Edward Burtynsky: An Uneasy Beauty – Photographs of Western Canada

February 8, 2009

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I went to view the exhibition yesterday and the images were incredible – take the time to go out to Surrey and check out Burtynsky’s work.
– FlashAddict

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Nickel Tailings No. 34, Sudbury, Ontario 1996

Nickel Tailings No. 34, Sudbury, Ontario 1996

Nickel Tailings No. 35, Sudbury, Ontario 1996

Nickel Tailings No. 35, Sudbury, Ontario 1996

Surrey Art Gallery
p. 604.501.5566
f.  604.501.5581
or email


13750 – 88 Avenue, 1 block east of King George Hwy.
in Bear Creek Park

Surrey, BC Canada V3W 3L

Exhibition reception: January 24, 2 – 4pm
Film Screening: February 1, 2:30pm
Artist Talk: February 12, 7pm

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Considered one of Canada’s most important living photographers, Edward Burtynsky creates photographs that are “reflecting pools of our time,” dramatically recording the impact of industrial progress and human development. This exhibition features large format photographs, many never previously exhibited in British Columbia. They show both the vast wilderness and impressive landscapes of western Canada, and the monumental scale of the resource Industries that underlie the Canadian economy.

Presented by Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

http://www.surrey.ca/Living+in+Surrey/Arts/Surrey+Art+Gallery/Exhibitions/Exhibitions+-+Current.htm

http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/

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MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is a feature length documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky makes large-scale photographs of ‘manufactured landscapes’ – quarries, recycling yards, factories, mines, dams. He photographs civilization’s materials and debris, but in a way people describe as “stunning” or “beautiful,” and so raises all kinds of questions about ethics and aesthetics without trying to easily answer them.

The film follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country photographing the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. Sites such as the Three Gorges Dam, which is bigger by 50% than any other dam in the world and displaced over a million people, factory floors over a kilometre long, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera.

Shot in Super-16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narrative streams of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our profound impact on the planet and witness both the epicentres of industrial endeavour and the dumping grounds of its waste. What makes the photographs so powerful is his refusal in them to be didactic. We are all implicated here, they tell us: there are no easy answers. The film continues this approach of presenting complexity, without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, it tries to shift our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.

2006, Canada, 90 mins.

http://www.mongrelmedia.com/films/ManufacturedLandscapes.html


DIVA 202 – Tuesday at Emily Carr

January 13, 2009

CONTEMPORARY DIGITAL ARTS AND ARTISTS

John Wilhelm “Billy” Kluver 1927-2004
– curated 14 major museum exhibitons
– received Ordre des arts et des lettres awards from France (worked with Rauchenburg, Warhol, Johns and composer John Cage)
– he was an electrical engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories
– his work ranged from the TV antenna atop the Eifel Tower to an underwater video camera for Jacques Cousteau
– his artistic work reached pinnacle in 1996 with “9 Evenings: Theater and Engineering”
– John Cage – Variations VIII
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Kl%C3%BCver

Kluver believed that artists and engineers could go one step beyond what either would have done separately.
– absorbing new technology into art practice is persistent throughout the 20th century (futurists, dada, constructivists, fluxus, John Cage)

Fluxus movement is essentially a geocache without technology

John Cage – Water Walk

John Cage’s ASLSP / Organ 2 / Halberstadt,

World’s slowest, longest concert

The world’s “slowest and longest concert” resumed on July 5, 2008, when the Halberstadt church organ played the next – 6th – chord of John Cage’s As Slow As Possible. The weights holding down the organ pedals were shifted resulting to the 6th chord change, and accordingly a chance of hearing the final note being played in the year 2639 would be a possibility. In 1985, Cage opted to omit the detail of “exactly how slow the piece should be played.” Its maiden performance was 29 minutes, while a second version took 71 minutes. The piece is a 639-year-long version of Cage’s ORGAN2/ASLSP As Slow As Possible, first played on Cage’s 89th natal day at 1361 St. Burchardi on September 5, 2001. At 3:33 p.m., Saxony-Anhalt politicians, tourists and media led by Hans-Jörg Bauer, head of John Cage Organ Project, attended the chord change to C4-A flat4.

The former Church of St. Burchard was used as a pig-sty in the communist years of East Germany. Two more organ pipes were added alongside the four installed and the tone became more complex at 3:33 p.m. local time. The second of the new pipes, the next musical change in John Cage’s slow masterpiece will be in this November. A machine keeps the sound coming out.

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Video and satellites allowed artists to experiment with live performance and networking

Douglas Davis performance “Last 9 Minutes” (1977?) is broadcast to 25 countries live.
In 1977, at the opening of documenta 6, alongside Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys, Douglas Davis took part in one of the first international satellite telecasts with his live performance The Last Nine Minutes. His exploration of interactivity involving various media continued throughout the 80s and 90s. He is the author of one of the earliest art pieces on the world wide web, The World’s First Collaborative Sentence (1994).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Davis_(artist)

Keith Sonnier and Liza Bear

Robert Adrian – using 1979 Comtech, artists collaborated and exchanged multimedia artworks for 24 hours

1970’s Digital Art expands into multiple strands of practice
– object oriented
– process-oriented virtual object
– open structure and process that rely on flux of information, like a performance

1980’s
– the audience participates in the work
– the artist is not the sole creator, but a mediator or facilitator for audience interaction
– the creative process involves complex collaboration and collapses boundaries between disciplines

Concepts of new technologies are shaped by fiction, and are compelling enough to inspire their recreation in reality

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or in Digital Art, what came first, the idea of an online universe or the realization of it?

William Gibson
(Vancouver based author) – invented the term “cyberspace” in his book Neuromancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Gibson

Neuromancer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromancer

Neal Stephenson

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Stephenson

Snow Crash

– cyberspace, avatars, second life, mmorpg, internet…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_Crash

10 Cube Gallery in Second Life = online avatar art gallery

Selling Digital Art
Precious/Scarce does not always apply in digital context
– printmaking model of limited editions scan work with digital items
– for installations or other software dependent art practice, museums are buying the source code and keeping it on their servers

Collecting Art
– Means you are responsible for maintaining the work
– is inherently ephemeral and may only exist in documentation
– ones and zeros are stable, but hardware and software are not – technology creates an obsolescence

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SELF-DIRECTED Project – due February 10
– Digital Tools (photo, print, high contrast digital picture, GPS,
– HIGH CONTRAST

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http://www.stuckincustoms.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_dynamic_range_imaging

– Digital Native (installation, conceptual, performance, projection, intervention, public)

GROUP Project – due March 31
– ARG
– Real-Time performance (acting on audience input) aka improv (Subsurvient Chicken)
http://www.subservientchicken.com/