Category: News (page 2 of 8)

FOREST BREATH – A PORTRAIT IN PROGRESS with Leila Sujir

AGGV_10290_Offsite_Insight_forest breath JUNE 17

 

Date: SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2018 | 2–4PM

Location: PORT RENFREW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 6633 DEERING ROAD

Join artist Leila Sujir for a video screening of Forest Breath: A Portrait In Progress, a 3D stereoscopic video installation filmed with an IMAX rig with two Sony F65 8k cameras in the south Walbran. Experience this innovative work in development, meet the artist, and contribute insights towards a broader understanding of these unique forests.

GALA 2018

GALA  – July 23–30, 2018

This July 23- 30th Concordia University is pleased to host both a conference and an International Graduate Summer School in partnership with GALA.

The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) is a select international community of institutions, faculties, programmes, and research centres that seeks to develop new kinds of research and teaching collaboration, to support enhanced international mobility among staff and students, and to reimagine liberal arts education for the twenty-first century.

This event will be featuring three of our Elastic Spaces members, Anthony Head, Gary Sangster, and Leila Sujir.

Schedule:

July 27

11:00 – 12:30 – Sensations, Spaces, and Spectacles: Shaping Experience for Audiences, Now and in the Future – Gary Sangster (Bath Spa)

13:30 – 15:00 -Co-Creation and the Public Role of Liberal Arts:  Workshop developing a single piece of digital media, and an associated description or reflection, intended to make their research accessible to public audiences and highlight an important social issue – Anthony Head and Leila Sujir

For more information check out the link below:

gala2018@concordia.ca

http://www.concordia.ca/artsci/academics/summer/GALA2018/GALA-Conference.html

 

Reblog: Into The Woods

CanadianArt: Into the Woods

Kelly Richardson, The Erudition (2010). Installation view at NGCA UK. 3 screens, 48 feet x 9 feet; HD video with sounds, 20 minute loop. Courtesy of the artist and Birch Contemporary. Photo: Colin Davison. 

“Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest” at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria seems less intended to provide directives than to register tensions. Curator Haema Sivanesan indicates gestures of connection without becoming explicitly political, while upholding a sense of reverence that accommodates moments of both open-endedness and opacity.

A powerful introduction to the show, Kelly Richardson’s three-screen video installation The Erudition (2010) presents a nocturnal hoodoo landscape haunted by twitching holographic trees. This film-negative aesthetic, recalling the spectral landscapes of Peter Doig, evokes both intimacy and unease: a state of being not-at-home at home.

Contrasting with The Erudition’s atmospheric ambiguity are geographically specific works in which forest composes both site and archive.

Ian Wallace’s Clayoquot Protest series (1993–95) presents large photographs of the historic protest, featuring acrylic-print insets of woodgrain cross-sections.

A nearby monitor screens Bones of the Forest (1995) by Heather Frise and Velcrow Ripper; this documentary features First Nations Elders, alternative loggers and corporate apologists, spliced together in a nod to punk’s DIY ethos.

Leila Sujir, Forest Breath, 2018. Stereographic 3D video Projection; 5 minute loop. Cinematographer: Christian Kroitor.

Leila Sujir’s Forest Breath (2016–ongoing), a differing vision of collective texture, is a stereoscopic video installation proffering live feed as porous tableau: tactile gaps in the matrix of limb, vine, twig and mulch mingle to the drone of overlapping sine waves. (Sujir’s live feeds have often featured Vancouver Island’s Walbran Valley, which is slated for clear-cutting.)

This contrast—between document as frame and forest as continuum—continues in the video How to climb a tree (2017) by photographer and video artist Sandra Semchuck and performance artist Ayumi Goto. Offering abstract homage to Squamish carver Robert Yelton, Goto moves through forested space in a dance aligned with Semchuk’s continuo of overtone singing.

Semchuck’s practice is also represented by a series of landscape photographs overlaid with text. The relentless density of Semchuk’s settings—all middle ground—and the ambiguity of the speaker or listener in the texts allow for an intersubjective approach that moves beyond genre.

Further gambits of perspective and identity take place in artist-anthropologist Trudi Lynn Smith’s work, Drift Camera (2015–ongoing). Halfway between a camera obscura and a wearable tent, this structure is suspended to form a cave-like recess from which a single viewer gazes out at driftwood that Smith dubs, “a fugitive forest.”

Trudi Lynn Smith, Breath Camera — prototype 1, 2015–ongoing. Documentation of the camera being used in field-based research into contested territories/burned landscapes, 2016. Darkcloth (velvet and cotton), hand-built camera (suede, bellows, optical lenses, screen material); dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Transformation via camera is at hand in two other photo series: Dan Siney’s Stump 1, 2, 3(2008) and Rodney Graham’s Study (5 Polaroids from Series: 75 Polaroids) (1976). Siney’s anthropomorphized stumps are the result of loggers cutting eye-like notches into trees for springboards before cutting. Blurrily monumental, they are accidental votives in a state of fertile decay. Graham’s pictures, likewise, make strange a kind of lark: a walk through the forest at night with a Polaroid camera. Tantalizingly hermetic, his images stage a provocative vanishing act.

Carol Sawyer’s Woodwork (2011) consists of seven short videos made from archival footage of the logging industry. The truncated videos develop a metanarrative: fragments of an epic depicting epic fragments.

Mike Andrew McLean’s series JR (2015–ongoing) documents the ongoing narrative of “ghost town” Jordan River, northwest of Victoria. In 2014, residents were told that the combination of a nearby dam and seismic activity meant the threat of sudden flood in the event of an earthquake, an apocalyptic prophecy that loomed large for the artist as he traversed these remnants of the town with his large-format camera. Notable is his use of scarce Kodak Aerochrome film, developed for military and surveying aerial photography, which tints organic material in hues of pink and crimson, summoning counterpoints as richly varied as Frederick Edwin Church, Walt Disney, Richard Mosse and Edward Burtynsky.

Kelly Richardson, The Erudition (2010). Installation view at NGCA UK. 3 screens, 48 feet x 9 feet; HD video with sounds, 20 minute loop. Courtesy of the artist and Birch Contemporary. Photo: Colin Davison. 

A defining non-feature of “Supernatural” is its absence-as-presence of Indigenous voices. With its focus on photo-based media, the story of the forest presented here is one of Cartesian colonial methodologies: capture, extraction, taxonomy and commodity. This point is underscored by the accompanying exhibitions in the gallery: “Form as Meaning,” a survey of Indigenous printmakers, and “Picturing the Giants,” a show of Emily Carr’s work in dialogue with pieces by contemporary First Nations artists like Sonny Assu and Lindsay Delaronde, among others.

Between these exhibition offerings, indigeneity is performed in varied guises, transposing itself and reorienting its audience, with the forest—home (for some) to formlessness, and at the very least, home to phenomena that elide photographic capture—as informal host.

John Luna is a poet, critic and visual artist whose practice includes painting and installation, and a teacher working in the areas of art and art history. He is based on Vancouver Island.

 

https://canadianart.ca/reviews/supernatural-art-technology-and-the-forest-aggv/

Reblog: Artists Explore the Forests and What Lies Ahead

Photo Credit: Jorge Zavagno

Artists Explore the Forests and What Lies Ahead

by Mike Devlin/ Times Colonist

May 17, 2018 06:00 AM

http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/visual-arts/artists-explore-the-forests-and-what-lies-ahead-1.23305227

EXHIBITION

What: Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest
Where: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss St.
When: Saturday through Sept. 3
Admission: $13 (adults), $11 (seniors and students), $2.50 (ages 6 to 17); children five and under are free
Information: 250-384-4171 or aggv.ca
Note: Admission on May 19 is free from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The junction where technology meets the environment has become an uneasy meeting point in the modern era. A bygone phrase about ecological conservation — “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time” — would suggest humankind’s need to dig deeper into the biosphere runs contrary to the ecosystem ethos. On the other hand, how do we learn about the environment without studying it?

That’s what a new exhibit at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is attempting to answer. Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest, which opens Saturday and runs through Sept. 3, is a multi-media presentation that uses videos, photos, and computer-generated images to examine the forests of B.C.

The goal is to better understand the forest and how human interaction with it will adjust, according to exhibit curator Haema Sivanesan.

“People have always lived with and alongside the forest,” Sivanesan said. “If we look at Indigenous histories and go back further than our modern idea of what the forest is, we’ve always had a relationship to forests and forest landscapes. Maybe this [exhibit] is trying to think through some of those bigger questions.”

There is an underlying sense of inspiration about the exhibit, one that can be encapsulated by 19th- century philosopher Henry David Theroux: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Sivanesan loves what Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest offers in that regard. “It’s looking at how artists are using new technologies, and a lot of that is camera-based technology, whether it’s as simple as digital photography or 3D video. All of it has to do with a camera, in some way, and how they are using that to look at the forest in a new way.”

Eight Canadian artists (Mike Andrew McLean, Kelly Richardson, Carol Sawyer, Trudi Lynn Smith, Sandra Semchuk, Dan Siney, Leila Sujir and Ian Wallace) and one collaborative team (Ayumi Goto and Sandra Semchuk) are participating. Their art ranges in tone and medium, from Richardson’s computer-generated imagery with sound that takes up a whole room of the gallery to Sujir’s blackbox-style Imax 3D captures of the Walbran forest.

“It’s very compelling because it’s working between the two genres,” Sivanesan said of Montreal-based Sujir’s work. “We’ve all looked at photos from very famous photographers like Ansel Adams, who’ve taken pictures of national parks and forests we are very familiar with. Because of this new technology, it’s allowing artists to do different things and understand the forest in new ways.”

The contributions of Victoria artist Trudi Lynn Smith are of particular note. Her “Breath Camera,” a hand-built prototype housed in suede, presents what the viewer sees in tandem with what they feel while immersed in a camera-form cloak. Smith serves as a guide, shepherding the participant through a journey using only lenses from an old optician’s kit — to play with reality through what she calls “noticing.”

“It is meant to show how simple it was to build a camera and how difficult it is to take a photograph,” Sivanesan said of Smith’s installation. “It has more to do with making us think about how we look at the world. Everybody has a cellphone these days and it’s so easy to just snap a picture. This is talking about the complexities of that.”

mdevlin@timescolonist.com

© Copyright Times Colonist

 

 

 

Forest Breath – 2018

Photo:  Leila Sujir’s still from Forest Breath!, 3D stereographic video installation, 2018.

Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibition

May 19, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Forest Breath (10 minutes, Stereoscopic 3D video installation, 2018) 

Forest Breath is a vertical slice of 8k stereoscopic 3D video of the forest. Shot in June 2016, the video records particular moments in the forests around Port Renfrew, primarily in the south Walbran, near Emerald Pool, as well as in the Red Creek Fir area in the traditional territories of the Pacheedaht people.

The resolution of the video allows viewers to stand in a forest of moving pixels. The video space has volume, a blur of colors, as it moves from one space of the forest to another. The space of the video, like the space of the forest, becomes a site of contemplation and research.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in the city of Victoria contains spaces of forests. With the support of the gallery, I have placed the forest here, in the wall of one of the galleries. It is an archive of the time and space in June 2016 when I did a preliminary shoot for the project, Forest Breath.

Closeby to Victoria, along the coast, is Port Renfrew, surrounded by old growth forests; the town, I am being told and have observed, is reinventing itself, no longer depending on what was formerly a resource based economy.

These forests drew me as a space of research and a space of healing.

These west coast forests are also where my mother took me as a young twenty four year old, after a serious operation for cancer. I didn’t die, to my surprise. The forest was where I found wonder and learned how to be alive again.

My aunt Manorama Savur’s last major research project* which she talked extensively to me about was on the destruction of the bamboo forests of India and the resulting desertification as a result of the deforestation, two words which were and still are mysterious to me.

When I started the Forest Breath project, in June 2016, a  year  had almost passed since my mother had passed away, on my birthday, June 19; as a way of anticipating that strange collision, the  anniversary of her death and my birthday, I started this project in the forest.

*Manorama Savur, And the Bamboo Forests in the Indian Forests: What did the Pulp and Paper Industry do? Manohar Publishers, 2003.

Artist: Leila Sujir

Technical Director: Jorge Zavagno

Cinematographer: Chris Kroitor

Camera Assistant: Andréann Cossette-Viau

Production Assistant: Jackson Sujir

Assistant Editor: Daniela Ortiz Sanchez Renero

Sound Recording: Leila Sujir & Jorge Zavagno

Sound Editor: Philippe Battikha

Supernatural at the AGGV

SUPERNATURAL

Art, Technology and the Forest

May 19, 2018 – September 3, 2018

Twentieth century photography has made an important contribution to constructing the idea of the forest as natural heritage, promoting the beauty of national parks and forest landscapes. However, contemporary artists, drawing on this legacy, and working with new photo-based technologies, are bringing a critical lens to this history of representation.

Supernatural: Art, Technology and the Forest features contemporary photo and video-based work by artists working in British Columbia who are using technology to consider the idea of the forest as a social and cultural artefact. The exhibition explores how photographic technologies have mediated and shaped our relationship to forests and forest ecologies; and how computer generated imaging and 3D technologies are suggesting the need for a new approach to our relationship with the trees.

Featuring artists Mike Mclean, Trudi Lynn Smith, Ayumi Goto, Dan Siney, Leila Sujir,  Ian Wallace, Sandra Semchuk, Carol Sawyer and Kelly Richardson.

*Please note that we will be previewing Kelly Richardson’s The Erudition starting from April 20 in the Founders Gallery.

https://aggv.ca/exhibits/supernatural-art-technology-and-the-forest/

 

 

Photo:  Leila Sujir’s still from Forest Breath!, 3D stereographic video installation, 2018.

Reblog: Four of FotoFest’s Dazzling Displays Focus on Indian Portraiture

Photo: Leila Sujir combines video of lost-looking but regal peacocks with floating animations in her stereoscopic 3D video projection, “Peacocks Dream.”

Four of FotoFest’s dazzling displays focus on Indian portraiture

 India, so vast and complex in its history and cultural influence, makes a head-spinning subject for the FotoFest 2018 Biennial.

Technically, as director Steven Evans explained, “It’s not really about India. It’s about these artists of Indian origin and what their concerns are.”

Through that lens, he and curator Sunil Gupta also are showing that India is not a monolithic place. “It’s got 140 official languages, with 600 languages spoken; multiple religions and ethnicities; concerns of philosophy, language, indigenous people, environment and a new queer sensibility emerging,” Evans said.

Viewers may be dazzled, or dazed, by the busy mix of images that unfold across four venues.

A few categories emerge through what appears to be a scattershot organization: Documentary work and portraiture (especially self-portraiture that employs elaborate impersonations to explore identity) are especially strong.

Most of the 47 featured artists live and work in India. That context matters.

Gupta contrasts India’s contemporary photography scene with that of China, which has 60 schools, a thriving publishing industry and numerous art fairs. In India, art photography is still the activity of the English-speaking elite, he said.

FotoFest’s abundance of documentary photography from numerous regions reflects artists’ familiarity with India’s documentary filmmaking tradition, he said. “It’s not because they know Walker Evans.”

But they do know technology. Like others around the world, India’s contemporary artists have embraced new technology because it’s accessible, cheap to produce and gives them “a certain kind of global credibility,” Gupta said.

About a third of this biennial features new media installations — the most ever — although it doesn’t feel that way because the rooms devoted to projected work are sprinkled across the venues.

Four installations — three by female artists — have stayed with me for their evocative storytelling. There’s one more week to see those at the three locations near Fotofest headquarters; Asia Society Texas Center’s smaller portion is up through late July.

‘Peacocks Dream’

During the opening reception in March, Leila Sujir’s “Peacocks Dream” turned an alcove of the Silver Street Studios building into a spectacle. I fell into its spell on a quieter day, when the nearly 16-minute stereoscopic 3-D (SD3) video, or anaglyph, was projected onto just one wall and I could don 3-D glasses, sit on a bench and hear the audio component.

Regal peacocks amble through a garden of mazes at what appears to be an ancient estate in England, looking out of place with their exotic, brilliant plumage, as viewers hear the measured reading of letters between family members who are worlds apart. Sujir layers funny animated peacocks, floating paisley designs and a fanciful border onto the photography, touches of levity that balance the melancholy tone.

She lives in Montreal. The letters are from her family’s archive, written from her paternal grandfather in Mangalore, India, to her father, who died young, in his mid-30s, in a plane crash in Canada. For years, she feared that her father’s story would become her own because his journeys placed him in precarious positions, too far away from home. Her narrative is abstract enough that “Peacocks Dream” expresses a universal sense of disorientation and loss.

SD3 dates from the mid-1800s but has evolved. Anaglyphs combine superimposed imagery and colored filters. Sujir has experimented with projection mapping, which places SD3 video space into the built environment — to create installations — for more than a decade. She appreciates the “haptic sense of space” it creates to help convey themes of migration that have intrigued her for 30 years. “SD3 video spaces are elastic and dream-like places, ephemeral, yet capable of extending a sensation of volume, physicality, and presence to the viewer,” she writes.

Watching “Peacocks Dream” made me wish I could see Sujir’s entire “Elastic City Spacey” series.

 

To read the full article click here

Reverberations of a Topological Daydream at Forest City Gallery

REVERBERATIONS OF A TOPOLOGICAL DAYDREAM

A solo exhibition by Santiago Tavera
March 2, 2018 to April 13, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, March 2, 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Reverberations of a Topological Daydream is a multimedia architectural installation that presents a virtual space in constant translation between physical and digital experiences. Multiple video projections and 3D graphic animations immerse the gallery space, taking viewers into the vastness of a virtual suburban galaxy. Within this constructed digital environment, plexiglass and vinyl structures are used as reflective screens and visual filters, which are activated through the light of the projected image. Memories and sensations are translated around the space through the repetitions and echoes of images and sounds, creating a perceptual topology of virtual reverberations. Topology, as a mathematical term, refers to the exploration of how shapes preserve their permanence in change, by only bending, twisting and stretching, without ever breaking and losing their original self.

This multimedia exhibition presents digital architectural houses as sites of refuge, where memories and illusions emerge, and where perception collides with that of the immediate future and the re-constructed past. Interlacing the role of an outside observer with the one that inhabits an interior site, viewers virtually journey through a familiar place. Viewers inhabit the exhibition space, while virtual spaces are consequently inhabiting them. Reverberations of a Topological Daydream, aims to illustrate the impact digital culture has on how we form our identity within multiple realms. Digital media allows subjects to constantly navigate between perception, memory, physicality and the virtual. Individuals find themselves in a never-ending process of constructing and re-constructing their sense of being, and in turn their sense of belonging. Dislocation, familiar to those who have experienced cultural displacement, has become more apparent as subjects now live as virtual immigrants within the realm of the digital. In cyberspace, subjects and objects exist as images that are constantly moving from one screen to the next, a virtual dislocation similar to the one of a migrant body. Within a state of dislocation, as the displacement of the conscious mind, the body experiences a double sense of place with multiple perceptions and memories. There is a simultaneous sense of being physically here and virtually there, while belonging everywhere and nowhere.

 

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