Open Ears, Kitchener

Open Ears

Fri, May 27, 2016 9:00pm
Sun, Jun 26, 2016 11:59am
Kitchener Sky Gallery
12-34 Young St Kitchener, ON, N2H 6P6 Canada

Curated by Karie Liao

When Open Ears wanted to animate the Cube in City Hall with a reel of GIFs that would tie-in to our festival theme - ReReRe – we immediately appealed to Karie Liao, former artistic director of CAFKA, for help in creating something weird and wonderful. Take a moment during the installation dates to look up and see something you’ve never, ever seen before.

People of the Future is a curated series of GIFs inspired by synesthesia, a condition in which the response of one sense is met with the experience of another; “feeling” images, “smelling” sounds, or “tasting” colours. This GIF reel is comprised of recent and new works by Jennifer Chan (Toronto), Clint Enns (Toronto), Winston Hacking (Toronto), Alison S.M. Kobayashi (Toronto/New York), Jodie Mack (Chicago/Vermont), and Phillip David Stearns (New York).

Although these artists have practices with distinct styles and processes, their work often incorporates found materials, animation, video, film, and new media, and shares the strong characteristic of heightened visual and visceral tactility. Winston Hacking and Jodie Mack employ handmade and analog animation techniques in their GIFs that mimic the characteristics of modern technology. Similarly, Alison S.M. Kobayashi’s GIFs incorporates retro technology but focuses on the hidden narratives found in these discarded objects. Like the other three artists, Jennifer Chan and Clint Enns are cultural scavengers. They appropriate found imagery and employ amateur aesthetics to create GIFs that critique media conventions and Internet culture, conjuring mixed feelings of suspended disbelief, nostalgia, humour, and discomfort. Phillip Stearns’ featured work is an investigation of computerized vision and behavior. His GIFs resonate with natural cyclical processes and anthropomorphic qualities that evoke a sense of familiarity and synchronized rhythm in the viewer. These visually affective and engaging GIFs will be exhibited on The Cube, an immense two-sided projected surface located high atop Kitchener City Hall. The Cube can be seen for miles. This GIF reel will provide much-needed creative visual excitement in the current day-to-day landscape of ubiquitous mundane commercial digital imagery.

In some sense those who experience synesthesia can be considered “people of the future” as they are able to experience reality in more forms than the average person. In our current digital age, saturated with sound and imagery, this series of GIFs may stimulate onlookers’ intuition and articulate a hypothetical future, in which we are all synesthetes experiencing our surroundings in an even more complete way.

GIF reel includes:

1.     Fluctuation, Phillip David Stearns

2.     3D GIF/Chromaflex Loop/ Confused Rain/ Debbie Does ASCII (loop)/ Decay Loop/ Self Improvement (Loop)/ UFO, Clint Enns

3.     Forced Reps, Winston Hacking

4.     Cam Twist, Jennifer Chan

5.     Desperate, Jennifer Chan

6.     Webster Chicago, Alison S.M. Kobayashi

7.     Unsubscribe #3: Glitch Envy, Jodie Mack

8.   Lament II, Phillip David Stearns