Gift, 2004sound collage, recorded voices, installation, vintage quilt collection

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Gift is an installation of 80 hung heritage quilts with 16 channels of sound. Heard through the speakers hidden behind the quilts are the voices of quilters talking about why they give their quilts as gifts rather than selling through the market economy. The texture and quality of voices not normally heard (typically older women), is a defining aspect of this piece. Their thoughts meander and stray—fragmented by interruptions and reminisces. Gift is a patchwork quilt in sound.

Credits:

Voice Composition: Martin Deller
Quilts from the collection of Jeffrey Alford 

Voices:
Corinne Anderton, Maureen Bardusk, Maria Becker, Marilyn Brunner, Chris Caddy, Lois Carter, Mary Corcoran, Betsie Downie, Eileen Ford, Ellen Fox, Lynda Jensen, Jill Lorenz, Betty Lou Minaker, Elizabeth Plumtree, Janet Read, Alison Seale, Mary Taylor, Mary Vansen, Debbie Williams, Dorothy Winter, June Wolford

Gift Giving, Artist's Essay




Everybody Deserves Love, Even You, 2004–2011found email texts, sound, gobo projection, disco ball, size variable

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This installation uses the tropes of disco lighting and cast shadows to project poetry created from promising and sly found text from thousands of spam emails. The most poignant contemporary reminder of the gap between what is real and ideal is the internet, where one spends nightly hours on personal searches; and advertisements flutter, pop up and highjack concentrated and intimate moments. Particularly manipulative and passive-aggressive, the title of this installation, Everybody Deserves Love, Even You, was the subject line of an email. Its despondent tone addresses contemporary cultural vulnerabilities, sadness, yearnings and desperation upon which marketers pray.

All spam is about personal allure, the attainment of beauty, love, power or wealth. Everybody Deserves Love, Even You imitates the endless variation of these virtual promises. Various spelling tactics are employed so that recipients understand the message but computer programs do not. The messages are concocted in endless variations: often funny, always bizarre, and occasionally poetic. Reminiscent of the seductive murmur of a foreign language, a sexualized computer voice whispers the text. The overly modulated and controlled cadence emphasizes the pervasiveness and monotony of spam, while at the same time, characterizing and transmogrifying the text.

Viewers bathe in the projected text, inducing a sense of spotlight and performance, and therefore a feeling of love and attention. In channeling text through disco ball reflections, the macho messages are feminized through stereotypical associations of vanity and sparkle. The light touches viewers specifically and personally and is at the same time, mass-produced and mass projected. Mimicking the glow from computer screens, the work deflects and co-opts the bottom of the barrel strategies used by virtual marketers into a joyful moment that straddles the real and the virtual.

By taking on a feminist strategy of using alternate surfaces, claiming disregarded floors and ceilings, the work focuses viewers’ attention on spaces and concepts that are often neglected and taken for granted. In a neo-feminist twist, the obnoxious is ‘made pretty’ through playful colour: co-opting the mostly ‘male’ oriented spam spewings.

Everybody Deserves Love, Even You emphasizes the seemingly permanent ubiquity of spam as a shared experience and universal language – words that are largely ignored but still imbued with the power of omnipresence.

-Anastasia Hare

Artist's Statement

 

really, 2003 - ongoinginstallation, objects, hybrid reality, sculpture, surface design

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This hybrid reality installation, really [this show is rented] is a mixed reality installation exhibited at Redhead Gallery,Toronto, Ontario, and concurrently shown at The Heldscalla Foundation, Buttemere, Second Life. The piece is comprised of performance and interaction, involving the participation of the artist, her Second Life avatar, Nar Duell, and virtual and real gallery visitors.

The components for the installation were rented — lights, projectors, streaming server, classic office-accessory rubber-plants and space. These 'by the week' artifacts emphasize the transitory nature of virtual existence.
A key component of really [this show is rented] is the iterative loop—streaming video of the Red Head gallery space into the Second Life gallery. The completion of the loop occurs by projecting Second Life onto the wall of the real gallery, subsequently one watches one's self in action.The inevitable narcissism of a Second Life existence, and evidently a real existence, is mirrored by the technology.

Artist's Statement
Archived Website

 

 

Image from Still series

Still, 2005 – 2009photographic series, variable sizes, direct canned flora and insects, archival inkjet print on photographic paper, edition of ten

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This series is created from flowers, leaves and insects, directly scanned at high resolutions. The results are the beautiful colours and textures of the flowers and petals combined with any dust on the scanner surface, flaws in the scanning process and other unexpected objects like dead bugs. The texture of the petals end up feeling fabric-like or maybe even like skin and the details of the fly and bee are incredible. One viewer upon seeing one of the Still prints said:

Who would have known that...the edge of a dying flower could turn into a wave of an orange ocean, cradling a dead fly that reminds us of a sleeping baby. (Suzanne Smith)

Curator's Essay

 

Three Cloths, 2008floorcloth installation, variable size, painting/drawing, canvas, image transfer, acrylic paint, marker, chalk, video projection, ipod

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Floorcloths, surfaced designed canvasses, traditionally used as floor coverings, reflect an ongoing attachment to the visual, particularly decorative domestic structures and imagery. This interest stems from the perpetual dialogue in the art world about alternate aesthetic practice and history, namely issues around feminism and the re-evaluation of what has been traditionally labeled women's work. I am making a series of floorcloths (domestic, functional objects) through a process of layering and melding, with paint and heat transferred imagery.

One of the most vivid references for the floorcloth imagery of this installation are the Dutch vanitas paintings of the 17th century. These paintings were an expression of the ephemeral nature of life and pleasure—a morality lesson. Flowers and flies populate my floorcloths as they did vanitas paintings. As much as the floorcloths refer to a history of painting they also negate that allusion by their functionality, impertinence and horizontal orientation. This is art to walk on. Even the viewing perspective creates a dizzying sense of vertigo and dictates a new way of looking.

Floorcloths have always been primarily about pretension. They were a poor man’s Persian carpet—thin, flat, paint taking the place of rich, warm tufted wool. They have the subversive power of a fake or a facsimile.

Quilts often utilize found fabric, worn with markings of use—a whole created from bits and pieces. It is an additive, layering process—sampling and piecing imbued with improvisational impulses and feedback. Likewise the sound and moving image, collaged digitally are gatherings of both seemingly disparate and consciously connected elements.