randomly switching the views clearly depict the ironic situation that we all accept to live in. The work runs with black humor orbiting around the policies and the conditions of surveillance, data collection, and privacy.
Ed Konowal’s SteamGauge connects the temporal with the spatial by its physicality: a steam pressure gauge from the early 20th century conceals the technology behind it. The blend of hardwares as the gauge, the computer (Raspberry Pi) and the microcontroller (Arduino Micro) operate through SNMP, Python and Arduino softwares. The industrial aesthetics as the backdrop of Internet usage statistics, conceptually creates jumps from one sequence of time to another. On the other hand, Internet usage statistics as a data are simply translated into the precision accuracy of mechanical movements. SteamGauge also links make links between the components of SIGGRAPH. It oscillates between the Art Gallery and GraphicsNet.