Spectral Illuminations II

Spectral Illuminations II
A Projection Mapping Exhibition

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 @ 8-11PM
Memorial Park Library – 1221 2 St. SW
FREE Admission

Featured Artists: Audrey Burch, Michael Grills, Jacqueline Huskisson, Mat Lindenberg, Greg Marshall, Isabel Porto, Jadda Tsui, Matthew Waddell & Laura Anzola, Aran Wilkinson-Blanc, and  Julian Zwack

Ten local media artists were chosen to illuminate the beautiful and historic Memorial Park Library with the art of projection mapping (site-specific projections that alter the appearance of the surface on which they are projected). These projections will light up and animate surfaces throughout the building, interpreting the amazing history of the first library in Calgary and Alberta.

The selected artists developed their projection mapping project over the summer, having open access to EMMEDIA’s resources including mentorship, equipment, facilities, and a series of projection mapping workshops.

If you are interested in learning more about projection mapping, we are offering a free workshop on Saturday, September 16 at Memorial Park Library. For more info, go to: http://emmedia.ca/2017/07/projection-mapping-workshop/

About EMMEDIA Gallery & Production Society:

Since its inception in 1979, EMMEDIA has maintained a two-part mandate: to support both the production and presentation of media arts. EMMEDIA responds to a broad community by offering affordable access to media art production tools and facilities, services, technical and educational support, an array of production programs and residencies, and a year round schedule of public exhibition programs including the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival. Our programs strive to foster artistic dialogue and engagement through complementary activities such as artist talks and panel discussions, workshops and publications.

About Beakerhead:

Beakerhead is an annual program that brings together the arts, sciences, and engineering sectors to build, engage, compete, and exhibit interactive works of art, engineered creativity and entertainment. Year-round programming and community-connecting culminates in a five-day citywide spectacle consisting over over 60 events centred around delightfully bizarre engineered installations and artworks. For more information, go to: www.beakerhead.com

Brief History of Memorial Park Library:

The Memorial Park Library opened on January 2, 1912. It is both Calgary and Alberta’s first public library, and the only remaining Carnegie library in the province.

The funding of the Memorial Park Library building and founding of the Calgary Public Library was made possible through the dedicated work of Annie Davidson, a widow with a passion for books, and a small group of fellow literary enthusiasts.  The Calgary Women’s Literary Club, founded in 1906, continues to meet monthly at the Memorial Park Library.

Right from its inception, the Memorial Park Library was viewed as a public library as well as a cultural and education centre. The original building plan accommodated both library and educational functions including library reading rooms and an extensive book collection area, lecture halls, children’s reading room, a natural history museum with a display of dinosaur bones, stuffed birds, buffalo heads and mineral specimens (on the second floor), and facilities to house a number of community and educational clubs and associations. Included among the associations was the Calgary College, which was the precursor to the University of Calgary. With its focus on culture and civic education the Memorial Park Library became known as the “centre of culture” in Calgary.

During the depression, over 40% of Calgarians were library members and the collections were so well used, that readers were restricted to 4 books at a time.  By 1963, the Library had outgrown the facility, and the collections and services were moved downtown to its current location in the Central Library. A small branch library remained open to serve the immediate community, and was closed in 1967. Subsequently, the building was leased to the Glenbow Foundation as an archives and research centre, until the Glenbow moved to its present location in 1976.

After considerable public debate it was decided to restore and reoccupy the building as it was seen as an important link with the cultural and intellectual development of the city, which needed to be preserved. Upon completion of the renovation, the Library officially reopened in October 1977, with the Muttart Public Art Gallery leasing the second floor.  In 1999, the Muttart Public Art Gallery gave notice it was terminating its lease at the end of that year, and in 2000, the second floor was leased to the Alliance Française. The lecture hall on the main level of Memorial Park was converted from a meeting/program room to public space for computers, studying and quiet reading as part of revitalization efforts, meeting rooms were refurbished, public hours were extended and signage was installed to enhance community awareness of the Library. The Library Foundation took over the second floor in 2012, and in 2017, this space was turned over to Wordfest and the Beltline Community Association. They have recently launched the Sunlife Financial Musical Instrument Lending Library, making music more accessible for all Calgarians!


Telephone, Television, Projector
Audrey Burch

Telephone, Television, Projector is a mock museum responding to the viewership of the current age, showcasing terms that were coined as communication technology matures. This work draws attention to the desire we have to understand the world around us. We create authority to teach the assimilated knowledge we learn as we encounter the world. The coining of a new term is part of the discovery, and part of the history. The natural history museum that existed within this library in earlier times operated as a repository for natural findings while this mock museum only illustrates terms relating to the unnatural transpiration of technology. Telephone, Television, Projector challenges conventional museum tropes with humor, while drawing our attention to social and environmental problems relating to communication technology.

Audrey Burch is a multi-disciplinary artist who’s artwork reflects on the place technology has, in life as we know it. She studied Media Art at the Alberta College of Art + Design.

Paper Toyboxes
Michael Grills

Paper Toyboxes uses a combination of special effects, paper animation and automatons to explore the pre-history of the Memorial Park Library. The library was started by female members of the Calgary Book Club, who came together to get the combined support of the men of Calgary and Andrew Carnegie, a railroad baron. These groups didn’t often see eye to eye. 200 signatures were required to get Andrew Carnegie to donate the $50,000 to build the library. Like much of Calgary’s history, the Memorial Park Library is linked to trains.

Michael Grills graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design and went directly to Bioware Corp. in Edmonton, getting hands on experience making AAA story driven RPG’s. When his first son was born, he decided to move back home to Calgary so that he could raise his family in his hometown among their relatives.

He started independently illustrating and has enjoyed working as a production manager, art director, creative director and illustrator depending on what the project requires and how he fits into the team. Michael loves collaboration and big ideas.

Those Who Lie Under The Bed
Jacqueline Huskisson

Inspired by the monsters of our youth, Those Who Lie Under The Bed is a reflection of the nostalgia felt when imagination had engulfed our early childhood. Libraries were the destination that started the spark of imagination.
Jacqueline Huskisson is a visual artist from Calgary, Alberta. She graduated from the print media department from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2011, and just recently received her MFA from the Belfast School of Art in Northern Ireland. Since then, she has been a working illustrator and studio artist, with work consisting of comics, printmaking, video and installation. She’s shown locally and internationally, and has been featured in a variety of magazines.

Mat Lindenberg

For as long as there have been people, there have been libraries. Our ancestors carved what they knew into the walls around them, built great depositories of reeds and papyrus, told and re-told stories under the stars until they were etched into their skin and their memories. The library is a link to the past, but also the past’s way of pointing us towards the future. It holds what we’ve learned, remembered, written down, with the hope that we will take that and build onwards. It is also a window and portal into a world outside of our own, promising wonder and discovery.

Mat Lindenberg is a primarily digital-based artist. He generally likes making self-running AI driven digital work in what probably points to a ego-maniacal god complex. He also likes collecting and organizing useless data, daydreaming about running an artisanal salt company, and making installations that require constant babysitting. He graduated from the Media Arts program at the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2015, and splits his time between Seattle and Calgary.

Greg Marshall

Perimeter is a study of space, scale, surveillance and dislocation presented through aerial drone footage of a person walking through a stalled multi-unit office development site in southeast Calgary. It is cut to a sound track of echoing footsteps and is meant to further disrupt the location. The plausibility of its location, landscape and framing are perhaps at odds with our perception.

Greg Marshall is a media artist from Calgary. In 2016, he showed at two media art festivals in the US, was part of the Digital Artifacts group exhibition at TRUCK Contemporary Art as part of the PARTICLE + WAVE Media Arts Festival, and his single channel video Drone was part of a two week group exhibition entitled Kernel Panic in Victoria as part of the Antimatter Media Art Showcase. In 2017, his work has been shown at the European Media Art Festival in Germany, and he completed a 42 minute partly-animated documentary that examines the notion of war from personal stories from WWII. He is a professional freelance animator and visual effects artist, graduating from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 1994 and received a Fine Arts diploma with a major in Painting.

A Book Inside the Temple of Knowledge
Isabel Porto

The importance of the Memorial Park Library to Calgarians and the city itself is incontestable; its classical architecture informs our history and memory. Investigating local places charged with these qualities has always fuelled my art practice. Above the main entrance of the Memorial Park Library is a relief of an open book set into the pointed pediment (triangular arch). For one evening, this exterior book will “come alive” on the inside of the building that mirrors the pointed pediment. The open book can be understood as a symbol for the democratic quality of libraries where all kind of books, stories and people co-exist.

Isabel Porto is a new Canadian originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; she has been living in Calgary since 2011. Porto received a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) from the University of Calgary in 2014. For ten years now, she has been developing art projects that involve site-specific locations and the interaction of local communities.

This August-September 2017, Isabel will be collaborating with the Field Station, a public art project commissioned by the City of Calgary Transit and Public Art Departments. During Alberta Culture Days in 2016, she was invited to perform the Perceptual Drawing project at the Leighton Art Centre. Last June 2016, she completed the Walking Window community-based art project with the City of Calgary in partnership with the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre. Images of her work were published by Canadian Art magazine in the Winter 2015 issue.

In Brazil, Isabel’s artworks were selected to be included in the 5th Biennal Vento Sul in Curitiba, 2009. She also developed the Largo da Ordem project funded by the City of Curitiba in 2008. Her work has been exhibited in Calgary and Edmonton, and in Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The Composition of Things
Jadda Tsui

In biology, living things are placed into five kingdoms which branch and narrow until a single species is reached. This system of categorization places organisms with genetic similarities closer to one another — a way to track and sort changes in evolution. Minerals, on the other hand, are classified on the basis of their chemical composition. Both of these methods of classification lie on the basis of relative certainty. Neither DNA nor chemical composition can easily be modified — things exist as the things they are because they cannot physically be anything else. There is a limit to everything.

- A piece of Fool’s Gold, next to worthless, existing as an emulation of the international standard for currency.
- A barnacle, biologically sessile, even in death, waiting in place day after day for the crashing waves.
- A deposit of salt, dried out in an old lake bed, left behind by the ocean it was once apart of.

Jadda Tsui is a Calgary based artist currently enrolled in undergraduate studies at the Alberta College of Art + Design. She frequently works with video and narration in order to tell stories, and this piece proves to be no exception. Jadda is currently extremely and undeniably excited by minerals and organisms and how they exist, as well as their functions and purposes in the world. Other things whose existence and purpose she has previously investigated include sugar, goldfish, swimming pools, and dirt.

Laura Anzola & Matthew Waddell

A special bookshelf on the first floor comes to life when the lights go down and the librarians aren’t looking.
Laura Anzola and Matthew Waddell are two world citizens fascinated by the possibilities of digital arts. They have presented video projections in concert halls, theatres and public spaces across Canada and in Colombia and are excited to dive into the books for Spectral Illuminations.

Electric Mushrooms
Aran Wilkinson-Blanc

The public library creates a space of learning and connection between people, both past and present. Throughout its history the Memorial Park Library has also been a meeting place and cultural center that has served to engage the public and bring it together. At the same time, the Calgary Public Library as a whole has not stood still for the past 105 years; it has continually expanded its presence and evolved to fill the needs of Calgarians and incorporate changes in technologies. What began as a single stone building has grown into a complex network that spreads across the entire city. It is this idea of a network and evolving way of connecting people that I want to represent with my piece. When you look at a mushroom, what you are actually seeing is only part of the whole fungus organism. The main portion of a mushroom (the mycelium) is usually underground and can form complex networks over large distances. The small stalks and caps of the mushroom are the “fruiting bodies” of the organism. With this project, the mushroom represents the locations of Calgary’s libraries – physical structures with weight and presence that are access points to a service network operating behind the scenes. The overall piece connects two different locations and create a relationship between people – the video subject and the viewer, neither of whom could experience the piece by themselves.

Aran Wilkinson-Blanc is a New Media artist based in Calgary. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a BFA in photography and have continued in that field, along with those of video, digital film, computer animation, graphic design, and sculpture. The high level of technological mediation inherent in his practices has also lead him to seek out collaborations with other artists and work on projects that incorporate different ideas and perspectives. He attempts to build on the creative opportunities technology affords him, without allowing them to dictate the form or substance of his work, while at the same time exploring that relationship between people and their constructed interactions.

Tyrannosaurus Thesaurus
Julian Zwack

Tyrannosaurus Thesaurus is a skeletal dinosaur head formed of card stock paper that is illuminated by projections of dinosaur fossil recordings. The piece pays homage to the natural history exhibit of the Memorial Park Library that once showcased dinosaur fossils to visitors 100 years ago. It is formed from pages of paper and serves as a metaphorical book where the symbolized fossilized remains become a window into the natural world. Allowing us to read and interpret the story of a creature’s life and its species as a whole in a chapter of our planets natural history.

Julian Zwack is a Media Art student in his fourth year at the Alberta College of Art + Design. His practice deals with ideas of Urbanization vs. Nature and New Materialism in the mediums of media art installation and celluloid video.

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