Solo exhibition at State of Flux Gallery, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Center in Kingston, Ontario.
“In recent years, legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, Neil Young, has made it a personal aim to again “give music a voice” by offering fans and listeners unprecedented fidelity in personal listening via his product, the Pono (a Hawaiian word meaning righteousness, the one, the pureness) Ecosystem™, capable of playing back the master recordings of classic albums and rare performances at highest possible quality. The Pono Ecosystem™ is believed by Young to be “a revolution in music listening,” and “is dedicated to restoring ear-body connection within a new digital system.” Taking Young’s push for maximum fidelity as a call-to-action, Lochhead and Lee (both music-lovers, inventors and video artists) have recently collaborated to unleash ENCORE™, a product that promises a new standard in music reproduction, live performance and in the overall righteousness of song. By harnessing the exciting virtual reality technology of the Oculus Rift, pristine live recordings (such as Neil Young’s initial unveiling of Old Man from Live at Massey Hall, 1971) are lifted from the muddy confines the past, to be given a new, refreshing gravity of the present, the real, the now, the pure… In this demo prototype, you, the listener, are encouraged to enter the vividness of an iconic performance. So sit back and open your ears and eyes. Watch as a state-of-the-art avatar enters the lush world of our simulated venue. Watch him sit before you, sing deep into your eyes, your soul, and possibly, even, your heart.”
This was a one-night pop-up exhibition with Finnish artist Eeva Siivonen at Spark Contemporary Art Space. The Heterodox Earth Summon used a basement community-radio DJ persona as its frame narrative to present 30 minutes of material, spanning several different video works. With a speaker supplanted in the basement of the space, I used the floorboard as a diaphragm for the direct address of the DJ, who attempted to present and explain the material being shown. Every time the submerged DJ would speak, a red ‘on-air’ light illuminated the room above. Works screened as part of the summon were:
Cage in the Woods
Murmuring, Whispering, Praying
Dead in the Apartment
The Blazed World
Worlds Very Close but Not Touching
The intersection of poetry and beds has a long and storied past, for it is said that John Milton’s Paradise Lost was “composed lying in bed in the morning,” with the blind poet dictating to his scribe, who waited diligently for his poetic visions to arrive. We can also later find an affinity for the horizontal in the verses of John Keats, who writes affectionately in an Ode to Indolence of the “the drowsy hour; The blissful cloud,” while the Swiss writer Robert Walser dares to give us a name for this lay-down poetic state of the artist: sluggardising. The potent mix of being in bed and being inspired is undeniable, and so it is with this realization that we arrive at the Poetic Enhancement Home Environment (PEHE) – a responsive device designed to ameliorate and amplify the experience of consuming and composing poetic texts while in bed. Dynamically bringing together the three most common images employed as metaphors in poetry (sunlight, darkness, the ocean) PEHE facilitates maximum gravitas, criticality and clarity.