Two women: one is young, angelic, billowing and dream like; the other alternates between the fetal position and the floating corpse pose. Side by side, the wood framed vessels into which the the images are projected and submerged in water, read as both boat and coffin. Like flowers dropped from the installation’s peeling wallpaper or the Chinese screens described by the narrator as she recounts a dream that turns into a nightmare, the water is the source of life of death. In Two Women, the gasping for air is visceral as the older woman contorts her body and I, the witness, listen to her story in Korean, read it in English and hear the stylus punctuate it into fabric as Morse code, the universal language associated with distress.
A Sound Garden, by Douglas Hollis, is an "aeolean" sound sculpture comprised of 12 tower-like structures. An aeolean instrument is one that wind-driven, a reference to Aeolus, the Greek god of wind. The structures contain pipes that generate a wide variety of sounds, depending on wind speed and direction . As this area is subject to frequent winds of varying intensity, A Sound Garden the visitor will almost always hear it in action and may be treated to a dynamic wind-driven concert as the sounds respond to changes in the winds. A Sound Garden is also notable as the inspiration for the eponymous Seattle grunge band, Soundgarden.
The Real Costs consists of an open-source Firefox web browser plug-in that inserts CO2 emissions data into airplane travel e-commerce websites such as Orbitz.com, United.com, Delta.com, and so on. Like the nutritional information labeling included on food packaging, this plug-in provides emissions information that is otherwise excluded from travel websites. Instead of a search for travel returning the cost in dollars, The Real Costs informs travellers of the cost of their journey in carbon emisssions and the number of tree-years required to offset it, along with comparative carbon footprint information for other forms of travel. Another graph shows per-capita carbon output by country, with the US off the chart.
Artist Tao Sambolec's expanded conception of art emphasizes tactility, embodied experience, affect and perception in space, often involving displacements that heighten our sensory awareness. In this respect, his work finds good company with pioneering contemporary artists from Duchamp to Eliasson. A case in point is Virtual Mirror – Rain, which received Honorable Mention at Prix Ars Electronica. The artist has somehow managed to achieve what might at first seem impossible: rain falling from the skies outside the gallery triggers an equivalent amount of rain "falling up" inside the gallery!
I am witnessing a sensation of dislocation from my immediate environment by its alternative representation in the data of position, the figures of longitude and latitude updated every second as I move. What place is there for my sensations, my phenomenology, my conscious and unconscious awareness of space if this knowledge is so efficiently and functionally made redundant by the technologies of satellite navigations? - Yolande Harris
Digital art, as in the work of Robert Campbell (Red Forest, detail) and NoiseFold is achieving the plasticity of clay, paint on canvas, or even analog electronics. Several Currents 2015 participants have developed, or cobbled together, computer based tools which provide the robustness needed to dig in, explore, and experiment with contemporary new media materials and techniques. It's much like the shift from the brush of a Mannerist painter to the sponge of a Max Ernst frottage.Progress in the flexibility and robustness of digital instruments allow them to be treated as plastic media which may lead to fully collaborative human/machine systems. We can start to imagine an actual collaboration between humans and machines where, rather than participating in a one-way struggle, each contribute what they do best in a two-way dialog. And once these collaborative systems are established, their collective behavior will become more interesting than any particular 'finished work'.