Group Exhibition at TELUS Spark

Group Exhibition at TELUS Spark

Photo courtesy of Kurtis Lesick

Particle + Wave 2024’s group exhibition at TELUS Spark features 3 unique installations by Mackenzie Bedford, Kurtis Lesick and Hesam Ohadi. Held at Telus Spark's gallery adjacent to the Dome Theatre, these installations are interactive, subjective, captivating and will sure involve you in unexpected ways.



The interactive art piece REDACTED explores our perception and relation to words. Although words carry meanings by themselves, without context, it can be unclear what thought, idea or sensation they are meant to convey. “Love” is generally perceived as a positive word but when placed in context, the sentence “I love murdering people” can suddenly change the sensation we receive from that word to something extremely negative. With a focus on the reality that is intentionally obscured for the common westerner through mainstream media about global turmoil and international catastrophes and by putting that in contrast with our blissful personal memories, it strives to display both sides of the coin and show how blind we could be to a part of reality that has been REDACTED for us.

The visitors are invited to connect to a web page via a QR code and on that page they are prompted to put in a word that they associate with a pleasant memory of theirs. After they enter their chosen word, a piece of horrible news that contains that specific word will be created and displayed on the screen, contrasting that pleasant sensation against the devastating feeling of a harsh reality. Same word, different contexts and two distinct worlds of impacts!

This work marks a new approach in the artist’s practice by introducing AI as a tool to create textual content in realtime while being loyal to the anti-imperialist and political nature of some of Kino’s past works.

Music by the moniker "meermur"

About Kino:

Hesam Ohadi (b. 1987 in Tehran) is an Iranian Canadian interdisciplinary artist and creator currently residing in Calgary, Canada. Aside from their sonic explorations in experimental electronic and electroacoustic music under the moniker “Idlefon”, Ohadi creates New Media artworks under their alias “Kino” which span across various mediums such as performance, kinetic sculpture, interactive installation and net art.  They are interested in making abstract art forms and algorithm-driven pieces. To achieve this, they use their computer in combination with custom-made software and utilize creative coding, generative design, and nature-influenced processes. 

They have taken part in numerous collaborative projects with fellow artists as well as releasing solo pieces. Apart from their personal work, Ohadi is also a co-founder and technical director at the Tehran-based Design+Technology studioCODON Interactive Media, a collective of artists experimenting in the fields of interaction design and computer arts since 2012. 

Kino's Instagram: @holescapes


Cartography by Kurtis Lesick

Cartography captures the last 1 hour and 22 minutes of a 3-hour durational performance of the artist traversing barefoot at a constant gate through grass, brambles, thorns, stones, mud, and flowers in the rural landscapes near Sparta, Greece. The artist weaves back and forth, perhaps over increasingly familiar terrains, but the viewer is never sure of their location—we are never given enough visual context to know where and when we are, we can only exist in the precise moment of the document. Without a forward or retrospective context for the movement of the subject there is little perspective on what/where/when the subject is. We therefore begin to lose the definition between subject and object. This is further exasperated by the point of view of the camera and audio equipment maintained slightly in front and above the foot. Both the perspective and technical interpretation of the image and sound by the recording equipment introduce a “technological subjectivity” to the work that further complicates our assumed boundaries of the human subject in the objective world. Cartography was produced at the Koumaria Residency in Sellasia, Greece, April 29-May 15, 2023. 

About Kurtis Lesick:

Kurtis Lesick is an artist, researcher, and award-winning creative content specialist. His installations, media works, digital performances, and cross-media collaborations explore the limits of materiality, knowledge, and themes of indeterminacy. Lesick’s practice draws heavily on his experience in archaeology, anthropology and philosophy, as well as both his love and disdain for technology. His work has been presented and exhibited internationally in Canada, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A. He is an Associate Professor at the Alberta University of the Arts where he teaches in Media Arts, has held an adjunct professorship at the Digital Futures Initiative in the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (Canada), has been visiting faculty at the Banff Centre (Canada) and the University of California at Irvine (USA), and was a Benjamin Meaker Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Bristol (UK).


TWIST AND SHOUT by Mackenzie Bedford

TWIST AND SHOUT is a sound-activated, real-time animation generated in TouchDesigner. Playing with datapoints like volume, snare, and frequency, TWIST AND SHOUT will react to voice, percussion, and anything else that can make noise into the microphone.
It is an invitation to play with your voice, exploring different ways to change the animation on the screen through sound. I think my friend put it best about this work – “we need more art we can scream into”.

About Mackenzie Bedford: 

Self-taught in projection mapping, Mackenzie Bedford has pursued the medium since participating in the cSPACE Artist Incubator in 2021. Since then, they have collaborated with creators in theatre, dance, and music to blend projection and performance in a variety of settings. They also create their own installations with projection, offering contemplative or celebratory spHYGHaces for audiences to engage with.
To find more projection mapping friends in Calgary, Bedford created MAPPERZ, a projection mapping club in 2022. Enjoying 250 Instagram followers and 50 newsletter subscribers after a year of its inception, this small but mighty community is making its mark on walls and windows in the city.
Other ways to find Bedford: animating an independent sci fi short; painting murals across Alberta; or at their local market offering hand-printed prints and apparel.
Their visual influences stem from growing up as a closeted queer kid in a small town, using an unbridled, early 2000s internet connection to connect, explore and escape. Unsurprisingly, they still find themselves chronically online.
Off-duty, they are picking up the art of burlesque and costume-making.

Mackenzie's Instagram: @mackenziebedford 

group EXHIBITION at Telus Spark's gallery

March 8th to 10th, 2024

WHERE: TELUS Spark Science Centre, 220 Saint George's Drive Northeast Calgary, AB T2E5T2

Viewing of Group Installations is included with your ticket to Performance Night or Screening Night. After both events, you are welcome to join us to see the interactive installations of Mackenzie Bedford, Kurtis Lesick and Hesam Ohadi at TELUS Spark's Feature Gallery.

To experience the exhibition on March 10th, tickets will be available for purchase with standard SPARK admission.