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Erin Gee
May 29 – June 30, 2010

Opening & Reception

Saturday, May 29 at 8:00 pm

Artist will be in attendance.

The aesthetic for Erin Gee’s interactive installation Lucide stems from a modernist fascination with technology, as well as nostalgia for a pre-Enlightenment world ruled by religious faith. This state of ambivalence has become a meaningful topic in Gee’s artistic practice, which is situated between the firmament of tradition and an optimistic hope for an unknown future. For this installation, she took inspiration from medieval metalwork and the monolith from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, re-staging an encounter with a mechanical, omnipresent gaze into a surreal, vulnerable and hybridized interaction with machines. Each of the five eyes in this sculpture can be opened and closed individually by the viewer to recreate a choral song-creating potential for solos, duets, trios, quartets, a full choir, or periods of silence. This element of touch is important to the final music created, a song within an object that is performed by whomever encounters the piece.

The paraphrasing of historical past within a contemporary, technological context is mirrored through the sound component, which is a new recording of the work Cantique de Jean Racine by Gabriel Faur, written in 1894. The text, “Verbe gal au Trs-Haut”, is a paraphrase by French dramatist Jean Racine (Hymnes traduites du Brviaire romain, 1688), which was taken from a 4th century hymn for Tuesday matins, Consors paterni luminis.

The robotic components of the installation consist of five handcrafted fiberglass eyes, which are embellished with acrylic paint, resin, human hair and bird feathers. These eyes are made to be touched-when a gallery viewer opens the eyes, a light sensor connected to an electronic circuit and computer activates audio from internal speakers. Rather than providing surveillance, or making recordings of the information give to them, these eyes are programmed to use incoming information to communicate through vocal song. The incorporation of organic source material into this work-the human voice, the retinas transcribed from living people, and the eyelashes–call attention to the psychological relationship between humans and their others as mirrored through dolls and automatons.

Lucide was created, in part, with a Commission Funding Project from Soil Digital Media Suite.

Erin Gee is an emerging Saskatchewan-born artist working in video, performance, robotics and audio. Her work incorporates digital and relational aesthetics from a standpoint that critically engages with systems of desire, communication, and identity. She earned a Bachelors of Music Education (2006), and a BFA in Visual Arts (2009) from the University of Regina, Canada.

Gees work has been shown and screened in group exhibition at such venues as Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina (2009), XSPACE Cultural Centre, Toronto (2009), Interaccess Arts, Toronto (2009), AKA Gallery, Saskatoon (2009), FilmPop! International Video Festival, Montreal (2008), and Neutral Ground Gallery, Regina (2008, 2009). Gee is the recipiant of several grants from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, including an Independant Artist grant in 2010.

In 2009, her work in electroacoustic music was short listed in the Bourges International Electroacoustic competition and was heard in festivals in San Paolo, Brazil and Montreal, Canada. She is a founding member and president of a Regina-based audio collective, website and concert series. Gee is currently the artist in residence at the New Media Studio Lab at the University of Regina. Her audio work will be touring Saskatchewan in 2010 as part of choreographer and performance artist Robin Poitras’ dance company rouge-gorge.