Order, Passion, Becoming – a Startup Week Exhibition at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art


Order, Passion, Becoming
Aleksandra Dulic and Kenneth Newby

Produced by the Centre for Culture and Technology, University of British Columbia

Presented by Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

February 18 to March 18, 2014
Reception:  Friday March 7, 7pm

The reception celebrates art, technology and ecology in an opening day event for Okanagan Start-Up Week 2014 and closing day for University of British Columbia’s Research Week.

Order, Passion, Becoming, a multimedia art exhibition that weaves cultural identity with natural landscapes to create an ecological sense of place.

This dynamic artwork engages with the metaphor of the mosaic, a defining characteristic of Canadian ethno-cultural identity, with an ecological perspective. The mosaic as a metaphor implies that the pieces are static and separate from each other; in contrast, ecology as a metaphor implies that the parts are evolving and interdependent. The artwork links these two metaphors to reflect and depict our contemporary multicultural and multilingual reality through an expanded framework of diversity by including natural landscapes and sounds within the cultural and verbal richness of the Canadian environment. The composition of such a mosaic may help us view environmental challenges as not simply problems of science and technology but as core social, cultural and spiritual concerns.

Through the composition of dynamic images the show expresses the merging of humans and nature. Meaning, both broad and focused, is constructed from layers of portraiture based on a set of faces drawn from the beautifully diverse community characteristic of British Columbia. The work is reflective of our contemporary cultural reality and depicts people intertwined with the materials and landscapes of our natural environment. It weaves cultural identity through merging ethno-cultural diversity with a sense of place. Approaching the cultural framework holistically may help catalyze an evolution in understanding of cultural diversity from a cross-cultural framework to one inclusive of ecological communities. This exhibition is an attempt to depict an expanded community, where ecological principles take an active part in cultural representation, permeating software design and composition processes.  In the artwork, culturally diverse voices are woven into nature images and sounds through symbolic multimedia elements that allow participants to experience this dynamic community. The media sculpture is composed of multivocal images distributed in space and time. The exhibition includes four artworks that together build the complex mosaic image: Order of Passions, where each broken mirror piece reflects a fraction a different person that together creates a composite face; Leaves, a forest of linguistically complex voices that together build an image of diversity; Becoming World, a generative system for a huge variety of hybrid personas, a merging of the human and the world we inhabit; There Must be Something in the Water, an interaction of human and technological presence in a natural ecosystem.

 Biographies of Directors and key contributors

Dr. Aleksandra Dulic is Director of the Centre for Culture and Technology, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, University of British Columbia. As an artist-scholar Aleksandra is working at the intersection of interactive multimedia installation and live performance with research foci in cross-cultural media performance, interactive animation and computational poetics. She has received a number of awards for her artwork, which is widely presented in exhibitions, festivals, conferences and television broadcasts across Europe, Asia and North America. These works include films, animated media performances, interactive computer installations and software tools for interactive animation. She is active as an artist, curator, writer, educator, teaching courses, presenting and publishing papers across North America, Australia, Europe and Asia.

Kenneth Newby is artist scholar and Associate Professor,
 University of the Fraser Valley. As media artist, composer-performer, educator, interaction designer, and audio producer Kenneth’s creative practice explores the use of technology to enable media performances and installations that are rich in aural, visual and cultural nuances. His work is widely presented in exhibitions, concerts, festivals, and radio broadcasts throughout Canada, Asia, Europe, and the USA. These works include compositions of media performance, electro-acoustic and acoustic music; interactive computer systems for live performance and installation; software tools for composition of music and animation, new composition for Javanese and Balinese gamelan ensembles; interdisciplinary collaborations with composers and artists in various disciplines (film, video, dance, theatre, poetry, shadow play) and participation in improvisational ensembles.

David Kadish is Master of Fine Arts Student at the University of British Columbia. As a recent MASc graduate at the Centre for Culture and Technology and the Advanced Control and Intelligent Systems lab and at UBC Okanagan David’s work focuses on the intersection of fine art production and technology design. He completed his BASc Systems Design Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo and spent a term on exchange at Lunds Universitet in Lund, Sweden. His research focuses on computer recognition of facial expressions with the goal of applying it to an artistic installation. In his spare time, he works on technology-mediated public art and systems to minimize the use of natural resources.

Jeannette Angel is PhD candidate in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program at UBCO. Her research focus is engaging local communities in dialogue and action around water challenges and solutions in the Okanagan. Recent interdisciplinary projects include lowering our carbon footprint, an interactive performance encouraging sustainable behaviour and jardin des trois soeurs, an organic art garden at École L’Anse au Sable School in Kelowna. Jeannette has a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal; a Master’s in Art History from the University of Washington in Seattle and professional dancer training with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg. She has performed and taught in Canada, the United States and France.

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