15 June–22 July 2017
Opening reception, June 15, 2017 – 5pm to 7pm
Trinity Square Video, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 121
Curated by Katie Kotler
Produced by the Toronto Animated Image Society
Diamonds + Thunderbolts, curated by Katie Kotler, presents the work of three Toronto animation artists: Peter Rahul, Stacie Ant, and Brianna Lowe. Produced by TAIS, in collaboration with Trinity Square Video, this exhibition is premised as an exploration and au courant interpretation of the principles of “The Light and Space Movement” of the 1960s in relation to the current burgeoning and multi-disciplinary realm of contemporary digital animated art.
The Light and Space Movement was an art movement primarily based in California in the 60s and into the 70s that combined elements of Op art, minimalism, and geometric abstraction. Focused on atmospheric installations that played with the nature of perception, the artists working in this realm were interested in moving beyond the boundaries of the canvas and into sculptural and conceptual considerations of space. By breaking down the properties and formal elements in their work — namely that of geometric shape, light, and space — they desired to understand the mechanics and effects of artistic illusion on the viewer. Through this process, the movement’s ultimate aims were the consideration of how scientific processes and spiritual experiences could manifest from the production of ‘objectless’ art.
With new animated installation works by Rahul, Ant, and Lowe, this exhibition combines immersive animation works that are projection-based, kinetic, colorful and have self-reflexive relationships to technology. By presenting the work of emerging artists in a context framed by canonical art history, Kotler is disrupting a standard narrative by supposing that there is a visual language shared between the two movements–re-enabled by technology and grounded in a contemporary digital-aesthetic experience. Where a language is any system developed to aid communication, Kotler is exploring how the perception of a shared aesthetic across movements that also span generations can be experienced and understood in the works of these three artists.
Filling a third of the gallery with pattern and colour, Stacie Ant’s a man; an island is a satirical view on the unwanted online content that users sift through as they seek resonance from their Internet experience. Manipulating the perception of the viewer, messing with spatial depth through the use of sculptural forms and projected imagery, Ant’s installation encourages the mind to fill in gaps between material physicality and fleeting tangibility. Ant would like to acknowledge the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and InterAccess.
Brianna Lowe presents her interactive installation Splitting Image–an exploration of a parallel world which foregrounds the paradox of humanity’s mediated sensorial experience of the natural world. Lowe’s piece is premised on the implications of how human-mediated landscapes might be (re)defined through technological-mediation, as human comprehension is impacted by new modes of perception available through technological advances. Lowe would like to acknowledge the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and InterAccess.
Peter Rahul’s Lotus is an eight-channel video installation designed to act as an audio-visual tuning fork, where the metaphysical is represented by a series of dense video textures, each with unique vibrational intensities. Eight CRT monitors act as dormant totems that are simultaneously visible and invisible, until they are imbued with the medium of light. Accompanied by a tonal soundtrack, as generated by a digital tanpura and filling the gallery with a resonant atmosphere, these 8 frequencies harmonize to create a space for the appreciation of light and the physical form that supports it. Rahul’s work harkens back to the early days of oscillographics enhanced with full spectrum colour fields. This work aims to bring light to video’s oppressed physicality–celebrating aspects that are often considered undesirable. Rahul would like to acknowledge the funding support from the Ontario Arts Council and A Space Gallery.
About the artists
USSR-born artist, Stacie Ant utilizes her experience interpreting the Western culture during her upbringing in Eastern Europe – where the West was both romanticized and frowned upon. Based in Toronto, her ongoing journey as an eternal ex-patriot and an immigrant fuels her output of grotesque views of the world. Using video, installation and performance, Ant reinvents elements of contemporary culture through fictional, maximalist narratives. She often incorporates costumes, exaggerated makeup, composited scenery and 3D animation to ridicule pop culture and the Internet experience. Ant’s work integrates washed up celebrities, glamorized mid-century inspired environments, and gender fluid characters. Often humorous, Ant’s work offers a way of looking at a fast paced digital realm through a lens of irony and satire. www.stacieant.ca
Brianna Lowe is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Toronto, with a background in game design. Her practice explores paradox at play in humanity’s sensorially mediated understanding of the natural world. Lowe is interested in how human comprehension is impacted by new modes of perception available through technological advances. In particular, she focuses on how through these modes we can (re)define what a landscape is, and explores these questions in her work by using appropriated imagery acquired from the vast accumulation of stock photos on the internet. Lowe is also interested in investigating the conception of the original in light of digitization, and how reintegration is possible through video (as a manifestation of authenticity of the known world). www.briannalowe.com
As a techno-archaeologist, Peter Rahul specializes in glitch methodologies and exploring the limits of vintage electronics in hopes of discovering unknown functions. In his work, Rahul attempts to disrupt visual tropes commonly associated with media art by widening the scope of acceptable formats to include those associated to analog video technologies that have been left behind. The tactile nature of the hardware he uses to generate his work lead to unconventional modes of exhibition. Much of Rahul’s work is rooted in nostalgic feelings towards antiquated hardware, and uses a language of light, space, and colour to evoke affection towards these objects. Through his work, Rahul aim to revitalize the concept of the ‘aura’ in video art and explore how it manifests by first acknowledging its mechanical physical form. www.peterrahul.tumblr.com, www.vimeo.com/peterrahul
About the curator
Katie Kotler is a Toronto-based artist, writer and musician. Having completed her Master of Fine Arts at OCAD University in 2016, Kotler has most recently shown at Long Winter, OCAD Student Gallery, Luminato and completed a residency with Studio Beat. She is currently the Programming Coordinator at Xpace Cultural Centre. www.katiekotler.com
About the presentation partner
Trinity Square Video is a space to re-imagine media arts. Founded in 1971, Trinity Square Video (TSV) is a not-for-profit, charitable organization, and one of Canada’s first artist-run centres and its oldest media arts centre. For over 45 years, TSV has been a champion of media arts practices. TSV’s activities are guided by a goal to increase our members’ and audiences’ understanding and imagination of what media arts practices can be. Trinity Square strives to create supportive environments, encouraging artistic and curatorial experimentation that challenge medium specificity through education, production and presentation supports. More information available at www.trinitysquarevideo.com
TAIS programming is presented with the support of the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts