Ask me anything
Phantom Lights & Phantom Sounds
Installation for GhostHole V 2013
collaboration with Brian Schirk and Gordon Auld
FOX HOLE INSTALLATION
WRECK CITY CALGARY 2013
FOXHOLE explored ideas of anxiety, insecurity, and the translation of those into a blanket concern over ideas of internal subversion and espionage. Working through the notion that pervasive insecurity leads to the use of extraordinary tactics, FOXHOLE seeks to raise the question of whether the use of extreme methods to protect itself from a perceived threat is justified.
Installation investigated ideas of the bear cave, the dungeon club, an inner sanctum, the nerd basement, as well as notions of a secret hideaway, bat cave or man cave. Creature comforts, “nesting”, dungeons and dragons, that spot to smoke your pot away from the all-seeing gaze of parental units were all be mashed up within the hole, as well as having utilized their forms and qualities.
Drawn from themes of DYI security measures such as traps and teenage room door warning signs, the project was an installation at the border between comfort and insecurity. It’s formal characteristics explored the “fox hole” a type of defensive fighting position, that is a military earth work which accommodates at least one person that provides a shield against enemy fire while also enabling the soldier to fight.
The memory of FOXHOLE would become a dialogue between the viewer and the artistic intent, what was actually “down there” and which objects or remnants grabbed the viewers attention. The residual effect as well s the immediacy of the strangeness of the hole still haunts viewers imaginations.
EXCITING THINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON,
GOING BACK TO CALGARY TO DO ANOTHER RESIDENCY IN MARCH/APRIL, BASED ON IDEAS OF OCCUPANCY, “BOOTLEGGING” SAFETY, SECURITY, “NESTING” AND COMMUNITY.
MOVED INTO A GREAT STUDIO WITH SOME STELLAR ARTISTS AS MY STUDIO MATES, EXCITED TO MAKE USE OF THE SPACE.
STARTING MY LANDSCAPE SERIES “SAPHIRE COFFINS”, CHARTING NOTIONS OF THE “WILD/UNTAMED”, THE “BEAUTY OF NATURE”, THE “MAJESTY” OF THE DINOSAURS, OUR INVASIVE USE OF NATURE “MAN’S “GOD GIVEN” RIGHT OVER NATURE”, MINING, THE TAR SANDS, AND ALSO THE “RICH” “CANADIAN TRADITION” OF PAINTING OUR WILD PLACES.
COLLECTING USED DECKS FOR MY SERIES SKATE WIZARDS
EXCITED TO SHARE PHOTOS AS THE PROJECTS COME TO FRUITION
Psychomanteum “Apparition Chamber”
Ghost Hole IV
Documentation Photographs II
A psychomanteum is a room set up to communicate with the spirit realm, featuring a large mirror, black walls and weak flickering light. By gazing into the reflective surface, apparitions or visions would appear. The room is set up to optimize psychological effects such as trance, the dimness representing a form of visual sensory deprivation which is aided by the undifferentiated colour creating an apparent lack of horizon, producing a Ganzfeld effect. The flickering or flashing light stimulus is produced by an indirect or moving light within the apparition booth; flickering l.e.d. candles may induce a hallucinogenic effect. The darkness of the mirror, and its indeterminate depth allows the eyes to relax and become unfocused, a state that reduces alertness.
The use of the psychomanteum dates back to ancient Greece, where an augur would stare into a still pool of water in a dark room, and supplicants would wait their turn at the oracle in complete darkness. Used in Victorian England by spiritualists to contact the etheric plane, this concept was revived more recently in the 1930’s of the 20th century by psychologists to study the effects on the human brain of sensory deprivation. More controversially, the “prisoner’s cinema” is an effect experienced by prisoners kept in solitary confinement in conditions of darkness.
Viewers will be allowed to enter the space, three at a time and sit within it, for a duration up to 15 minutes; this time period is the optimum duration to experience visions and apparitions. A soundtrack of droning noise at the frequency of 6.3 Hz (a frequency of sound used in meditation and astral projection trances), will accompany the work, as well as drowning out external auditory stimuli.
SUPRA VIOLET EMANATIONS 1-30/09/2012
Supra Violet Emanations explores connections between process and procession, visual and ceremonial orders, psychological as well as physical fluctuation, as well as themes of psychedelia, spiritualism and colour theory.
I would live forever if I could, but not this way,
like a star formed out of void, traveller on roads,
endless bound highway.
Star-spangled but not proclaimed, unnamed star
warrior, soft lit amidst the vast cosmos, riding the waves
of the astral sea, that astral ocean full of cosmic events, visions
of grandeur yet minor in the ever expanding nature of those things.
WOULD LIVE FOREVER IF I COULD
BUT NOT LIKE THIS
A STAR FORM OR A LESS TRAVELLED ON ROADS
yet world weary.
New Concepts for Supra-Violet Emanations
Artists have to climb a rather large mountain in order to look down on their work, elevated heights offer insight but also a rather constrained air supply. The act of climbing often is the process of art making, but the finished process is more the descent. A cycle of ascending, viewing and clambering down allows for invention and iteration, inception and concept.
EMERALD CITY embodies our dreams, desires and idealism, admitting the nightmarish realities that come when these utopias are usurped by our greed, our desire for security, or pinning our communal hopes on a single saviour who wields great power.
EMERALD CITY plays with specific historical references that reveal us launching ourselves towards disaster, taking the 1930’s and 1940’s as case studies of liberal ideology subverted by the authoritarian, Fascist, Communist and Totalitarian regimes which commit atrocities in the name of progress, blighting the present in the service of a “brighter” future.
EMERALD CITY focuses on the vulnerability of youth, the most impressionable and idealistic age group, from Soviet Pioneers, Nazi Youth Brigades, American Boy Scouts, to Belgian Navy Cadets and Cambodian Youth Soldiers. These hopeful images of brave comrades in arms, moving in disciplined unison, filled with hope can reveal the dark propaganda that clouds freedom of thought and expression.
EMERALD CITY uncovers the parallels between these historical groups, so comfortably situated in the past, and our contemporary political states, where the same dreams and nightmares recur.
EMERALD CITY is the culmination of a one month long residency at Calgary’s EIGHTOHNINE space. (http://badalmer.com/809/category/residency/).