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Past Installations

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Installations presented on 2021

My Place Here and Now (Who am I Today?)
By Sandy McLennan
June 3 to Sept 20, 2021 (Outdoor exhibition open during daylight hours, indoor exhibition open Thur-Mon 10 AM to 4 PM)
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River

Port Sydney photographer and filmmaker Sandy McLennan has created a new interactive installation from workshops with students from the South River Public School. It can be experienced outside on the porch windows of the NAISA North Media Arts Centre (and inside the gallery when COVID health restrictions permit).

"A year goes by and cognizance changes: feeling negative and positive, screws coming loose. The photo and sound images displayed here and now give a chance to consider the time we’ve been through and the time we are in.

I started working with South River Public School Grade 7 students over a year ago – they built their own cardboard pinhole cameras and created black & white photo images in my portable darkroom. Then everything changed. Today we have photograms (camera-less images created in the darkroom), negatives exposed in cardboard pinhole cameras and contact prints (reverse images of the above) made by the students in March 2020 and sound and images created by myself just in time for this exhibition.
Looking at the window glass, you will see a reflection of South River going by: ongoing change where the present is behind you. Now change focus to see behind the glass: reach out and bring your hand close to the photos and the past comes alive with sound. You can almost touch it! Any photograph or audio recording is an image of the past and these merge with the present in a window to the world." - Sandy McLennan

New Adventures in Sound Art would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for supporting the workshop component of this presentation.

Sandy McLennan is a multidisciplinary artist thriving on reinvention. A Sheridan College Media Arts graduate (1981), he worked as Audio-Visual/Computer Technician in schools until 2014, residing near Huntsville, Ontario since 1986. Making movies on celluloid film or digital video, he is compelled to reproduce docu-drama evidence of the world around him. After decades away he is back in his home darkroom, hand-processing motion picture film. He employs both a portable darkroom and portable cinema to take film outside. Sandy has received grants from the Ontario Arts council to teach pinhole photography and has led workshops at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. McLennan's experience includes performing with the Canadian Opera Company at age 7, shooting slides in Hong Kong in 1972, tape recording R.Murray Schafer’s lake opera in 1981, documenting a canoe trip on 16mm film, mounting solo and group exhibitions of photography, installation, audio and motion pictures and installation/performance collaborations with Beverley Hawksley for Nuit Blanche North.
Sounding Bodies
By Jonathan Tyrrell
June 17 – Sep 6th 2021, Thursday to Monday, 10am – 4pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by Donation

Somewhere between an electroacoustic instrument and architecture, Sounding Bodies: Eutopia, is a spatial audio installation that transforms sheet metal panels into inhabitable loudspeakers. Tremoring with sonic vitality, these everyday materials offer polyphonic reflections on the village of South River and surrounding area; fragments of speech taken from interviews with long-time residents and newcomers alike slowly orbit the installation, pondering the poignant cycles of change and the ineffable mystery of place. The title of the work was inspired by a phrase from one of the interviews: “it’s still a good place”, capturing the ambiguous etymological origins of ‘utopia’, which in addition to meaning ‘non-place’ can also be written with the prefix ‘eu’, meaning ‘good place’.

Jonathan Tyrrell is a designer, artist, and educator based in Toronto. He has a background in experimental architecture, public art, and music composition which he uses to explore the relationship between sound, space, and memory. He has exhibited at Unsilent Night (Cambridge, 2019), and Nuit Blanche (Toronto, 2019) where his project Sounding Bodies was written up by NOW Magazine as one of ten “must-see” sound works at the festival. Other projects include audio walks and sonic portraits of Toronto, and Loon Box (Stackt Market, 2019), a repurposed vintage speaker that plays loon calls, combined with a quadrophonic sound composition made from field recordings along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Audio Bench
July 29 to September 20, 2021, Thursday to Monday, 10am – 4pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by Donation
An outdoor picnic table provides the setting for listening on headphones to electroacoustic sound art works curated by NAISA from an international call for submissions on the theme Digital in Nature.

The Mycorrhizal Rhythm Machine
By Tosca Terán (aka Nanotopia)
July 29 to September 20, 2021, Thursday to Monday, 10am – 4pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by Donation

This interactive sculpture turns a Grow Room into a Fungi and Sprout music generator. Fine electrodes placed within roots of Endo (and some Ecto) mycorrhizal plants, receive bio-data and translate this activity into notes which trigger actuators that strike, strum and rattle creating a symbiotic symphony of sound!
WATER Shadows
By Julia White
September 26 to December 13, 2021 Thursday to Monday, 10am – 4pm
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 106 Ottawa Ave, South River
Pay by Donation
WATER Shadows is an installation of sound sculptures that celebrates water, featuring field recordings of watery soundscapes in the artist’s community. As one moves through the ‘water temple’ complex of steel sculptures wrapped in discarded bicycle inner tubes, the unique sound ecology of each water-recording site is experienced as one continuous flow. Boundaries are dissolved as the raw recordings of both natural and machine-made sounds blend together.

Using Arduino micro-controllers and speakers inside the works, the voice of water is amplified, allowing it to speak for itself. In this way, WATER Shadows opens a dialogue that encourages the benign and beautiful symbiotic relationship between nature and society.

WATER Shadows in essence, is a sanctuary of sorts, a sculptural landscape in which to tune to the wild currents within ourselves and our world. Deep listening is encouraged here, as Hermann Hesse writes, “They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”

"Water Shadows was inspired by an experience I had with the element water in the deep silence of winter." Below is a sketch and voice recording by the artist describing the inspiration behind WATER Shadows.

Julia White is a sculptor that creates dreamlike sculptural landscapes with her enigmatic abstract forms. She combines the raw beauty of nature with elements of light, sound and architecture, through a creative process that is uninhibited yet deliberately refined. Originally from Toronto, White received a BFA from Queen’s University, Kingston and a certificate from the Deep Listening Institute, NY, then followed her roots to a round house in the country near Walter’s Falls, ON, where she now lives on land with a creek and a forest of trees. https://www.juliawhite.ca/
An Invitation: The Web Water Portal
for the WATER Shadows Installation

Julia White invites you to participate in the WATER Shadows exhibition at NAISA by sharing your own personal reflections on water and why it is important to you. Unique to this exhibition at NAISA, sonic water offerings are being gathered. The recording device on the water obelisk is the gathering vessel, ready to receive your contributions.

Name a watery place that is special to you, sound it out, sing it, tell a story, recount a dream, offer an idea or a poem. Each one will be collected as an essential part of the exhibit, digitally archived and made available online in the Web Water Portal: http://www.juliawhite.ca/water-shadows-south-river

Any and all contributions are welcome!

You may also upload your own sonic water offerings! Simply scroll the window below to view further instructions:


Recordings & Interactive Design: Don & Anne Hill
Digital Coding Consultation: Kyle Elliot Mathewson
Responsive Architecture Consultation: Jim Ruxton
Voices (1975): Sam Allen, Russell Brown, Bernard Clay, Dorthea Coates, Art Lees, Buzz Lein, Viola Moody, Don Parrott and Diana Taft

Produced with Support from the Canada Council for the Arts

Don Hill is a sound artist & designer, writer, broadcaster, musician and interactive media producer, as well as a former national host of CBC Radio One’s Tapestry. His newest work STORY TREES is a modified ‘responsive architecture’ & interactive online exhibition. Don’s prior investigation of psychoacoustics of ‘place’ inspired his augmented reality app Edmonton Soundwalks, a 3D audio guide for mobile phones. Special Places: Writing-On- Stone is an immersive 360 video presentation that scales from full-dome screens to VR (virtual reality) headsets. In residency with the UK’s renowned Blast Theory he made WRGO (what’s really going on), a surreal 3D audio narrative.