Window #1 by Alex Snukal | A Response to Nature Falls by Nicolas Sassoon
Throughout the summer of 2015, Plug In ICA will present Nature Falls, a serial exhibition of digital works by Nicolas Sassoon on our monitor wall. As part of our public programs in conjunction with Sassoon’s exhibition, we have invited artists and writers, Alex Snukal, Alex Quicho, Tiziana La Melia, Jinhan Ko and Andrew Berardini, to respond individually to one of the five animations in the exhibition. The responses, which are intended to be immediate and somewhat poetic, will take a variety of forms from textual narratives or critical readings to sound works, drawing, photograph, etc. with the stipulation that they be presented online.
Winnipeg-based artist, musician and writer Alex Snukal is the first to respond to Nature Falls, specifically to Out My Window #1, a black and white digital animation of zigzagging black bands moving across a patterned field. Snukal’s response involves both a visual and audio component: the customization of Sassoon’s GIF including an audio component. The sound is a looped recording of a Shepard Tone, an audio illusion in which the pitch of the tone seems to be rising or descending constantly but is in fact staying within a discrete set of intervals. Repetition is key for Snukal, who seeks and applies forms that suggest infinity in his work. The deceptive effect of Snukal’s sound and repeated gridding of the original animation is reflective of Sassoon’s visual design, carrying a dizzying result of ever-changing movement. Snukal states, “One thing that’s maybe not apparent from watching Out My Window #1 is that it’s only 68 frames long, which means that within one iteration none of the black waves actually traverse from one corner to the other. It’s the loop itself that completes the illusion.”
The responses are framed together with the exhibition accumulating over the coming months. To view Sassoon’s work and Snukal’s response please follow the link: http://nicolassassoon.com/NATURE_FALLS.html
On Monday, July 20th, Plug In ICA will be launching a new work by Sassoon, Sunny Lands. Alex Quicho will be responding to the animation which will be on view on Friday, July 31st.
Nature Falls is a selection of Nicolas Sassoon’s work that represents the natural environment from the landscape to meteorological occurrences. The artist often uses nature as his subject matter, capturing the movement of the ocean as it hits the shore or the rain falling on a window, through a layering of distinct pixelated colours. Each saturated square retains its individual shape but it is amassed to create a graphic digital pattern that replicates the movement of organic forms. Just as the flow of a waterfall can mesmerize, Sassoon’s animations form hypnotic fields. Through the window, and in Sassoon’s case, the computer screen, he sets himself and the viewer outside into a plane of movement and colour.
BIOS: Alex Snukal has exhibited at venues throughout Canada and the U.S., including Images Festival in Toronto, OK Quoi!? in Sackville, NB., and the Dumbo Arts Centre, in Brooklyn. His writing has appeared in Bad Day, C Magazine, Locus Suspectus and at venues such as Gallery TPW and TRUCK. He recently composed the soundtrack for “Structured Light”, an exhibition by Philippe Blanchard at Idea Exchange in Cambridge, Ontario.
Nicolas Sassoon is recognized for his digital animation, which he presents and distributes online, as well as for his projections that create immersive installations which respond to architectural space, both articulating and fabricating the built environment. Sassoon has exhibited internationally at venues and events such as the 319 Scholes, New York; May Gallery, New Orleans; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; PRETEEN Gallery, Madrid; the Centre d’Art Bastille Grenoble, France; Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam; Victoria & Albert Museum London, UK, and Today Art Museum, Beijing, China. Often collaborating with other artists, architects, music producers, and fashion designers, he is also a member of the online collective Computers Club and a founder of the collective W-A-L-L-P-A-P-E-R-S.
Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Arts Council and the RBC Foundation as well as our generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers.