Your Kontinent Digital Carnival

Digital Carnival 2019: FIRE

Prepare to discover new worlds and encounter the unexpected through a series of avant-garde installations in the heart of Richmond!

Transforming shipping containers into pop-up galleries, Digital Carnival offers a unique perspective on the complex relationship between art, nature and technology, while contemplating what it means to live in a port city.

With FIRE as the central theme, this year’s exhibition reflects upon the growing intensity of BC forest fires in recent years, the broader environmental concerns it signals, as well as personal and collective strategies for building resilience.

The exhibition includes the Featured Artist Programme and Exhibiting Artists Programme, and showcases the works of a group of dynamic emerging national and international artists: Bagua Artist Association, John Desnoyers-Stewart, Nicole Dextras, Bridget Fairbank, Yang Guo, Melany Nugent-Noble and Trent Noble, Jasmine Sanchez-Ziller, Roberto Santaguida and Paige Smith. Featuring a combination of interactive installations, immersive video projections, virtual reality experiences, and more, Digital Carnival is a multimedia extravaganza suitable for all ages!

Presented by Cinevolution Media Arts Society in partnership with Richmond World Festival.

Guest Curator: Wynne Palmer


Funders and Partners:


Featured Artist: Nicole Dextras

The Dystopian Museum

The Dystopian Museumis a multimedia exhibition with performance elements, The Dystopian Museum examines the environmental impact of wildfires today through the lens of “eco-science-fiction” and functional garments made from plant materials. Incorporating framed prints, found objects, costume elements and digital media, the project draws upon the Greek myth of Persephone to imagine a dystopian future where a young woman is the sole survivor of a destructive wildfire.

Once a day, the audience will have the opportunity to participate in the Fire Talk Hotline— a long distance live chat between artists Nicole Dextras and Bridget Fairbank, who is currently working in a fire watch tower in northern Alberta. Fire Talk Hotlinewill offer the public a rare opportunity to learn everything they ever wanted to know about forest fires, their causes and effects, prevention strategies, and valuable fire safety tips.

 Nicole Dextras is an award-winning environmental artist working in a multitude of media. Her art practice is based in social interventions and environmental installation, rooting nature to our everyday urban experience. She is a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she was a sessional teacher from 2003 to 2013. Dextras has exhibited her work in Canada, the USA and in Asia, and has been featured in publications including Junkies Magazine, Cronica Ambiental, The Royal Academy of Arts Magazine and Art and Ecology Now. She received Future Fabrication for Surface Design Magazine’s Craftivism Award in 2017. Her work has also been featured in the television documentaries Exhibitionists, Carte de Visite, and Chacun Sa Route.

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Exhibition Dates
August 30 – September 6
Closed on Labour Day
For detailed hours, visit: http://cinevolutionmedia.com/

Special Program
Fire Talk Hotline: Nicole Dextras in conversation with Bridget Fairbank
Friday, August 30 – 8:00 PM
Saturday, August 31 – 4:00 PM

Exhibition Venue
Performance Hall and Atrium, Richmond Cultural Centre

Admission
Free

Bagua Artist Association

Alchemist’s Elixir

Alchemist’s Elixir is a sensory experience that references elixir refining in a Chinese alchemical refining furnace. Consisting of video, audio, and immersive space, the work moves towards creating a space that acts as a metaphor for both physical and spiritual cultivation of the self.

This multimedia participatory work arises from humanity’s ceaseless pursuit of immortality, eternal existence, and attempts to surpass death. Elements of the work refer to both ancient and modern, eastern and western methods of prolonging life and alleviating pain and suffering. The project is an attempt to re-examine the desire for immortality in a new framework and to discuss the parameters and notions of existence.

Bagua Artist Association is an artist collective based in Chinatown, on unceded Coast Salish territories. The collective members are Katharine Meng-Yuan Yi, Sean Cao, Yuan Liu, and Xingyue Feng. They are dedicated to experimenting and re-examining variations of Chinese traditional culture, philosophies, mythologies, traditions, customs, and their manifestation in contemporary context through the quotidian and everyday. Social engagement art, participatory and interactive performances are focuses in the practice of the collective.

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John Desnoyers-Stewart

Transcending Perception

Transcending Perception is an interactive Virtual Reality (VR) installation that allows participants to collaborate in the creative, improvisational production of multisensory experiences. Upon entering the installation, participants are assigned an instrument and can discover the system’s response through the playful exploration of movement. In doing so, it blurs the boundary between performer and audience, and reminds participants that they are creative, expressive individuals.

John Desnoyers-Stewart is an engineer, designer, and artist pursuing a PhD in Interactive Art and Technology at Simon Fraser University. His virtual reality installations activate social spaces and build upon reality rather than escape from it. These artworks become performative sites, forming connections and blurring the relationship between viewer and performer.

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Bridget Fairbank

Sprung

As a Ceramicist and Fire Tower observer, Bridget Fairbank considers flora, both wild and domestic, as a living witness to human actions. Inspired by Canadian West Coast flora, Sprung is a ceramic installation that reminds us to connect with and protect nature as we are not apart from, but a part of nature. Plants are conduits through which viewers may feel that growth is possible, and Fairbank offers them up as remedies and recommendations for human survival.

 Bridget Fairbank makes pottery, installation art, and orchestrates happenings- all of which aim for the re-imagining of everyday actions and relations. The handcrafted object is now the subversive object. Her utilitarian items act sometimes as objects of irony, sometimes as objects of intimacy and sometimes as a means to an educational end. A revolution is cooking in the kiln.

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Yang Guo

Gather/Scatter utilizes holographic technology to create an all-directional and multi-sensorial experience.The four faces of the hologram correspond with the Chinese symbolic space known as Fengshui (simplified Chinese: 风水). Walking around the hologram, viewers will experience shifting abstract characters (Yuan, simplified Chinese: ) and images of hands interacting with each other and nature. The installation will bring the viewer’s reflections on the impermanence of the fast-changing material world and the contemplation of life.

Yang Guo is a media artist and digital designer. He obtained an MFA from NSCAD University, an MA from University of the Arts London and a BA from Jiangsu University. His work is primarily digital and combines a wide variety of media (painting, film, photography, and CG). He is fascinated by traditional Chinese arts and culture and strives to integrate this rich and ancient heritage into his own art, including experimentation with visual representations of traditional Chinese music.

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Melany Nugent-Noble and Trent Noble

Third Beach

Third Beach is the first collaborative project between Melany Nugent-Noble and Trent Noble. It combines their individual practices and addresses the ways that they have experienced peripheral impacts of climate change through social and gathering spaces and routine. The project includes a large, virtual campfire and an accompanying hearth that intends to activate the installation space as a community and gathering place, and to enhance a sense of warmth, comfort, and home.

 Melany Nugent-Noble
Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Melany’s research and practice regularly engages with the political nature of public spaces, texts and speeches, and often takes form as installations and art books.

Trent Noble
Originally from Whitehorse, YT, Trent is a classically and 3D trained animator. Trent has worked on a diverse range of installations, video and interactive projects across Canada and internationally, including for Stan Douglas (Circa 1948and Helen Lawrence), the National Film Board of Canada; and the Rockheim Museum (Trondheim, Norway).

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Jasmine Sanchez-ziller

Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising is a project that weaves together video, the artist’s voice, and a soundscape that includes the artist’s own abstract music. The themes are empowerment, resurrection, and resilience, directly relating to the artist’s own life experience as a disabled female. Using a fluid medium, the project aims to immerse the viewers in as many sensory aspects as possible in order to evoke emotional responses as well as personal reflections.

Since the age of 19, Canadian self-taught artist Jasmine Sanchez-Ziller has lived with the debilitating complex chronic illness Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Before falling ill, Jasmine was a dancer, student, actor, and performer. However, by 2010 her illness had progressed to the point that she was unable to leave her home independently. As someone who had relied on her physicality as a means of self-expression, community, and identity, this loss of a definition was paralyzing. Through a long process of adjustments and experimentation, Jasmine discovered art as the new way to express herself and to communicate with the world. She explores various mediums including fine art portraits and figures as well as poetry/spoken word and musical composition.

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Roberto Santaguida

Fire Dream

Fire Dream is an animated film featuring a woman’s reflection on her first encounter with a videotaped record of a traumatic memory involving a bush fire from her youth in California.The film examines the codes of the eye-witness account, and our efforts to find meaning. It inspires us, the viewers, to rethink the relationship between self and memory: Are we conforming our memories to our beliefs about the world, or are our memories shaping how we perceive the world?

Since completing his studies in film production at Concordia University, Roberto Santaguida’s films and videos have been shown at more than 300 international festivals.

Roberto is the recipient of the K.M. Hunter Artist Award and a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany.

Paige Smith

Static

Static is a film that examines the addictive nature of content consumption through both its narrative and installation. Caught in a loop of paralyzing television programs, a girl is finally awoken from her trance only to discover there is no escape from this prison of TVs. The installation includes a small mountain of cathode ray tube televisions, mirroring those that appear in the film. The looping nature of the piece plays into the idea of never being able to escape from the constant stream of content, and the installation mirroring the setting of the film asks viewers to question their own relationship to video content.

Paige Smith is a Vancouver based experimental filmmaker that obtained her BFA in Film from Simon Fraser University. She was chosen for the 2018 VIFF Filmmaker Mentorship program, and her films have screened around the world, including at VIFF, MWFF, and the Moonrise Film Festival. Her works are experimental, often dealing with the apparatus of filmmaking. She attempts to push the limits of what filmmaking can look like with a variety of techniques such as long takes, advanced camera movements, or reflexive subject matter.

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Curatorial Statement for Digital Carnival 2019: FIRE

From the ongoing devastating effects of wild fires to our current warnings of the upcoming long-lasting effects to our climate and eco system, Digital Carnival 2019: FIRE fosters a radical call to action and for personal awareness, growth and change.

Universally known by most cultures as “the great cleanser,” FIRE is dramatic and complete, creating a neutral ground for the growth of new ideas, behaviour and life choices. This transformative element reflects radical shifts in thinking and doing – requiring a paradigm shift!

This paradigm shift is reflected in the rise of artistic practice taking on the baggage of what it means to live and work sustainably and how many artists are now taking their work directly to the streets. This shift in thinking also asks how our current technology can assist in creative problem solving, through the capture and dissemination of ideas and community building through storytelling.

Digital Carnival 2019: FIRE is the final installment in guest curator, Wynne Palmer’s presentation of an element-themed quartet of curated exhibitions for Cinevolution Media Arts Society: WATER (2016) LAND (2017) AIR (2018) FIRE (2019).

~ Wynne Palmer, curator

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