CONTAMINANT: A Digital Sugar Cubed Student Exhibition

March 4 – 19, 2016
TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary’s U-Hall Community Space – 2009 10th Ave SW
Tuesday – Friday @ 11AM – 5PM, Saturday @ 12 – 5PM
Opening Reception: Friday, March 4 @ 8PM

Curated by Audrey Burch
Featuring works by Sandrine Anna-Brigita, Oksana Kryzhanivska, Jordan Schinkel, Anna Semenoff, and Jadda Tsui

Exhibition space has been generously donated by TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary

To see the program brochure, go to:

Contaminant: Revealing the intersection of new media art and scientific method

By Audrey Burch

This exhibition, featuring students from the University of Calgary and the Alberta College of Art and Design, sees science and art come together to form a homogenous whole. Historically, we have seen science integrate into numerous modes of thought. For instance, looking back to Golden Eras of art, we have seen these two fields intersect in the transition from the European Renaissance to the Early Modern Age. In modern times, dubbed the “Age of Information,” specialization has become a common thread in the development of both scientific and new media artistic practice, allowing for information and ideas to develop and become informed within their niche environments. The interest of Contaminant’s exhibition lies in forming a connection between these two disparate fields: a search for the most informed piece of knowledge.

Interplay between empiricism and new media artwork utilizes the application of scientific methods in a fine art context. The artists exhibiting within Contaminant have used this process to test the limits of empiricism, questioning the way we inform our own evidence gathering process, and the authenticity of presented information. The resulting works bring awareness to the act of observation itself.

Gathering sensory data, artist Oksana Kryzhanivska collects output information from sensors recessed within her tactile structure to reveal how participants interact with her artwork.

An examination of the intersection between psychology and medicinal uses for sugar, artist Jadda Tsui explores this conceptual terrain in order to provide an aesthetic and interactive experience that aims to heal the emotional wounds of participants.

Sandrine Anna-Brigita works in a similar way, choosing to use existing evidence to explore the phenomena of light bending. Light becomes refracted upon passing through various objects and substances. Anna-Brigita uses this knowledge to create video work that exhibits the possibilities of combining known scientific development with the philosophy of art.

The misalignment of observation in contrast to that which is observed is the underlying concept in Jordan Schinkel’s dual projector system. Within this system, the validity of perceptual observation is questioned in order to represent ‘true’ results. Perception is dependent on the position of the observer, an infinitely variable construction that’s encouraged to be tampered with by all means of obstruction.

Anna Semenoff creates an open system that employs video projection and the reflection of water. Her work functions as a cross-section of opposing perceptions that favours interaction between image and observer, and fights our instinct to reconcile that which appears to be inaccurate.

Through combining two potentially conflicting ideological structures, that of art and science, Contaminant explores these new media artworks as observational tools. The interest of this exhibition is to find some of the most informative, and highly finessed works of art that have clear and potent insight from diverse viewpoints on the intersection of an overlying scientific concept: to watch is to know.

About the curator, Audrey Burch:

Audrey Burch is a new media artist who’s artwork utilizes computer programming, electronic interface design, photography, audio, video and 3-D modelling to investigate projection and the human desire to understand the unknown by searching for meaning. She studied at SAIT in 2008 to achieve a Digital Audio Engineering Certificate. As a Media Arts curator, Burch wants to understand interdisciplinary thinking by observing the multifaceted nature of Media art. She currently resides in Calgary, Alberta.

About Digital Sugar Cubed:

Digital Sugar Cubed is a student exhibition, presented by EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society, and is curated by an emerging media art curator looking for a platform to experiment with, highlight, challenge, subvert, and even liberate current media arts trends and activities in the Calgary community.

Sandrine Anna-Brigita

Writhe explores and experiments with the scientific principles of light refraction. As light enters substances of different densities, it appears to have bent –warping from the angle at which it has entered the object. This process appears on the other side as a beautiful phenomenon that is usually overlooked. The slow pace and repetition mimics the slow turning of daily life, becoming a monument to the beauty of banality.

About Sandrine Anna-Brigita:

Sandrine is currently an undergrad student at the Alberta College of Art + Design. Her work is trans-disciplinary and deals largely with concepts of time, duplication, and transformation.

Silicone Valley
Oksana Kryzhanivska

In my computationally-augmented sculptural practice, I discovered the potential to enhance human perception with technologically-intensified tactile sensation. Specifically, this revealed my capacity to think ‘through my hands’, what I now share with the audience through my responsive installations. The embedded computing devices inside flesh-like sculptural forms explore the ways to metaphorically communicate tactile cognition to the audience without knowledge of fabrication. My body of work seeks to understand how technology can enrich our experiences, by innovating the fabrication and digital tools. These works communicate the ideas of embodied thinking by referencing the images of the reconfigured human body, its internal organs and raw flesh. These visual, tactile and aural textures encourage the sensorial experience of the art object that becomes an interface for the technologically-augmented creative experience.

About Oksana Kryzhanivska:

Oksana Kryzhanivska incorporates her Ukrainian heritage by translating its oral sculptural tradition into computational media. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and is currently a PhD candidate in the Computational Media and Design graduate program at the University of Calgary. Oksana’s art facilitates her practice-based research at the intersection of art, design, and computer science, which resulted in publications and exhibitions at the international conferences. Additionally, Oksana exhibited around Canada, including the Niagara Gallery and Whippersnapper Gallery in Toronto, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie and The Nickle Arts Museum in Alberta. Recently, Oksana started teaching interdisciplinary courses at the University of Calgary, which integrate science and art into creative practice of undergraduate and graduate students.

Jordan Schinkel

In this two-channel video installation, moving snapshots are split in two but attempt to converge. Displaced from their other half, severed fragments are randomly matched in sequence. The resulting images emphasize the mutual suitability or disparity of their own mismatched content; challenges to personal notions and memory abound.

About Jordan Schinkel:

Jordan Schinkel is a Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist and current student at the Alberta College of Art + Design. At the college, Jordan is attending his fourth year in pursuit of a BFA in the Drawing department. His work explores a variety of media – including video, drawing, and photography – but follows thematic and methodological threads throughout each: intuitive approaches to image composition, repetition, imprint, and erasure, prompting investigation regarding themes of human empathy, loss, and the concurrency of the intimate and the public.

In Visible
Anna Semenoff

My intention is to create a composition demonstrating the idea of cause and effect – how it inherently plays a consistent roll in how we experience, and maneuver ourselves through the world. Everything that is, is a result of several contributing factors we don’t always recognize, directly impacting our involvement with our surroundings. Elevating the mechanical components emphasizes the structure of the composition to inform the primary focal point. Every component in this piece is as significant as the other.

About Anna Semenoff:

Anna Semenoff is currently in her undergraduate degree at the Alberta College of Art + Design. Her focus being primarily in sculpture, she is interested in the use of video as a material, along with different methods of display to best explore an idea. Focusing her efforts on discovering the most effective way to communicate ideas using a minimal amount of information in order to expose the characteristics of a material in interesting ways.

Sugar Therapy
Jadda Tsui

When physical wounds become infected and tissues begin to die, sugar can be placed into the wound in order to inhibit bacterial growth. But what happens when emotional wounds are inflicted and pieces of self begin to die? A short audio piece and several small tubs of touch objects will gently guide you through a basic process of mental healing, designed to help even the most broken harden their hearts and move on.

About Jadda Tsui:

Jadda Tsui is an artist based in Calgary, Alberta. Currently a third year student working towards a degree in Media Arts at ACAD, Jadda is interested in working with humour, theatrics, absurdity, and satire in an attempt to make serious things sweeter and easier to digest.

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