D U S T
June 4 - August 13 2023
Opening Reception 3:00 - 4:30 June 3
Dust does not stay outside us but is a narrative that enters us: dust has access in
every breath inhaled, and it entangles with our tissue….”
Search and you will find dust woven through the universe; swept up, dispersed and deposited across the globe; collecting in every corner of our lives. All of humanity lives on a fragment of cosmic dust…and we are dust. Visible, invisible, meaningful, reviled; dust has been exploited by artists as material, subject, ontology and here as landscape…full of properties, concepts and relationships and the potential to convey expansive ideas, Dust has been handed down to us through histories, words and images. In this exhibition it is interpreted through complex technologies, data collection, augmented videography and sound. DUST brings together three award-winning artists who have created extraordinary, populated landscapes, each underscored with striking aggregations of sound.
The idea of dust has long captivated artists who often position it as an inevitable consequence of time. In this exhibition, working technologies + sound are used to foreground and expand upon the hidden dimensions of dust as landscape. Each work offers us brilliant, new ways of thinking about landscape, interpreted through human interaction, analysis and effect. Denis Beaubois considers the dust collected from airport landscapes (geographies of nowhere), which he then painstakingly dissects and anatomizes to convey meaning. Michael Saup brings us face to face with the hidden scourge of dust in our own communities and around the world, revealed to us through Virtual Reality (VR) and composed sound. Herman Kolgen creates an orphic descent through dust, from a world of light to a shadowy, fragmentary, dream world, imagined through video microscopy and composed sound.
Each landscape in this exhibition is potent, immersive and experiential; each considers dust as it reflects and affects the human story. Together they present us with extraordinary ways to think about dust and landscape at the beginning of the twenty first century.
Single Channel Video Installation with Sound
Process Videos - JFK, Frankfurt and Perth Airports Dust Brick
Duration 15 minutes
No Longer Adrift, by Denis Beaubois presents a series of documentary, process videos in which the artist performs ritualistic, performative actions in the departure lounges of JFK, Frankfurt and Perth. The artist is presented using a carpet sweeper to collect dust. Beaubois focusses his attention exclusively on his own dramatic world, absorbed in its fiction, in a state that might suggest "public solitude”. A companion work faces the process videos; a dramatically enhanced and monumental video landscape of this collected dust. The slow, unblinking gaze of a panning camera crosses allows us to fully appreciate the diverse, material qualities of this fragmentary and, paradoxically, collective landscape. Through macro videography each individual fragment is rediscovered as evidence of places, past and present, revealing an entangled landscape shed by people and objects in transit to other places. Beaubois references migration and displacement through the discarded fragments and composite territories as well as referencing his own personal history. The carpet sweeper has woven these isolated fragments of dust together, into a single, small landscape…the ubiquitous dust brick, presented in the gallery. The dust brick has been described by Beaubois as an enforced grouping through circumstance; every fibre stripped of its history and identity…finally and generically labeled as dust.
Denis Beaubois, born in Mauritius, living in Australia, was a member of performance ensemble Gravity Feed and the Post Arrivalists. He has performed with Japanese company Gekidan Kaitaisha in the Drifting View X in Tokyo. He holds an MA in photography and performance as well as an MFA in Time Based Arts from COFA, UNSW, where he also lectures in video art.
His works have been exhibited internationally including TATE Modern and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and the Zero One Biennale in San Jose, The Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei and Wood St Galleries in Pittsburgh. His works have also been included in The SCAPE Biennale of Art in public space, New Zealand, The Rencontres Internationale Paris, Berlin festival, The Koldo Mitxelena Kulturnea in San Sebastian, The Santiago Biennale in Chile, The Adelaide film festival in Australia, and as part of the Transmediale program, Berlin He has received numerous awards for his works most notably winning the Bonn Videonale (Germany), and receiving the Judges special prize for the Internationaler Medien Kunst Preis, ZKM.
5 channel video installation with sound
Qwartz Award, Paris
Dust Surface by Herman Kolgen is inspired by the influential, 1920 Man Ray photograph Elevage de Poussiere (Dust Breeding). Integrating macro-videography, video-microscopy and sound, Kolgen takes us on a dark, orphic descent from surface light, down through living, biological matter… through sediment and magnetic fields ; the camera sinking deep into buried layers of inferred time; describing a process of becoming dust. Suggestive of a sort of katabasis, the work presents a hallucinatory vision of underworld landscape; a gritty, flickering, staccato sound composition underscores the descent. In his series of Dust Accumulations, Kolgen writes of giving form to what the eye cannot capture, revealing particle matter and fibrous networks, deep structures and complexities. At the threshold between invisible and visible the work probes the coexistence of both the human and non-human spheres, with the creation of multiple, intermediate territories.
Multidisciplinary Canadian artist Herman Kolgen has worked for over three decades across the spectrum of media arts. Kolgen refers to himself as a “audiocinetic sculptor” who creates installations, video and film, performance and sound sculptures that are characterised by his “radiographic approach to neurosensory imprints and stimuli”, allowing the invisible to be seen, consistently exploring the intimate relationships between sound and image. He has been presented worldwide at the Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, Berlin’s Transmediale, Isea, the Georges Pompidou centre, Cimatics, Dissonanze, Mutek, Elektra, Sonar, Tapei digital arts and Shanghai E-Arts. He has also performed with Paris’ ensemble Intercontemporain and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is the recipient of numerous prizes including Qwartz, Ars Electronica, The Festival Nouveau Cinema Nouveaux Medias de Montreal, The Best Experimental Film Award from The Independent Film Festival of New York and Los Angeles, and the Prix du Conseil General from the Festival International Videoformes de Clermont-Ferrand.
Herman Kolgen lives and works in Montreal, Canada.
Michael Saup, (Matevž Kolenc musical score)
4 Module VR Installation with video projection
DUST VR by Michael Saup makes use of virtual reality (VR) to represent, explore and confront the great scourge of urban particulate matter on earth. Using software programmed by the artist, the artwork technology is used to interpret and connect particulate emissions from 10 separate dust sensors installed throughout New Westminster, as well as show us emission-landscapes from sensors dotted throughout the world. Using a VR Head-set, the visitor to the gallery is able to enter the space of each sensor location. We are dropped into an uncanny, landscape, integrated from open-source street locations and real-time (citizen-collected) data, representing the real-time, movements and levels of dust air pollution at that spot. It is an aestheticized experience; at once captivating and horrifying . The score by Matevž Kolenc haunts this liminal, performance-private space, reminiscent of dystopian sci-fi; underlining the real-world threat of particulate dust on future lives and future cities.
Michael Saup is a German artist, researcher, instrumentalist, filmmaker and coder, pioneering the use of software as an artistic medium. He studied music, computer science and visual communication. He has acted as professor at HfG/ZKM in Germany and as the founding director of the Oasis Archive of the European Union. He is the co-founder of the Open Home Project, a humanitarian initiative to help people being affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. Michael Saup’s work focuses on the underlying forces of nature and society; an ongoing research into what he calls the “Archaeology of Future”. Michael Saup : “Art is the Signature of our Species.” Among his works are sound driven computer animations, interactive concerts and interactive site-specific light installations. In the early 2000’s his Weapons of Mass Education workshops were given in India, Afghanistan, Morocco and Europe. He shows in major museums, festivals and theatres worldwide, and has produced collaborative works with diverse, contemporary artists. He is now based in Berlin.
Matevž Kolenc is a composer, arranger, producer and instrumentalist. He started his career as a music composer for theatre performances, but later became a driving force behind the band Melodrom with whom they released four full length studio albums between 2004 and 2010 (Nika records). Since 2012 he is also an active member of Laibach, for whom he writes, arranges and produces music. Most notably, he collaborated with Laibach on their albums “Spectre” and “Also sprach Zarathustra” (2017, Mute records), last being entirely his work, originally created for the purpose of a theatre performance by the same name (directed by Matjaž Berger), and later released as a full length album and also performed in rearranged version by Laibach with Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra (2018).
Drehmoment – KulturRegion Stuttgart curated by Benjamin Heidersberger
High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)
Oval Office / Schauspielhaus Bochum curated by Tobias Staab
with the help of Andrea Winter, Andreas Erhart, Dietmar Offenhuber,
St Maria Kirche Stuttgartcreated with C++, Meshlab, QGIS and openframeworks
Data feeds by: https://sensor.community (formerly known as luftdaten.info) https://here.com
https://www.google.com, fair use for cultural and educational purposes
Lukas Mocek, Pierre-Jean Guéno, Rajko Zschiegner and David Lackovic of Sensor.Community established a contributors driven global sensor network that creates Open Environmental Data. The mission of Sensor.Community is to inspire and enrich people’s lives by offering a platform for the collective curiosity in nature that is genuine, joyful and positive. The network consists of sensors that are built by individuals and communities around the world. These sensors are used to measure environmental data such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, and air quality. The data collected by these sensors is then made available to everyone through an open data platform. The platform allows users to access real-time environmental data from around the world. This data can be used for research, education, and advocacy purposes. sensor.community/de/contributors/
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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.