Data sheet (Event):
|A response to “Review of “IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art” Exhibit”|
|Title of event|
IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art
InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Type of event
6- Museum practices for works featuring technological components
Observer: Dina Vescio
A few weeks ago, I also had the chance to see InterAccess’ “IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art”. However, I had a very different experience than that of my classmate Sonja Brooks. For this reason, I would like to share my impressions of the exhibition.
A recent patron of media art, I was happy to have discovered InterAccess the last time I was in Toronto. A modest gallery in the cultural hub of the Queen West district, I did not know that others had been appreciating this organization long before me. Through several mandate, location and name changes, InterAccess has continued to be Canada's premier gallery and production facility devoted exclusively to electronic art for over 25 years.
To celebrate its accomplishments, InterAcess hosted “IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art”, an exhibition which brings together a committed group of individuals whose longtime contributions to InterAccess have both made and reflect the centre's rich history. Collaborative curators Nina Czegledy and Angella Mackey selected four artists – Simone Jones, Lorena Salomé, Galen Scorer and Norman White – to participate in the exhibition, who “represent the strength of work emerging in Toronto, in keeping with the theme of historical representations of new media.”
Walking through the space, my four friends and I first discovered “Untitled (Solenoids)” (2005) by Lorena Salomé, which consisted of 15 moving solenoids, lined up in a row under Plexiglas, attached by red wires to a white box containing a computer. We were intrigued by the sound pattern of the clicking solenoids, reminiscent of a means of communication, e.g. a typewriter or Morse code. We wondered: What were they trying to tell us?
Next, two of us sat in Galen Scorer’s “Network Touch” (2007). Comprised of two side-by-side chairs divided by a hanging sheet, separate cameras observed images which were then projected onto a large screen. As we participated in the work, we were entertained by our ability to interact and connect with each other virtually from within our own private physical spaces. We were attracted to our digital selves, which offered a new way to examine our own identities.
Looking up, we viewed Norman White’s first robotic piece “Menage” (1974). Suspended from three tracks mounted to the ceiling, three robots responded to each other in impulsive ways by means of a projected light source. As soon as we stepped underneath the hanging robots, the gallery attendant made sure to tell us that this piece was being exhibited differently than it had originally been shown and differently than it had originally intended to be shown during this exhibition. Moreover, the attendant excused the error in the exhibition handout which suggested that this piece was to include five robots. Knowing this was particularly interesting and led us to contemplate whether White had chosen to exclude the two missing robots because of exhibition space restrictions or because their components had become obsolete?
Lastly, as we interacted with Simone Jones’ “Unprepared Architecture” (2007) we admired the sense of control we were given. As we turned the cube and/or positioned it closer or further away from the camera, we determined in which architectural space we were located. A play with perspective and alternative realities, the programming of this work was brilliant and exciting. “Unprepared Architecture” was indeed the exhibition’s showstopper.
My overall experience of “IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art” was excellent. Bringing together the old and the new, this exhibition, “pays homage to the historical roots of new media from a contemporary point of view, simultaneously introducing current trends that point to future directions.” This exhibition was a success, informing and fascinating its viewers through associations with interactivity, sound and experimental interfacing between the physical and virtual, marking an important milestone for InterAccess and for media art in Canada.
Website of InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre
[Online] (Page consulted on March 6, 2008)
"IA25: Mapping a Practice of Media Art" Exhibition Pamphlet