igNIGHT 2015: Artist Information
About the Artist
Jen Lewin is an internationally renowned light and interactive sculptor whose studio is located in Boulder, Colorado. Over the last 15 years, Lewin has honed her highly technical medium to fabricate large-scale interactive sculptures that combine light, sound and motion to encourage community interaction. From responsive sound and light forms that incorporate dance to giant robotic moths that flutter in response to human touch, Lewin’s use of technology as a medium challenges popular conceptions of new media works and their limitations. Focusing on pieces made for public use, she thinks beyond a traditional art exhibition to create an experience that brings vibrancy to neighbourhoods, parks and public spaces. At once organic and electronic, Lewin’s playful sculptures leave viewers enchanted and surprised while encouraging delight through their engagement with the work. In this sense, visitors to Lewin’s works become artists themselves.
Her technically complex works have been featured at events including Vivid Sydney, iLight Marina Bay, Signal Fest and Burning Man, art Biennales in Denver and Gwangju and solo exhibitions in the United States, Portugal and England. Her design and multimedia work has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Wired, The New York Times, BBC News and The Straits Times. Lewin served as Creative Director for the Ceren Project and Ivee Project at The Sundance Laboratory for Advanced Computing in Design, as well as a lead designer for ITN (Saber) in Palo Alto. Lewin attended New York University and earned her BA in Computer-Aided Architectural Design and her MPS in the Graduate Program in Interactive.
POOL (verb) = combine, amalgamate, blend, join forces, league, merge, put together, share
The Pool is an environment of giant, concentric circles created from interactive circular pads. The Pool is a world where play and movement create swirling effects of light and colour. Imagine a giant canvas where you can paint and splash light collaboratively. Like a giant game of light “ping pong,” the pool will have users running and jumping, adding, bouncing, and mixing light together.
The Pool is an interactive environment where movement creates swirling light and color. As users shift their weight or move from one pad to another, their motions are reflected on pads with color and movement. As multiple users play in the pool, their interactions become mesmerizing patterns of shifting and fading colours.
About the Artist
Sarah Beck uses her art practice to address contemporary issues, engaging the audience with humour and common signifiers. Her studio practice favors accessibility and moves between mediums. Beck is a Saskatchewan artist currently based in Toronto.
Beck has won various awards, including the Canada Council for the Art’s Joseph S. Stauffer Prize and the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Arts Fellowship. She was featured at Toronto City Hall’s Museum for the End of the World during Nuit Blanche 2012, and at the 2010 Winter Olympic Cultural Olympiad. Beck completed her Interdisciplinary Master’s of Art, Media & Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) in 2010. During the summer of 2014 Beck was the first Artist in Residence at the International Space University. In 2015 Beck was named as a finalist for the Glenfiddich Artist in Residence prize.
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light
As of 2015 the light bulb as we know it, also called the “Edison bulb”, will no longer be produced in North America. While this marks an advance in environmental responsibility, it also marks the death of a technology that changed the world. The light bulb, invented in Toronto, but associated with Thomas Edison, ushered in a new era. The light bulb’s impact was so great that it came to symbolize a bright idea. As this technology fades into the past, this piece is an epitaph that invites contemplation of change, hope, passage and death.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light” is a line from a poem by Dylan Thomas entitled “Do not go gentle into that good night”. The poem was written by Thomas in 1952 to examine the death of his father. A year later he himself would be dead, at the age of 39, from his own hard living tendencies.
Light bulb packaging claims that each bulb will last approximately 60 days, or roughly 1500 hours, if run continuously. As known from practical experience, the lights will twinkle out at staggered rates, some holding on longer and some snuffed out early. The work invites contemplation of the inevitability of the viewer’s mortality. To resist change is as futile as the fight against death. On the contrary, lights represent hope and ideas, allowing viewers to bring layered meaning into their contemplation of the work. Because the piece is time based, it is likely be different each time it is experienced. Supported by the Ontario Arts Council.
About the Artist
Toronto native Stefan Verstappen recently returned from California where he was awarded the mayor’s recognition certificate for his contributions to the city of Ventura’s public art program.
In the years since opening his first studio, SunDog Arts, in 1981 in Kleinberg Ontario he has worked in dozens of mediums from stained glass and watercolors to foam sculpture and electronic art. His most recent commission was a pen and ink illustration for the Joe Fresh 2014 spring fashion line.
From 2000-12 Verstappen lived in Ventura, California and was associated with Art City and Green Art People where he worked on sculpture, multimedia art and completed several public art installations.
In 2008 Verstappen was commissioned by the City of Ventura to create his Tubular Zen installation - a kind of electronic Stonehenge that consisted of five 16 foot pillars that played notes of the pentatonic scale using the sound of a Shakuhatchi. "Technology allows me to create installations that work on multiple symbolic and sensory levels. Based on the existentialist concept that there is no art without the observer, my latest designs combine art with technology to create interactive public art that requires the participation of the observer in order to work.
Tri-Monic is a multi-sensory interactive installation that requires viewers to interact musically with the installation. By singing or playing the correct musical notes, the installation responds by playing the harmony and providing a synchronized light display.
Each wedge is programmed to respond to only a specific set of notes. When the correct note is sung or played, the wedge will activate and play its own tone tuned to the third interval, lower octave of the viewer’s note. The result is that the wedge will play in harmony with the viewer.
Simultaneously, the sound interaction will trigger the screen to light up and flicker at the same frequency as the note being played.
By singing a song or playing a tune, Tri-Monic offers an enlightening performance art exhibit that you will want to interact with every day!
About the Artist
Jeremy Tsang (NSCAD University, 2011) is a visual interdisciplinary artist currently practicing out of Toronto, CA. He has exhibited across Canada, including a survey of alternative landscapes (Lost Horizons, 2012) at St. Mary’s University Art Gallery (SMAUG). In 2014, Nocturne Halifax (akin to Nuit Blanche) produced one of Tsang’s diasporic installations. He was featured recently in the 30 Under 30 curated by art critic Gary Michael Dault at John B. Aird Gallery (Toronto, CA), the Exposure Photography Award exhibition presented at the Louvre (Paris, FR) and a photography-based growing collaborative Incubator Series exhibition at Latitude 53 (Edmonton, CA) over the summer months.
In 2015, Tsang has been commissioned by Nocturne to construct a major large-scale installation, will be featured in the upcoming issue of Concrete Flux Zine (Beijing, CN), and commissioned to construct a new installation work in Nuit Blanche Saskatoon and igNIGHT Fort McMurray, AB. Tsang’s work of photographs, videos, text, object-making, reinterpretation of found ephemera, and installations are included in the public collections of Sobey Art Foundation and SMUAG and as well many private collections around the world. Additionally, Tsang divides his time to sit and advice on various boards, concurrently on South Asian Visual Art Centre (SAVAC) and Gallery 1313.
As We Are Here
Historically, crystals and minerals have always played a cyclical and significant role to human beings; from beliefs of their healing properties, to their countless usage in materials and energy production, to our own body`s systematic needs.
Participants will be thrusted into contemplating their own relationship to the land, feeling mesmerized as the colours and reflections on the surface of the crystals continuously transform. As We Are Here explores our interwoven relationship with the earth’s metamorphic elements.
With special thanks to Ramm Design Labs for their fabrication assistance.
Robert Cram and Nathaniel Wong
About the Artists
Robert Cram is a landscape architect and artist who has worked on a range of public and private projects across Canada. His design methodology is founded on a post-disciplinary approach that infuses research, art and ecological thinking. He remains active in the Toronto art and design community as a practising artist, curator and member of a local artist’s cooperative.
Nathaniel Wong is an interdisciplinary artist who works in video, sculpture and sound. His works incorporate humour and playful forms that are informed by philosophy, literature and history. Wong recently completed his MFA from Simon Fraser University, has shown in Vancouver and Edmonton and is an active member of the Dynamo Arts association in Vancouver.
Wreck to the Seaman, Tempest to the Field
Wreck to the Seaman, Tempest to the Field is an immersive installation combining light, kinetic sculpture and sound that celebrates connectedness, nomadic tendencies and exploration as compounding attributes that dictate spatial organization and development. As a sculptural form, the structure will be constructed and utilized as a canvas vivifying the ecologic process of wind, change and transition. The intention is to contrast the romantic ideals of open space exploration with the limitations of stationary place and habitat.
Kasie Campbell and Students of Keyano College Art & Design
About the Artists
Kasie Campbell is a visual artist working in Edmonton, Alberta. Campbell focuses on integrating a variety of media including sculpture, installation, new media and performance. She has earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta and hopes to continue on to her M.F.A in a few years’ time. Campbell is a recipient of the International Sculpture Centre’s Outstanding Student Achievement Award in contemporary sculpture and her work will be sent to Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey for the Fall exhibit.
Students of Keyano College Art & Design program (Fall 2015) worked with Kasie Campbell to cultivate this large-scale public art installation.
The raven, a local fowl, encompasses many affects; a chariot of the soul; a symbol of hope; a model of resilience; an infamous trickster; and a mediator of life and death. Throughout time, the raven has been a common creature depicted by many cultures in their mythologies, legends and folklore. The Unkindness (formerly “Untitled”) is a piece inspired by the revered avian creature.
Conceptualized by Kasie Campbell and executed with the assistance of the students of Keyano’s Art & Design program, their collaborative efforts bring the notorious raven to life through a myriad of materials, lighting and performance art. A piece that pushes the creative boundaries of all parties including: the artist, the students, and the observers, The Unkindness is a piece that will pervade the mind and, like the raven, stamp its repute.