28 September – 12 October 2017
This year marks the third Emerging Digital Artists Award season for EQ Bank, and the first presented in partnership with Trinity Square Video, Canada’s oldest media arts centre. Featuring works by Amanda Low, Fallon Simard, Fanny Huard, Pipo Pierre-Louis, and Micaela González, this exhibition showcases emergent talent in the realms of video, animation, GIFs, graphic design, and internet art.
The award finalists were selected by judges Jennifer Chan, Erin Gee, and Emily Fitzpatrick for demonstrating critical engagement with digital space and technical skills in their chosen media. These works speak to a diverse range of salient topics: the body is located as a political and pensive site; our relationships to technology are interrogated in both playful and poetic terms, with a view to technological histories and endurances; and processes of identification, from the scale of the individual to that of the collective, are considered through the lens of networked culture.
Sometimes the wind in the cloud, when it is being secreted (2017) by Micaela González
Sometimes the wind in the cloud, when it is being secreted is a female portrait in motion and an exercise and reflection in time.
The digital age has influenced our perception and expectations of time; we have a mediated experience of daily events. Personal technologies demand immediacy, and attention spans shorten to accommodate the fast pace of digital life. In this context, the passing of time is perceived by the mind, but not fully experienced by the body, resulting in an accelerated process of memory reconstruction and a loss of consciousness of change over time. Sometimes the wind in the cloud, when it is being secreted proposes the deceleration of time, and challenges the viewer to be patient, feeling the seconds pass in order to discover the work’s subtle evolution.
AEIUO (2017) by Fanny Huard
AEIUO aims to question the relationship between sound and image, asking: is it possible to visually evoke a sound without using a soundtrack?
In graphic design, the sound component often comes at the end of the creative process after one has created animations in complete silence. AEIUO works oppositely, starting from sounds in order to create images. The goal is to make the viewer hear sounds through a series of silent images, specifically in the format of the animated GIF. Inspired by the graphics and gridlines of comic books, AEIUO speaks to how digital tools have allowed us to animate our daily lives—for example, in the speech bubbles of instant messenger.
The project’s starting point is Arthur Rimbaud’s poem “Voyelles”: “A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels, I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins.” The poem reveals a particular case of synesthesia, the neurological phenomenon by which multiple senses connect. As Claude Lévi-Strauss points out in Look, Listen, Read (1993), Rimbaud facilitates a fusion of sounds and colors in his poem. Drawing from Rimbaud and Levi-Strauss, AEIUO plays with this form of synesthesia through acts of reading, onomatopoeia, movement, anticipation, and sonic symbols such as the atomic bomb – a visual that bears increased significance in today’s political climate.
ORIGINOFTHE.NET (2017) by Amanda Low
Those who use the internet daily often take it for granted, without fully understanding the histories that led to the creation of this tool that is such a familiar part of our lives. ORIGINOFTHE.NET is a mythic retelling of the history of the internet, bringing attention to the lesser known vestiges of the World Wide Web. Inspired by classic text-based role-playing games, the interactive website leads the user like a tourist through its bowels, showcasing artifacts from internet history on its web pages. By allowing the user to influence its narrative by choosing between hyperlinks, this work replicates the experience of navigating online space within an experimental form of storytelling.
Puntito_visual (2016) by Pipo Pierre-Louis
The point is a small world in itself – more or less isolated from all sides and almost torn off from its surroundings. The integration to its surroundings is minimal and seems nonexistent…
Named after the Spanish diminutive of the word point, Puntito_visual is a form study aimed at the creation of an audiovisual language capable of communicating social experiences and personal observations on individuality. Through the use of familiar visual metaphors that evoke the place of the individual in our culture, this piece tries to grasp the subtle and intuitive meaning of individuality as a social phenomenon. Using figures such as the circle, the point, and the sphere, Puntito_visual uses an abstract language charged with social meanings and symbols to reveal the poetics of the overlooked in society.
Continuous Resistance Remix (2013) by Fallon Simard
Continuous Resistance Remix takes thirty YouTube mp4s that examine residential schools through personal interviews and black and white propaganda films, resource blockades by Elsipogtog youth, Idle No More footage from Couchiching First Nation, and forest fires started from resource extraction sites and finally, remixes the image and audio into a five-minute short video. The structure of the video adds to the continuous temporality of state violence perpetuated onto Indigenous bodies. It does so by pairing 2015 Elsipogtog film frames next to 1918 Canadian Residential School propaganda film footage. Elsipogtog illustrates youth and elders lining up against a human blockade comprised of the Canadian military who were using excessive force, and the propaganda video illustrates Priests cutting Indigenous children’s hair in black and white. The film looks at the different forms state violence manifest within a colonial, patriarchal, and heteronormative government that occupies Indigenous land. By remixing communities from east to west together, we see the struggles and strengths of Indigenous communities as they continue to fight for their land, rights, and self-determination.