It seems that time has proceeded without me, while I have been busy with holidays, birthdays, family life, and with preparing for two upcoming shows. Lots of correspondence, and organizational preparation can stall development. However, I think I have failed to update everyone on the progression of my work since the field recording trip to PEI. The amount of footage collected there was completely overwhelming, and upon returning to Halifax into the arms of CFAT to sift through the abundance information.
While doing this, I have been looking forward thinking about various modes of communications, especially foghorns, which I have begun collecting footage of since returning to Halifax. The PEI trip in November involved visiting over 30 beaches around the entire circumference of the Island, which I think opened up opportunities to take in the surroundings and sensorial underpinnings of each place that are not possible to experience from a distance.
The physical infrastructure for communications, weather forecasting and power lines became much more informative part of this trip than I had expected, and I think has shaped how I plan to construct the physical installation of FUTURE TELEPHONE. Akin to Marshall McLuhans’ famous observation about the lightbulb, the Foghorn especially spoke to one of the most fundamental precursors to communications tools, which is something that we are hearing much less of around populated harbours today in cities like Vancouver or Halifax where private residents increasingly occupy past industrial ports. Halifax still uses foghorns, but they seem to be slowly vanishing as GPS and sonar technology becomes the required tool for navigation amongst seafarers. The temporal and mobile nature of foghorn technology speaks to the Quonset hut/ half-barrel structures in my previous project STATION as something that can be easily placed as a retrofit in a vast and unpopulated landscape, acting as an independent hub drifting through an empty and unknown space. Sound is of course related to this, and when decisions are made to make temporary and portable structures to house infrastructure, there is always the thought that they could be easily applied elsewhere, and therefore allow for interpretation and expanded universe.
So the structure of my future telephones is beginning to take shape, and in the coming weeks I will be experimenting with constructing this structure in my studio on Agricola Street, in the CFAT project room and electronics lab, and in a few surprise locations. My upcoming show with Third Space Gallery in Saint John, NB may allow for some room to experiment with FUTURE TELEPHONE alongside my planned project titled SIGNAL/FLOE. I will be installing this work from February 6th – 13th on the frozen ice in Renforth Cove, just outside of Saint John.
SIGNAL/FLOE is a new site-responsive generation of my recently completed project STATION consisting of 36 ice sculptures, alongside a video projection in Renforth Cove, NB. SIGNAL/FLOE brings together fragmented visual imagery from those who had first-hand experience working and living on the DEW Line. This installation also considers the relationships between technology, media and landscape, and the impact that temporary cold-war infrastructure had on the environment, and the people of Northern Canada.
There should be updates on the Third Space Gallery website soon. The Town of Rothesay, NB has also kindly allowed us to have access to the Bill McGuire Centre to use as a venue alongside the installation. If you’re in the area, please feel free to stop by, I’d love to see you, and may even put you to work!
February 6 – 12 – Installation of work (work in progress)
February 13th, 5pm – 9pm – The Completed work SIGNAL/FLOE will be on display in Renforth Cove on the ice. Reception to follow at the Bill McGuire Centre.
February 14th, 4pm – 5:50pm – Artists talk about creative process and Q and A at the Bill McGuire Centre.