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Upcoming Installations

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 celebration of the sun in its phase of solar maximum by audiovisual artist Dan Tapper. The exhibition gathers solar data from space organizations, as well as utilizing Tapper’s DIY devices that encode solar data into lo-fi playable records and reveal radio spectrum from the earth’s ionosphere and space.

The data captured ranges from realtime images captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to quantitative mappings of daily sunspots accessed as spreadsheets of data. These images and datasheets are analyzed to extract key information about the sun and to create virtual simulations of the sun alongside new sounds and images.

Tapper’s DIY devices capture a less cosmic radio soundscape. Coils of wire translating radio naturally produced by the earth’s ionosphere into clicks, crackles, pops and hums. This radio spectrum includes a clicking chorus of lightning from all around the world as well as the ionospheres interaction with the sun at high levels of solar activity.

Helios 2024, moves between directly representational sound and imagery of the sun and more abstract experimentation, this interplay lets us sit in a transient space, imaging and imagining the sun through meditative static.
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.
Community Soundscapes
April 4 to June 10, 2024. Open 10 am to 4 pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario
Pay by Donation

Community Soundscapes surrounds one with the sounds of spring using a multi-channel speaker system and recordings made by residents in the local region. The spring season is a special time of the year in the Almaguin Highlands as the snow melts, the ice breaks up on the lakes and the arrival of insects and birds is loudly announced by the sounds made by peepers. The soundscape of the installation is updated weekly to reflect sounds of the most recent weeks. If you live in the Almaguin Highlands and wish to contribute to Community Soundscapes then please get in touch (naisa at nasia dot ca). Listen to a selection of the recordings by visiting Aporee.org
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

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 that explores the effects of the Northern Ontario climate on an upright piano at its location at the NAISA North Media Arts Centre in South River, Ontario, Canada. This is inspired by musical explorations in Australia of performing on - and of collecting - 'ruined' pianos - pianos left outside in the natural environment for an extended period of time (see https://bolleter.wixsite.com/warpsmusic for further insights).

The Decomposing Piano at NAISA was installed in December 2022 at a point where the upright piano was still playable despite some tuning deficiencies. As time goes on it is expected to become more and more difficult to play. However, in the gradual "decomposition" or "weathering" of the piano over time, new sounds should emerge - some of which might require increasing amounts of aid from recording and amplification to be experienced. Through its entire decomposition process, the public is invited to play the piano at NAISA and experience its transformation until it is deemed unsafe to play. The NAISATube YouTube Channel features a 24/7 webcam of the Decomposing Piano.
View Project History

Art's Birthday Weathered Piano Exchange

On January 17, 2024 NAISA is presenting the Art's Birthday Weathered Piano Exchange which is a collaboration with pianist and composer Jesse Budel. Jesse Budel at the Murray Bridge Piano Sanctuary in South Australia and Nadene Thériault-Copeland at NAISA will exchange recorded improvisations on pianos from their respective locations that will be made into a composition that will be aired on the radio show Electric Sense on CIUT Radio and during a special Art's Birthday broadcast on CITR in Vancouver called 24 Hours of Radio Art. The improvised recordings form a musical correspondence mixing weathered pianos recorded on location during both the Canadian winter and the Australian summer.

Summer 2023 Fundraising Concerts

In the summer of 2023 NAISA's Executive Director Nadene Thériault-Copeland hosted a series of fundraising concerts with invited guest performers to join her on the Decomposing Piano.  Audience members were also invited to perform during the interval breaks.

August 26, 2023 - Decomposing Piano and Violin Concert

July 29, 2023 - 4 Hands Piano Duets

June 24, 2023 - Duet for Decomposing Piano and ‘Crutch'

Winter 2022-23 Recordings

In the first month of the piano being outdoors recordings were made to demonstrate the character of the piano and the variations in tuning and keyboard action that occurred as the winter temperatures changed.

January 22 2023 - Only 15-20 keys working

January 17, 2023 - Piano Improvisation for NAISA North Re-Opening Party

December 29, 2022 - Three Weeks after being Outdoors

The Sensation of Distribution
By Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters
Open 24/7 year round.
NAISA North Media Arts Centre, 313 Highway 124, South River, Ontario

The Sensation of Distribution is a reprise of Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters’s 2019 work, The Distribution of Sensation, which they created while artists in residence at The Bentway, a large, urban public space situated under an elevated highway in downtown Toronto. The Distribution of Sensation was a sound sculpture composed of PVC pipes installed around The Bentway that invited visitors to listen through the natural resonance of the cylinders, creating a series of musical experiences across the site. Mimic the plumbing infrastructure of the site, the installation was meant to create aesthetic slippages that might potentially lead to confusion as to what exactly functioned or counted as art.

The re-installation of this work at NAISA blends the pipe sculptures into a more domestic vernacular. Mounted on NAISA’s exterior walls to impersonate furnace vents and erupting from the ground to suggest rogue plumbing gone awry, The Sensation of Distribution re-invites visitors to explore the unnoticed or imminent sonic and aesthetic potential of our built environment.