m e a s u r e
September 24 - December 10. 2023
Closed November 11 - Remembrance Day
It has been suggested that time was the first measure. The act of witnessing, questioning and documenting the movement of day into night; the change of seasons; the cyclical movement of sun, moon, and stars…these delineations have connected us intimately to our environment. Even before we were human, this type of phenomenological measure was “written into our biology, hard-coded in our DNA as circadian rhythms….coordinat(ing) each of our bodies to the spin of the planet that is our home”. (1)
We have spent millennia devising breathtaking strategies and tools to measure distance, time, speed, capacity...from the span of the heavens, to the clock, to the internal structure of our planet. Measurements that are increasingly refined, and standardized; subject to the occasional imaginative burst that rocks our world and changes everything. How will technology continue to affect our tangible, corporeal connections with the natural world?
MEASURE reflects on the interconnections of time, light, colour, season, the movement of celestial bodies, and how we perceive the measure of all these things. Seven remarkable artists working at the intersection of science, art and technology capture a measure of the world around us; acknowledging their place in a technologically mediated world, while remaining grounded in the senses and a suggestion of embodied experience.
(1) Beyond Measure, James Vincent
HD Projector, custom software, computer, three stainless steel rulers
In this work Matthew Biederman measures, tracks and sorts an ever-changing, colour spectrum. The work was created using generative software. Coloured stripes are sorted according to the amount of R,G,B present in each stripe; sorted and grouped into recurring patterns, rhythms and intervals of colour. The work considers where one colour begins and the other ends, exploring the limits of human colour perception and our ability to resolve minute variations in the world around us.
Matthew Biederman has been performing installing and exhibiting works which explore themes of perception media saturation and data systems from a multiplicity of perspectives since the mid nineties. Biederman was the recipient of the Bay Area Artist Award in Video by New Langton Arts in 1999 First Place in the Visual Arts category of Slovenia’s Break21 festival. He has served as artist-in-residence at a variety of institutions and institutes including the Center for Experimental Television on numerous occasions CMU’s CREATE lab the Wave Farm and many more.He has since co-founded the Arctic Perspective Initiative with Marko Peljhan in 2007 a non-profit international group of individuals and organizations whose goal is to promote the creation of open authoring communications and dissemination infrastructures for the circumpolar region. While working at the intersection of art science and community API also has been included in group exhibitions and biennales worldwide as well as several European solo exhibitions one of which was named as a ‘Top 10’ of 2010 by ARTFORUM magazine (Arctic Perspectives, HMKV Dortmund).His works have been exhibited in the US South America Europe and Japan in a variety of festivals and venues such as 7 ATA Festival Internacional (Lima) the 11th Lyon Bienniale the 2011 Quebec Trienniale 2014 Montreal Bienniale (Musee des Arts Contemporain) Bienniale of Digital Art (BIAN, Montreal) Artissima (Turin, IT) Moscow Biennale Art and Alternative Visions (Tokyo) and Sonic Acts (NASA, Amsterdam) among others. As a film and video maker his works have been included in the FILE festival (Sao Paulo) New Forms Festival (Vancouver) the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Paris/Berlin International Meetings and the Chicago Underground Film Festival. His public works have been shown at the ZeroOne2006 Festival (San Jose US) the SCAPE Biennial in New Zealand as well as producing custom commissions. He has collaborated with musicians as a visual artist since 1999 performing at the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris as well as Ars Electronica AV Festival Elektra Mutek Futuresonic FILE and many many more. His works are included in public corporate and private collections in North America.Biederman is currently represented by Art45 and lives and works in Montreal Quebec.
Single Channel, Digital Animation/Video
In this work, Lee measures & tracks changing seasons and time through colour, sound, recorded sound (birds, animals, weather etc), & the tracked movement of celestial bodies. In the gallery we see an animated video + sound installation that captures distance and time as a complex, participatory flow through which we experience the rhythm and changes of seasons.
Annette Lee identifies as mixed race, Lakota, Irish and Chinese; her communities are Ojibwe, D(L)akota. She has developed a multidisciplinary approach to art as social practice and social justice with a focus on painting, digital and interactive art. Lee is Professor of Astronomy & Physics at St. Cloud State University, an Honorary/Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland in the Centre for Astrophysics, an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, and a Professional Visual Artist Professor of Astronomy & Physics. Lee has been an invited/plenary speaker at the Astronomical Society of Australia-General Assembly, Sanford Underground Research Facility, First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario, Sophia Centre for Cosmology in Culture Conference, Canadian Space Agency Quebec, American Physical Society, American Astronomical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Adler Planeterium/Webster Distinguished Lecturer,
Steel, LED, Electronics, Custom Software
In this work Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves measures and tracks the length of time it takes light to reach Earth from the Sun & from Venus. The work reintroduces the idea of cosmic time linked to natural cycles as a reference system. In the gallery we see a moving band of light, encapsulated in steel. The movement of light corresponds to the time/distance it takes light to reach earth from each celestial body.
Born in Athens in 1979, Félicie d´Estienne d´Orves lives and works in Paris. A visual artist whose chosen material is light, her installations and performances call on a phenomenological knowledge of reality and question the conditioning of our vision. Light is both the tool and the subject of her work. She is interested in defining the physical and cosmological limits of space, through light and its speed.
Her work has been presented at the Centre Pompidou – Grand Paris Express – Le Centquatre 104 – La FAB Agnès B – Nuit Blanche (Paris) – Le Fresnoy Scène Nationale (Tourcoing) – Chroniques Festival (Marseille) – Lieu Unique (Nantes) – Abbey of Maubuisson (Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône) – The New Patrons (Leuven/Belgium) – Watermans Arts Center (London) – State Studio (Berlin) – New Art Space/Sonic Acts (Amsterdam) – TBA Teatro do Bairro Alto (Lisbon) – Ars Electronica (Linz) – Elektra Festival (Montreal) – Day For Night (Houston) – OCAT (Shanghai) – Aram Art Museum (Goyang) – Tongyong Triennale – Jeju Biennale (Korea) .
Celestial Tracking Mount and Tripod, Laser, Cables, Battery Pack
In this durational, site-specific work, Nizam measures and tracks the movement of the moon around the earth. A celestial tracking device on a tripod, follows and tracks the moon in real time; a laser activates a material applied to the surface of the gallery resulting in a luminescent trace of the moon's orbit, left behind in the gallery.
James Nizam is a Lebanese Canadian artist based in Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Berlin. His practice investigates photography within an expanded field of the sculptural and seeks to unveil the possibilities for photographic images to activate and inhabit space. He exhibits in Canada and internationally, most recently with a residency in Berlin, and at Galerie Clement and Schneider in Bonn, Musée Regional de Rimouski and Dazibao in Quebec, Kunst Im Tunnel in Dusseldorf, The Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Fotogalerie Wien in Austria, REITER Galerie in Berlin and Butler institute of American Art, Ohio. Nizam is represented by Birch Contemporary in Toronto, Reiter Galerie in Leipzig, Berlin, London, and Gallery Jones in Vancouver. He has been long-listed for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent prize for contemporary Canadian art.
Electronic Media Installation
In this work Storey measures and tracks the relative movement and perception of time in this sculptural installation comprising 60 clocks, with extended second hands, all turning to produce a visible wave formation. Time Dilation is the difference in the amount of time two clocks measure in the same inertial frame. In short, the clock that is moving at a higher velocity will tick slower.
Storey’s sculptural practice lies primarily in the realm of monumental public art with a focus on the social dynamics of space, time and perception. His work often references industrial and mechanical processes. He has exhibited extensively since 1982 including solo exhibitions at the Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery and Or Gallery in Vancouver and the 49th Parallel in NYC, the Power Plant in Toronto, Indiana State University Gallery, Bloomington (1995), and the Centre Culturel Canadian, Paris, France. His work has also shown internationally in group exhibitions. Storey has completed a number of public commissions in Canada and the US.
Looped Three-Channel HD Installation, 4 channel Audio, Duration 10:55
Heliocentric uses time-lapse photography and astronomical tracking to plot the sun’s trajectory across a series of landscapes. The entire environment is seen panning past the camera whilst the sun stays in the centre of each frame, enabling us to gauge the earth's rotation and orbit around the sun. As the Sun's light becomes disrupted by passing weather conditions and the environment through which we encounter it, it audibly plays them as if it were a stylus.
It is usually all but impossible to visualize how the earth moves around the sun, even though we know it to be true. Instead we ‘see’ the sun move around us. The ‘heliocentric’ view of the universe was debated from the third century BC onwards and remained contentious into modern times.
Shooting into the sun creates many intriguing artifacts; lens flares and glare spill over the landscape, white outs burn the image, and colours bleed into one creating aureoles. The power of the sun still exceeds what both the human eye and the artificial eye of the camera can bear. And whilst our knowledge of the universe is ever-growing, we can only encounter and know it from our own humble vantage point.
Co-commissioned by AV Festival + Northern Lights Film Festival UK.
Semiconductor is UK artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. Over twenty-five years they have become known for an innovative body of work, which explores the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lenses of science and technology. Their works bring into tangible experience that which is outside of what is humanly perceivable, confronting the viewer with information which is ordinarily outside of a human scale, both of time and space. Detached from its scientific framework, data becomes a material in its own form, creating a space for reflection upon our relationship to phenomena at the extremities of our perception. Their works seek to bring about a questioning of our position as observer, and a critical reflection upon how perception of the material world is always technologically mediated. Scale is harnessed to confront, through stretching the imagination and to position the human subject as part of the wider ecosystem of our universe. Through rigorous research with scientists, data, which has been obtained through observation over unfathomable distances or through experiments into the quantum realm, is embodied through sculpture, moving image and sound, framed by the very tools of this knowledge acquisition. This framing questions how the anthropocentric view of events beyond human reach conditions our everyday experience of the natural world, emphasising the subjective nature of science. Their work at once celebrates the technical and conceptual achievements of science whilst being equally concerned with the language and limits of scientific endeavour. Semiconductor’s works often evolve from intensive periods of research spent in science laboratories, including CERN, Geneva (2015); NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California (2005); Mineral Sciences Laboratory, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (2010); and the Charles Darwin Research Station, Galapagos (2010).
Semiconductor have exhibited their work internationally, selected exhibitions include: Indivisible, New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Canada, 2022; HALO, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK, 2021(solo show); Semiconductor, The 14th Media Art Biennale Santiago, National Center of Contemporary Arts, (CNAC), Santiago, Chile, 2019 (solo show); The Technological Sublime, City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 2019 (solo show); Quantica, CCCB, Barcelona, 2019; HALO, The 4th Audemars Piguet Commission at Art Basel, 2018; The View from Nowhere, Le Lieu Unique, Nantes, France, 2018 (solo show); SUPERPOSITION: Equilibrium and Engagement, 21st Biennale of Sydney, Australia 2018; Groundwork, CAST, Cornwall, 2018; No Such Thing As Gravity, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2017; Earthworks, Sonar Planta, Sonar Festival, Barcelona, 2016 (solo show); The Universe and Art, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2016; Infosphere, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2016; Quantum of Disorder, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich, 2015; Da Vinci: Shaping the Future, ArtScience Museum, Singapore, 2014; Let There Be Light, House of Electronic Arts, Basel 2013 (solo show); Field Conditions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2012; International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2012; New York Film Festival: Views from the Avant Garde, 2012; Worlds in the Making, FACT, Liverpool 2011 (solo show); Earth; Art of a Changing World, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2009 and Sundance Film Festival, 2009. Collections include: Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Sorigué Foundation, Spain; Audemars Piguet, Switzerland, private collections.
Consulate General of France in Vancouver /
Nicolas Wierinck, Paris
We recognise and respect that New Westminster is on the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Halkomelem speaking peoples.
We acknowledge that colonialism has made invisible their histories and connections to the land.
As a City, we are learning and building relationships with the people whose lands we are on.