Image from Insomnia

Pillflower World, 2009virtual reality installation, interactive performance, machinima, comic book documentation

swipe/drag image

Pillflower World, a mixed reality exhibition, is a ‘Russian doll’ experience. The piece was shown at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, in a ‘real-life’ gallery. Within the ANU gallery, the online, 3D world, Second Life was projected. Within that space, there was a giant snow globe environment—worlds nested inside each other. Snow globes, universal signifiers of all things kitsch, are trusty souvenirs of travel and exotica. In Pillflower World the snow globe becomes a metaphor for the conflation of locale, space, culture and even time. Snow globes are ubiquitous and generic. Tropical scenes share cold-weather precipitation right along with the North Pole. This was a place of seemingly happy, jolly flowers and snow play, all encased in a sim-spanning, dynamic, swirling snow globe, a whimsical overlay to a dark undercurrent in that the pretty flowers are made of pills,  imagery that conjures up so many associations with unhappiness and illness. Soothing pastel shades of the medicinals belie their power and effect on the human body and our drug dependant culture. Alluring and candy-like, the pillflowers visually signify that ‘all is right’ with the world, or at the very least, can be made so instantaneously.

Special thanks to Desdemona Enfield for her scripting genius and Larry Pixel of the New Media Consortium for the generous loan of the sim on which the art was displayed.

Comic Book

Review

 

 

 

 

 

Image from Insomnia

Insomnia, 2009photographic series, variable size, archival inkjet print on photographic paper, edition of ten

swipe/drag image

 

The Insomnia series is a combination of hyper realistic photography and digital collage. The subject matter echoes that of 16th century Vanitas paintings—the celebration of life and death.

 

Image from Finding TrachHouse

Finding TrackHouse/Psychedelic Chick, 2009hybrid reality installation, performance, sculpture, installation, live streaming, comic book documentation, relational, animated website

swipe/drag image

Finding TrackHouse/Psychedelic Chick is the possibility of disappearance. It is the possibility of reemergence. It is elusive and slippery. It is a creative spirit harnessed. It is projected and played in mixed reality, weblandscape and earthplane. It is always moving and forever expanding. Like a mushroom carpet...it will be spreading, creating a magical weblandscape of psychedelic interactive play. It is interactive installation and performance - a searching, a reaching out, an exploitation of the web 2.0 paradigm, a questioning of boundaries through technological bridging, creating a diving board for artistic exploration of a medium - the internet - that has been principally the domain of commerce and popular culture.

This project flows between well established and emerging forms of internet technology and behaviours. Using every available innovation - websites, social networking, instant messaging, online auctions, media sharing, virtual worlds, mixed realities, gaming and viral communication - the aim is to co-opt those modes of presentation and dissemination.

The artists invite other artists to become an integral part of a visual and aural, ever-expanding collage stretched over networks and interstitial space. In the cracks and crevices, the offered artwork will be inserted and melded into a fluid and cohesive experience. The viewer/user will move seamlessly from network to network. The project owned many domain names - URLs that link or lead into the piece at multiple nodes and intersections.

Alter-ego creation is a cornerstone strategy of the proposed work. All online communities whether they be a dating website or political blogging, are landscapes of anonymity. The possibilities of re-forming yourself psychologically and physically are infinitely seductive and addictive. Critical concern and fascination around who a person ‘really’ is versus how they are representing themselves litter the internet. Allowing that extremely human impulse to be a driving tenet of Finding TrackHouse harnesses people’s obsessions to the art.

Finding TrackHouse creates an artistic forum in which artists and visitors share a role in navigating through its physical and non-physical spaces. In its installation at the Red Head Gallery, the exhibition offered an immersive simulation of the visual idioms of its innumerable domain counterparts: the PychedelicChick.com website, and Facebook profiles. Finding TrackHouse is projected and played in mixed reality, a web-landscape that spans the gallery and the surface of multiple monitors. The work expands on Kim Mitseff’s ongoing TrackHouse, a virtual platform and event for creative, inventive and free-minded thinkers. Together with Lynne Heller’s weaving of disparate iconic and conceptual elements, an intricate and dense set of narratives play within fields of psychedelic pattern, and aesthetic delight.

Finding TrackHouse is projected and played in mixed reality, a web-landscape that spans the gallery and the surface of multiple monitors weaving disparate iconic and conceptual elements into playful fields of psychedelic pattern, and aesthetic delight.

Press Release

<p></p>

Image from breathing underwater

Breathing Underwater, 2009floorcloth installation, variable size, painting/drawing, canvas, image transfer, acrylic paint, marker, chalk

swipe/drag image

Breathing Underwater was the environment created to house the larger project of Finding TrackHouse and Psychedelic Chick. It was created as an installation at the Red Head Gallery, and augmented the exhibition of a hybrid reality relational piece that took place in Second Life.


The floorcloths of the Breathing Underwater installation are an extension of textile design. The floorcloth tidal-waves out the doors of the gallery and seduces visitors in to float above lyrical images and texts, facets of the street outside throughout Spadina’s markets. The visitor orients their journey through the water tides. The gallery walls are left white and provoke visitors’ imaginations to project upon the surface and beyond; and emulate an ethereal cyberspace. It is fantastical and enchanting, yet composed of found materials, images, and tokens of exchange that resonate from our daily journeys and what is often discarded: takeout bags, newspapers, and price stubs. The visual idioms are appropriated into a rushing collage of seemingly free thoughts and exotic norms. Experiencing the journey relates to web-based experience, in that one chooses which icons to click and pages to crawl. Visitors float around the gallery as they would in cyber-scapes, and choose if and when to bend down to focus in on details like the saturated purples and blues of lily pads, delicate tie-dyed dragonfly wings, and characters within text. The installation includes beanbag chairs- mod furniture of the late 60s- and a television monitor that displays a montage of moving fantastical images so that visitors inhabit the space; jump into the water and become part of the three-dimensional rendering of the PsychedelicChick.com landscape. The notion of an expansive landscape bares relation to this domain name, as historically, landscapes have been feminized. Taking on the term Chick then can be regarded as a claiming of terrain, and a maternal nurturing.


 

 

 

NAFTA - North American Free Trade Art, 2010 - ongoingphotographic triptychs series of 75 images, 11” h x 17” w, commercially printed on 65 lb. cardstock, hand-bound, chicago screws, unlimited edition

swipe/drag image

Each image in this series consists of three images taken in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The series situates itself between the real and surreal. The photos taken in the three different countries are 'off the hip' shooting of street images – a captured everyday reality. However, coupled and cropped, they function as mechanisms for pointing out both difference and similarity. By not knowing which photo is taken in which country the viewers are challenged to question their own impressions of those places. The exoticism of the unknown is examined through snippets of scenes, peepholes into the unknown. The deliberate slicing of the photo plane, in thirds, though not always equally, emphasizes the problematic construct of nationhood.

The term NAFTA implies a coming together, an agreement to co-operate between three nations. As Canadians have learned through debacles like the softwood lumber dispute, the reality of the agreement is a far cry from the written and publicized intentions of the pact. The images in this series are 'forced' together, sitting uneasily, but also with the need for each other to support the whole composition.

Curator's Essay