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Upcoming Installations

Borderline (Almaguin Highlands): Collective counter mapping through sonic geographies
By Jessica Thompson
Open after September 14, 2023. Open 10 am to 4 pm Thursday to Monday.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
Pay by Donation
Borderline is a critical mapmaking project that uses sound to illuminate social and economic differences in local geographies. Visitors to the NAISA North Media Arts Centre are invited to contribute to a large-scale soundmap of the Almaguin Highlands by borrowing a toolkit to map sounds in one of the villages of their choice, or by using the Borderline mobile app. The sounds collected will be added to the map on an ongoing basis.

The Borderline iOS app enables users to automatically map sounds in their environment, put them in dialogue with other forms of data, and generate interactive soundscapes by playing sounds back into the environment. Click here to download

Jessica Thompson is a media artist working in sound, performance and mobile technologies. Her interactive artworks have shown at venues such as the International Symposium of Electronic Art (San Jose, Dubai, Vancouver), the Conflux Festival (New York), Thinking Metropolis (Copenhagen), Beyond/In Western New York (Buffalo), NIME (Oslo), Artists’ Walks (New York), Locus Sonus (Aix-en-Provence), the AGW Triennial (Windsor), InterACTION (Kitchener), HASTAC (Vancouver), Re:Sound (Aalborg), and Entorno Encuentro Exploración (Pamplona), The Politics of Sound (Lethbridge) and CAFKA (Kitchener). She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Government of Ontario.
Threads of an Unwritten Future
By Kelly Ruth
December 7 to January 8, 10 am to 4 pm. Artist-guided installation Dec 7 to 9 with daily performances at 1 pm.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario. Click Here for Access in Second Life
Pay by Donation.
Join Edmonton artist Kelly Ruth in residence at NAISA for three days for an artist guided tour of her virtual installation "Threads of an Unwritten Future" in which she has designed a concert hall and media environment. In-person performances will take place daily at 1 pm. Experience a performance in the world of Second Life on Dec 9 at 7 pm.

Having explored virtual worlds intermittently over the past 20 years or so, Kelly Ruth returned to Second Life during the COVID pandemic after nearly a decade of absence. With a renewed fascination she has found hope in a future that integrates virtual worlds into the fabric of life. This interest has reinvigorated her practice with a playful curiosity and an excitement for the emerging reinvention of many things that are currently taken for granted.

Kelly Ruth describes the installation environment in Second Life as follows:
"Working with both a weaving loom and a spinning wheel in my sound practice has led me to explore the personification of destiny in the form of the archetypical Three Fates. The three women—Clothos who spins the thread, Lachesis who measures the allotted length, and Atropos who cuts the thread with shears—seem to exist in another dimension responsible for the human experience of linear time. This exhibit reflects on the word “allotment” and its relationship to the fragilities and transitory nature of life, economy, society, and imagined futures.”

Her Second Life performance can also be experienced on YouTube in a live broadcast event on December 12 at 2 pm called You And I Are Water Earth Fire Air Of Life And Death.
Kelly Ruth has been activating her textiles and tools through using electronics and sound, and has been integrating microcontrollers into the foundations of her woven cloth. In performance she uses contact microphones and effects pedals on her weaving loom and other fibre-related tools in addition to light activated drone machines that she has built herself. She has created several bodies of work using weaving, felting and dyeing with plants, recognizing these as early technologies, and a relationship that humans have had with the land. Most recently she has been researching, creating, and performing in virtual worlds with her continued interest in humanities relationship to technology. Issue 130 of Musicworks Magazine profiled Kelly Ruth.
The Decomposing Piano
Open 24/7 in All Seasons
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
The Decomposing Piano is a semi-permanent outdoor installation exploring the effects of the Northern Ontario climate on an upright piano. Lately there has been interest among arts organizations in the phenomena of the Ruined piano. A ruined piano is a piano left outside in a natural environment for an extended period of time (see https://bolleter.wixsite.com/warpsmusic for further insights). This project began in December 2022 at the stage where the piano was still playable despite some tuning deficiencies. As time goes on it will become more and more difficult to play. However, in the gradual "decomposition" of the piano over time, new sounds will emerge with increasing amounts of aid from amplification. Through its entire decomposition process, the public is invited to play the piano and experience its transformation until it deemed unsafe to play.
Turbulent Forms: Helios 2024
By Dan Tapper
January 14 to April 1, 2024. Open 10 am to 4 pm Thursday to Monday.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
Pay by Donation

Helios 2024 is a sound installation by Dan Tapper that celebrates the sun in its phase of solar maximum. Using solar data gathered from space organizations alongside DIY devices, seen and unseen structures are converted into images and sound, allowing us to reimagine the sun and engage with its energy in new ways. The exhibition combines old and new works from Tapper's long-term practice of capturing cosmic data and converting it into audiovisual installations, physical data objects, digital images, and sound works.

Dan Tapper is an artist and creative technologist interested in the intersection between information and experience. His work focuses on the unseen and unheard, using radio and imaging technologies to capture the sounds of the earth’s ionosphere, map supernovas, and capture microscopic worlds. By utilizing elements of conceptual art and science in his work, Tapper draws attention to the unperceived wonders that surround us and the poetry that can be found in data.
STORY TREES (opus 3)
By Don Hill
Click Here for Online Experience
For laptop or desktop computer with webcam and Chrome browser

STORY TREES is an experimental series of interactive exhibitions of sound art & telepresence. In 2021 NAISA premiered Opus 1 of Story Trees for the Deep Wireless Festival and it featured interviews recorded in the 1970's with elders in Northern Ontario. Opus 3 of Story Trees uses field recordings mixed with ambient analog & synthetic audio sources. Similar to the previous iterations, Opus 3 uses the webcam and Chrome web browser on your computer to modulate and alter the sonic experience. Click Here to read more and to experience the piece.

Recordings & Interactive Design: Don & Anne Hill
Digital Coding Consultation: Kyle Elliot Mathewson
Responsive Architecture Consultation: Jim Ruxton

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.