September 23rd, 2014
Drone Wedding is up for the next 3 months, a new work by Public Studio, commissioned for the Ryerson University Image Centre Media Wall in Toronto, Canada. Public Studio is an artist collective founded by film director Elle Flanders and architect Tamira Sawatzky, and includes other collaborators as the projects require. I have been the composer/sound designer for 3 multi-channel film installation works with Public Studio so far: Road Movie (2011), What Isn’t There (2014), and now Drone Wedding.
Drone Wedding is a multi-channel video installation which reflects on pervasive contemporary surveillance society against the frame of drone reconnaissance and targeted strikes. Cameras collect a tremendous amount of data in all aspects of daily public and private life; Drone Wedding considers the more ominous element in this flow of images– who’s watching, who is being watched, and how comfortable or knowledgeable is Canadian society with this growing surveillance infrastructure and how it is being used, who is being targeted, at home and abroad?
I crafted the sound from a number of radiophonic sources–encrypted radio communications (including numbers stations), military ground-air talk, ambient radiation from electronic devices via induction coils and VLF antennas, video documents made public by various watchdog organizations, misfiring AM radio transmitters, etc. It’s in the air all around us–devices and people, recording everything.
Watch the composite version of the video here
Short review by the Globe and Mail here
June 10th, 2014
In March 2013 I working in Israel/Palestine with Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky of Toronto-based Public Studio on their newest film installation, What Isn’t There. The piece comes from nearly 20 years of photographing and filming on the sites of former Palestinian villages in Israel, an exploration of the politicized landscape in all its beauty, banality, and absurdity. The installation had its premiere in Toronto on May 22, 2013 in a one-night outdoor presentation, and consists of four channel video, accompanied by stereo sound (which visitors listen to on wireless headphones). It’s a powerful piece, which truly immerses visitors due to the design and scale of the screens, the intimate sound, and very formal yet generous presentation of the subject. I’m super pleased to be part of the team, composing and designing the sound.
Public Studio never rests, so we’re busy at our terminals working on a commission for Ryerson University, another audio/visual work called Drone Wedding. Wedding industrial complex meets military industrial complex, war meets the everyday under a familiar sky…. I wish I could say such an idea were a farce, but too often drone strikes abroad have targeted innocent civilian gatherings like weddings and parties. Drone Wedding will be up and running for the fall semester, from September 17-December 19, 2014 on the Ryerson University New Media Wall, in downtown Toronto, Canada.