From December 5 to 7, 2018, the Climate Clock was projected at the corner of De Maisonneuve Boulevard and MacKay Street, thanks in part to Elastic Spaces member, Damon Matthews, professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment and Concordia Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability.
The Climate Clock is a visualization tool developed by Matthews and David Usher, founder of the Human Impact Lab. It harnesses data, art, technology and interactivity to add to the conversation about climate change. “If greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, we will reach 1.5°C of global warming in less than 16 years. This is the direction we’re headed right now, but it’s important to stress that this is not the direction we need to take,” Matthews says. “There are actions all of us can take to reduce our carbon emissions and add time to the clock.” The projection of the clock coincided with COP 24, a United Nations climate change conference in Poland. The event also marked the release of new data about carbon emissions, to be published by the Global Carbon Project.
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Group exhibition with Shoji Kato, Paul Landon and Marjatta Oja
at Saariaho Järvenpää gallery, Helsinki, opening on May 24, 2017
The exhibition Five corners features work by three artists who reflect on the urban space around the Viiskulma intersection in Helsinki. This landmark site, where five streets cross, demarcates the border between two historically opposing neighbourhoods; inner city development has resulted in a shifting of the economic specificities of the area where a once working class neighbourhood buttressed an affluent one.
The unique layout of the five-corner intersection is referred to in the works in the exhibition. Shoji Kato’s sculpture invoking a miniature landscape suggests a prehistoric geography of hills and passes that led to the unorthodox tracing of the city streets. Paul Landon’s drawing maps a constellation of five-pointed structures that relate to urban architecture and design and to how these are embodied to shape our perception and model our mental geography. Marjatta Oja’s site sculpture uses an array of video channels to present multiple viewpoints on the intersection as told first-hand in interviews with its residents. The ongoing history of the neighbourhood is a background for these accounts suggesting that the urban transformations are outlived and superseded by the everyday lives of those inhabiting it. Kato’s geographical tracings, the rubbings of cobblestones and a photograph of an abandoned quarry, suggest the passage of time and the passing of traffic, human, animal and mechanical, moulding the landscape and shifting the urban setting. Urban transformation is likewise evoked by Landon’s cardboard and wood reliefs of cinema interiors; the disappearance of local cinemas, characterised by the marquee sign of the Merano, a cinema closed over a decade ago, that remains an architectural feature of the intersection, is a symptom of the changing social functions that built space undergoes in the city.
While drawing no conclusions as to the possible futures for the Viiskulma neighbourhoods, Kato, Landon and Oja look to its complex presences and pasts to reflect on its potential.
Sam Meech led a workshop on ISADORA on April 7, 2017 at the Elastic Spaces lab at Concordia University. During this full day workshop session participants were able to experiment with the software to create video mapping, as well as motion and sound sensor projects.
Participants learned the basic interface while also exploring the many possibilities this program has to offer.
Following the conference in Brazil, Anthony Head and Santiago Tavera, in collaboration with artist Laura Acosta, will further develop an outdoor video projection workshop, Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging, during the 23rd International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) and the XVI International Image Festival in Manizales, Colombia from June 11-18. The workshop will invite interdisciplinary artists to collaborate on an outdoor video projection to be displayed on the facade of a building in La Universidad de Caldas. To achieve this, participants will combine fictional and personal narratives of belonging or displacement along with video experimentation. ISEA is one of the world’s most prominent international arts and technology events. It brings together scholars and artists to an interdisciplinary discussion and showcase of creative productions applying new technologies in art. This year’s conference theme, Bio-creation and Peace, encourages participants to reflect on the contributions and alternatives that art, design and technology provide for social development, biodiversity and the establishment of peaceful relationships between diverse communities. The workshop Projected Narratives of Being and Belonging is about generating social collaboration between participants in order to work towards conflict resolutions between heritage surfaces and subjective narratives, past histories and illusions of the future, and finally, effects of war and visions of peace.
Santiago Tavera’s thesis publication, Translational Spaces, is currently being exhibited at the Webster Library at Concordia University until September 1st. This is part of a summer artist book exhibition organized by Melinda Reinhart.