|THE OPENING is all about delving into the fascinating, quirky and wonderful visual arts in Vancouver. Each week we’ll feature an artist, cover an exhibition, discuss a lecture and everything else in-between to delve deep into who and what makes art happen!|
Earlier this year, Emily Carr graduates Soledad Muñoz and Conrad Sly captured the attention of exhibition-goers with their collaborative installation, Field Work. Secreted away inside of a dim classroom, Field Work was entirely absorbing and strangely futuristic. Planes and plinths in ‘green-screen’ green served as visual anchors in a peaking swirl of rendered graphics, archival video, and the omnipresent buzz generated by Muñoz’ black cross, whose thatch of charged copper wire would register minute changes in its environment — movement by, say, an inquisitive viewer — and relay them back into sound. My initial encounter with Field Work left me curious and enthralled; the twisting renderings of mountain ranges, the initially inexplicable presence of John Diefenbaker, and the way in which this ominously hovering X could prickle the fine hairs on your skin with its murmurs and howls stayed with me long after the Degree Exhibition came down and Field Work, in its first iteration, was dismantled.
In hopes of unlocking some of the many mysteries folded into Field Work, I met up with Muñoz and Sly at Sunset Terrace, an archetypal artists’ studio whose clean gallery storefront belies the visual cacophony of a hundred works in progress inside. Sitting on stuffed armchairs towards the back of the space where a garage door was rolled up to let in a big swath of air and light, Muñoz and Sly schooled me on the affective potential of technology in art, their plans for the future, and how important it is to be bolstered by a strong creative community.