The Frame is the Keyframe: Frame Anomalies

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Erratic Silence - Marten Berkman


Erratic Silence
Marten Berkman
Interactive stereo 3D video installation – loop (03:00), 2016
Filmed at Dechenla, NWT
Performance by Emily Sessford and Jennifer Walden
Interactive software design by Baptiste Bohelay
Camera, sound, text, motion, particle parameters, S3D edit by Marten Berkman


Berkman’s work concerns the land and our relationship to it. He uses his medium to open an intimate door on remote geographies, and offers reflection on our connections to these places. In Erratic Silence, two women wander and seek to bridge Brontë and the boreal, searching for their home between boulders left by glaciers like apostrophes in letters from the heart. In this piece, in which viewers create ephemeral shadows in remote landscapes they may never see first hand, Berkman is asking if a sense of detached impact is perhaps an accurate portrait of our collective relationship to the far north.

Erratic Silence is an interactive stereo 3D installation. As composition in 2D is the relationship and interaction of form within the x and y-axis boundaries of the canvas, in stereo 3D it is specifically the addition of the z-axis which turns the canvas from a surface into a portal. This shift of the keyframe relative to the image frame determines the perceived depth of the animation. Where the keyframe is a necessary tool to situate the animation amongst objects in 3D space, in so doing the 2D surface of the frame dissolves and merges with the 3D physicality of the gallery space.  Sensors and software pick up viewers movements in the gallery and generate keyframe particles mapped into the 3D image. These particles have a lifespan and a behaviour determined by the artist, but their generation and placement are determined by the viewer’s presence and movement in real time. In sum, the piece presents an inversion of the passive relationship between viewer and animator. Perhaps a similar inversion can happen in our relationship to the land.



Marten Berkman grew up in both natural and manufactured worlds. A visual artist, film maker and photographer, Berkman’s artistic practice has been bridging these two realms throughout his career. The theme of his work is the land and our relationship with it as an industrial culture, leading to explorations ranging from the manufactured spaces at the heart of our urban centres, to the wilderness of very remote environments on six continents, including the Yukon territory where he has been living and practicing for 25 years. With a background in drawing, painting and printmaking, his work has evolved to photography, film making, stereo 3D imaging, network-based projects, and interactive stereo 3D video installation. His work appears locally, nationally and internationally in collections (CC Art Bank), television broadcast (CBC, PBS), speaking engagements, public and private galleries, and festivals such as VIFF, BMFF, RVCQ, Interactive Futures, Electric Fields, 3Dflic, and the International Symposium of Electronic Arts.



The Frame is the Keyframe: Frame Anomalies

November 10, 2016 – December 16, 2016

Featuring new works by:

Becka Barker
Leslie Bell
Marten Berkman
Philippe Blanchard
Stephen Broomer
Sabrina Ratté
Nicolas Sassoon

Curated by Madi Piller, with an essay by Clint Enns


Presented with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts – Media Arts Initiatives


and with additional funding provided by

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and in partnership with

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