[ISEA2015] Curator Statement: Elisa Ferrari (VIVO Media Arts Centre) – SPOTTED SENTIENTS: DISPATCHES FROM AN UNEVEN FRONTIER

Curator Statement

VIVO Media Arts is pleased to host an evening of screenings, performance and installation in connection with ISEA2015. The event thematic of Disruption provokes us to consider our own historical situation within crisis and flux. In a period of social, political, industrial and environmental turmoil, broad and diverse groups of people have been formally committed to a haphazard exploration of un/de-regulated interstices of the physical and the virtual in hopes of finding workarounds, new grades of paydirt, and perhaps even the odd revolutionary silver bullet. In over 40 years of existence, VIVO has aspired to foster, whenever possible, the space of tenuous creative exploration that is traced out by the thematics of ISEA2015. Often, such space issues prototypes with spiky cyberpunk physicality – clunky, not yet streamlined, grotesque, speckled with the historically residual. Several of the works featured at VIVO are deliberately rudimentary – playful but also underdetermined in order to make space for their interlocutors. Both work and platform, they are typically simple and crude metaphors and metonyms that nonetheless touch on profound questions of subjecthood and collectivity, and point at the unfurling dimensions of cognition.

In an interview, Brady Marks characterizes her 3D volumetric display as a means for artists to explore the nascent gestures and vocabulary of a new medium before the contours of its use are influenced – as they invariably will be – by its corporate capture and release. Elsewhere the wispy swivel of Jeremy Keenan’s “animated feedback object” evokes the tentative scale and affect of fable or parable. These hybrid forms suggest different regimes of synaesthesia, suturing sensations together at different angles of incidence. Tom Slater’s Hybrid Spaces presents a contemporary contribution to the trompe l’oeil arms race, perhaps even aspiring to render the concept moot in our felt experience of his protean transmediated beams. Ed Osborn’s Gain Stage plays with sensory resolution in an elliptical fashion as the relationship between his tableaus and their emanations is subject to an impressionistic drift. The improvisational duo good cop/naughty cop concretizes a relationship between source or energy and output — exploring a highly topical sense of constraint as a potential source of new expression. Occupations with time and timing are evident in both Emmanuel Madan’s Addendum to Coincidence Engines and Angela Ferraiolo’s Three Hollywood Grammars.

Programmed by: Elisa Ferrari and Alex Muir
Installation: Elisa Ferrari, Nikolai Gauer, Alex Muir

  • Born in Italy, Elisa Ferrari is an artist living in Vancouver, unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. She works with text, image, and sound.  elisaferrari.net

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.