If the wind could speak to us, what might it say? wind coil sound flow is an acoustic electromechanical system built by Gregory that aims to find out by transforming wind-generated vibrations on a kite's towline into harmonic frequencies. The first stage of this multi-part project, based on the principles of an Aeolian Harp, involved a large, one-stringed guitar played by the wind outdoors. The sounds generated through this system were recorded digitally and will be used to activate the long strings in the sculptural installation presented in Gallery 1C03 that will, in turn, create new and complex sounds conveyed through kite-shaped audio speakers.
Gregory has long been interested in exploring the complex relationship between humans and technology, and extends his practice now to investigations concerning the state of the natural world. He began thinking about kites while re-introducing the notion of play into his work, which led him into a deeply interesting sphere of research about the physics of flight, the historic, spiritual, and cultural significance of kites, and their mysterious, poetic, and metaphoric aspects. This project is the outcome of five years of development, during which time Gregory learned to design, build, and fly kites with a view to creating wind instruments. The Aeolian Kite Instrument gives the wind a voice that is similar to our own vocal chords. Gregory asks: if we learn to listen to the wind in new ways, might we soon be able to decode its songs? In light of climate change and other ecological urgencies, it seems critical that we consider such possibilities with creative sensitivity.
Ken Gregory has been working with do-it-yourself interface design, hardware hacking, audio, video, and computer programming for over 20 years. His creative performance and installation work has shown publicly across Canada, and at many international media and sound art festivals. His works are presented in the form of gallery installations, live performances, live radio broadcasts, and audio compact discs. Recent career highlights, among others, include the acquisition of a large sound installation, 12 Motor Bells, by the National Gallery of Canada as well as a solo survey exhibition, Cheap Meat Dreams and Acorns, that has toured to The Confederation Centre in Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), The Art Gallery of Hamilton, and The Art Gallery of Windsor (both in Ontario). For more information about Gregory’s work, please visit: cheapmeats.net.
wind coil sound flow will be available for viewing October 1 – 31, 2009
Exhibition launch: Thursday, October 1 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (1st Floor, Centennial Hall)
Artist talk: Friday, October 2 beginning at 12:30 p.m. in Room 2C15 (2nd Floor, Centennial Hall)
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving.
Admission is always free and all are welcome!
This exhibition is recognized as adjunct programming of the 11th edition of send+receive: a festival of sound.
Members of the media are invited to arrange interviews with the artist at any time.
Gallery 1C03, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, and the artist wish to acknowledge the generous financial support of the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Gallery 1C03 also wishes to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage.
For more information, please contact Milena Placentile, Gallery 1C03, The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
204.786.9253 | m [dot] placentile [at] uwinnipeg [dot] ca
uwinnipeg.ca/index/artgallery-index | gallery1C03.blogspot.com
Image: Ken Gregory, wind coil sound flow, 2009. Courtesy of the artist.