Curator’s Tour of BRINK at the New Media Gallery, New Westminster

Hi all, we we are really fortunate to be able to spend our next seminar on a curator’s tour of the New Media Gallery’s current exhibition BRINK. We will meet at the entrance to the gallery at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 24th. The tour will take approximately 1 hour. See you there!

The word brink comes from the old norse, meaning the sharp edge of a hill or boundary. Over time it has come to mean the verge of a situation or disaster; a critical point beyond which success or catastrophe occurs.

 BRINK is a group exhibition that pivots between absolute control and anarchy. Seven electronic media & robotic works and video installations suggest an adagio of fragile equilibriums. There are ambiguous tensions here; between freedom of choice and its repercussions; between what we understand as success, failure or stasis. Works teeter, circle and fail. There is an acute awareness of boundaries. The timing and anticipation of what might happen next; the resolution we hope for (the resolution we fear) leads us to the brink.

The five artists in Brink work between disciplines. Miguel Angel Rios and Nelmarie du Preez are represented by lens-based works that contain allusions to historic game playing, territorialism and a search for control. Battles play out on both a grand and human scale, exposing power struggles and symbiotic relationships. Stefan Tiefengraber and David Bowen give us either detached choice or ungovernable aggression; the promise of destruction is imminent and perhaps even tantalizing: these are strange attractors. In the centre of the exhibition a work by Jacob Tonski enacts a fragile dance of restraint & perseverance; containing the promise that some inherent and hidden mechanism will continue to hold things in place. Yet it is easy to foresee each tipping point and the warnings of collapse.”

The featured image is from David Bowen’s fly revolver. “fly revolver (2013) by David Bowen is a sculptural installation in which the common house fly controls the actions and firing of a revolver. The fed & watered flies live inside an acrylic sphere which has a target as a backdrop. A robotic ‘arm’ holding a revolver is located next to the sphere. The movements of the flies are collected via video, then processed using MaxMSP. These movements are output to the robotic arm that aims the revolver in real-time based on the relative location of the fly on a target. As the flies fly and interact inside their terrarium they pass in front of and land on the target, prompting the device to respond. What the viewer experiences is a weapon controlled by unpredictable and uncalculated agency; flailing suddenly into space ; pointing suddenly at an observer.

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