My First Exhibition: It’s About Time
I am honestly humbled to have had the pleasure of showcasing our work to so many people during this year’s Supercrawl in Hamilton. The Factory Media Centre invited me to have an exhibition where I share the cinemagraphs I’ve made on a near daily basis during the weekend long street festival on James St. North.
Working together with little budget and notice, their curator and I strove to build a space that was attention grabbing and immersive.
We scrounged up 36 old televisions. Collecting them from friends, family, and members of the Factory Media Centre was quite a feat but was actually the easy part. Next was the challenge of getting such a modern media to play off these old cathode-ray monsters.
The Factory Media Centre is Hamilton’s artist-run resource centre for film, video, new media, instillation and audio art. They advance the discourse of contemporary media arts locally and nationally through exhibitions, screenings, workshops, and programming. In addition to being a venue, they also share access to multimedia equipment, editing suits, and studio space. Therefore, getting the chance to have a solo exhibition here while multitudes amble by in the promenade that downtown becomes is quite a treat.
Because Supercrawl is an annual street fest where thousands descend on a closed James St., I was maybe more excited. There are stages of live music, fashion zones, street vendors and public art displays. As such, all the galleries that dot the street are open with an exhibition or two to treat those curious to explore Hamilton’s art scene.
In total, we probably drew close to 3000 people through the Factory doors at 228 James St. North. Some came to Supercrawl just to check out what we had built. The old TVs proved attractive: a low-tech display of high-concept new media. Because the cinemagraphs on display were so mesmerizing, many confess it to be their favourite instillation on the street.
We shape our identities by the stories we tell about ourselves. Consequently, who we are today depends on where we were yesterday. With the passage of time, our narrative about who was there and what we have done blends. Some details are lost. In conclusion, our memories become our stories.
My vice is to visually document this aspect of identity. By blending photography and video together, I hope to capture fleeting fragments of time. Each day I chronicle a moment in my life. It’s about time I shared some.
First of all, the cinemagraph to me is a perfect medium to create moments that last forever. Since they have to loop indefinitely, the exhibition of them is a challenge. This is because I make them for the web as gifs. On a web browser, these pieces truly are everlasting. They repeat seamlessly because of their format. How does one bring them into a real space? The idea to play them off old TV sets means they have to be remade as video, and play off DVDs that loop.
The 365 of 2015
While my daily cinemagraphs were the main display, also screening during the instillation was my passion project. A film with a photo or video snapshot everyday for a year is compressed into a timeline that equates to one second per day. I was probably thrilled the most when people would actually experience the whole film seated on the church pew we provided in the space. The Three-Hundred and Sixty-Five Seconds of my 2015 further rounded out the concept of the exhibition. It’s About Time was just as the title suggests, an exhibition of the tapestry of moments that have made up my life in the last little while.
A Humble Thank You
Many thanks go out to those who stopped by. What was most satisfying was hearing laughter from the audience. I enjoyed greeting strangers who were engaged and moved by the pieces we decided to share.
Finally, kudos to everyone at The Factory Media Centre who helped make this exhibition the success it was.