Noisy Pictures

Meg Walker and Jeffrey Langille presented “Noisy Pictures” at the Confluence Gallery in Dawson City from July 6 – 22. Here’s the exhibition blurb:

Noisy Pictures presents the work of two artists who explore relationships between sound and image. Jeffrey Langille has set a static landscape in motion through the act of walking with a camera; Meg Walker creates still images in response to a selection of her ongoing Yukon field recordings through the act of drawing.

Start Listening Here_0113_web
Visitors used their cellphones or these ipads to access Walker’s field recordings while viewing her paintings

Meg Walker explores the human sensorial interfaces between hearing and movement  by gathering field recordings across the Territory. She then listens actively to these recordings and translates her responses into visual works – evidence of hands and arms in motion. Through this process she creates new sights for some of the wild and urban places in this part of the North. For Noisy Pictures, she presents summer Yukon sounds and the resulting drawings (ink, watercolour and pen on paper).

Walker’s explorations are grounded in questions about how the human senses both receive and shape the acoustic ecology we live in. Coined in the 1970s by Canadian composer R. Murray Schaefer, acoustic ecology is an approach in which we “hear the acoustic environment as a musical composition and, further, that we own responsibility for its composition.”[1] The repercussions of this are social, political, environmental – and embodied.

Jeffrey Langille uses sound and video to situate events against the stillness of landscape, and to de-center human perspective through manipulations of the camera. He encourages cameras to assert their agency in various ways, for example through emphasizing differences in image resolution or frame rate, or through automatic functions such as auto-exposure or autofocus.

In the work Untitled (Walk) Langille brings a low-resolution camera very close to the ground and away from both a stabilizing horizon and the anchor of the human eye. In this way he strives for a glimpse of what Simon O’Sullivan calls “a fissure in representation” by means of art that “opens us up to the non-human universe that we are a part of.[2]” What could be seen as glitch or image dissolution is an invitation to see differently.

Installation view of Langille’s Untitled (Walk), 2012, single-channel SD video, sound, loop (5 min. 52 sec.)

[1] Schafer, R.M. The Tuning of the World, Knopf, New York, 1977. [republished in 1994 as The Soundscape-Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont] p.77

[2] O’Sullivan, Simon. “The Aesthetics of Affect: Thinking Art Beyond Representation.” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities 6:3 (2001): p. 128.

The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture hosts the Confluence Gallery every summer. Their ad for Noisy Pictures:

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