The name COMMON PULSE arose from the belief that, in spite of our differences, there is an underlying commonality and social synchronicity that we share.
This is the challenge that was presented to the five artists-in-residence. Although they are all specialized in different aspects of media art, each has been asked to incorporate a shared, synchronizing pulse signal into a new artwork. This common pulse will be distributed to each artwork as a digital control signal, a fluctuating voltage, or a rhythmic beat, depending on the form that the final pieces require.
The five artists will live and work in Durham for three weeks leading up to the festival. The Durham Art Gallery will be transformed into a shared workshop/studio where they can rub elbows while they complete their new artworks. They will be able to interact with the local public and visitors through scheduled artist talks, informal cups of coffee and media art making workshops that they will conduct during their residencies. The completed artworks will be presented at the Durham Art Gallery in an exhibition opening after the residency winds up.
An electronic pulse signal is being generated on an open network, courtesy of Norman White. It oscillates between an on/off state a fixed number of times per minute. The digital signal is distributed as a serial pulse, a control voltage, an electrical impulse and a midi signal to each of the resident artists' works.
Meaford, Canada / Berlin, Germany
Laura Kikauka's body of work over the past twenty-five years encompasses various media including site specific installation, mixed media, electronic sculpture, drawing, photography, video, performance, music, text and costume creations. Her installations establish a highly specific visual (and often audio) language that blends the increasingly overlapping worlds of high and low art forms. In general Kikauka's excessive aesthetic is comparable to urban archeology and addresses issues of consumer culture, and the question of good and bad taste.
Kikauka's work is inspired and derived from decades of on-going collecting of found objects. Employing the formal strategy of meticulously sorting and organizing these objects, as well as modifying or transforming them, she then creates specifically themed and coded installations that transform gallery and exhibition spaces into densely packed, highly detailed installations.
Laura's categorization speaks of similarities and differences. The Funny Farm studios in rural Meaford and in Berlin are living and working spaces treated as on-going installations that exemplify, through a density of detail, her interest in low class consumer culture. It is with a sense of sarcasm and empathy that she explores this recurring theme.
Laura is represented by DNA Gallery, Berlin and MKG127 Gallery, Toronto.
Jessica Field has an artistic practice that explores the possibilities for shared behaviour between organic and inorganic objects. For the past eleven years she has worked with robotics and artificial intelligence. “I create immersive environments that address the social issues concerning the creation of artificial intelligence and its connection to human behaviours, expectations and desires. I am interested in how technology, particularly artificial life research, influences and defines how people see themselves and the things they create.” Her recent robots have the potential to stage their own theatrical presentations thus creating a new level of dramatic performance which she calls Automata Theatre. Recent exhibitions include Field Studies at Interaccess (Toronto) and Oboro (Montreal); Maladjusted Ecosystem, Optica (Montreal) and participation in the group exhibition Robot Dreams at Kunsthaus Graz (Austria) and Museum Tinguely (Switzerland). Field currently teaches in the New Media Department at Ryerson University.
Ken Gregory works with DIY interface design hardware hacking, audio, video, and computer programming to create installations, video, multi-media, interactive works, and audio collage. Primarily self taught, his work is an improvisational process with an intuitive application of tools and ideas. Raw materials such as found objects, discarded technology and electronics are manipulated through various processes and reconstituted in a manner which plays upon new meanings and interpretations. Gregory's 12 Motor Bells has been on display at the Dalhousie Art Gallery and was purchased by the National Gallery of Canada. Recent exhibitions include Wind Coil Sound Flow, a sound installation at San Jose City Hall as part of the ZERO1 2010 Biennial; The Road to Eldorado, a sound work at The 8 Fest Toronto; Cheap Meat Dreams and Acorns, a solo survey exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
Karo Szmit is an emerging artist from Austria, born in Warsaw, Poland. Her current art practice involves, video, Vjing, film animation, as well as site-specific text and drawing installations that use diagrams to examine global networking. Intersections and diagrams also play a role in her video Le Grand Content which examines the omnipresent Powerpoint-culture in a search for its philosophical potential. Her performance projects deal with online communication platforms as well as the analogies between internet processes and the physical world. Szmit’s films and videos have been shown internationally at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria; the Némo Film Festival in Paris; International Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg (audience award); Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK), Tampere Film Festival (Finland), Biennial of Moving Images (Switzerland), Barcelona Independent Film Festival (Spain). In 2009 she was invited to a five-month artist residency by MediaLab: Estonian Media Artists' Union in Tallinn, Estonia.
Canadian musical chameleon Andrew McPherson is an artist moving seamlessly from the producer’s chair to that of the songwriter, project leader, multi-instrumentalist, remixer and DJ. In all of Andrew’s musical incarnations can be heard a consistent through line of meticulous craftsmanship, fearless experimentalism, inventive ideas and a soulful statement of purpose. Whether in his copious production work, three solo albums Mixing up the Medicine, Phoenix at the Wheel and Lefty Singer, Juno-nominated, Canadian Music Award winning, global fusion project Eccodek or in the plethora of remixes and side projects, the ‘master soundscaper’ is at the centre of a provocative and diverse body of work.
Never brimming too far from the surface has been Andrew’s interest in longform instrumental work, particularly music for film. Having often joked about film making as a second career if music soured, it’s safe to say that Andrew has always seen and heard music. A recent recording with fellow producer, multi-instrumentalist and Eccodek electronics whiz Deliveryboy produced a provocative new score to accompany Fritz Lang’s 1927 dystopian classic Metropolis as a live performance. New York’s Huffington Post wrote, “It is so far left of field you'd just have to--and should--experience Metropolis Re:Scored for yourself.” Not content to stay idle, Eccodek is set to release a remix compilation titled Remixtasy, touching on their first three releases, featuring new versions of Eccodek’s catalogue by some of the world’s most progressive fusionists working today. Also in the wings for 2011 is a stunning new collaborative project with Toronto/L.A. drummer Morgan Doctor, that features new compositions developed from improvised recording sessions over the last year. The walls are listening....