BIAN: Zimoun and Florian Grond at Oboro Gallery

If you haven’t checked out any of the exhibitions happening in conjunction with the International Digital Arts Biennial (BIAN) (April 18 – June 13); you should. The BIAN is transforming art galleries around Montreal into sites of technologically derived contemporary art. At Oboro Gallery, there are two great installations, one by the rising Swiss art star Zimoun and another by an obscure Austrian artist Florian Grond.

Zimoun‘s site-specific installation Prepared DC-Motors on Cardboard at Oboro gallery consists of a grid of cardboard boxes spanning the circumference of the gallery.  Each row of precariously balanced cardboard boxes work to form an architectural space containing a rumbling din produced by mechanical motors humming in unison. Pulsing rhythmically, each unit reverberates with its own sense of purpose and timing.

Zimoun‘s sound sculpture uses lo-fi technology – cardboard, cotton, cork, wire, and DC motors to create a unique soundscape that reverberates with tranquil simplicity. Using these basic utilitarian materials, Zimoun builds mechanical structures that create a chorus of hypnotic sounds, akin to rain falling on a tin roof, defying expectations of what a ball of cotton hitting a cardboard box and or cork should sound like. Not only that, the sound sculpture is visually pleasing, immersing the viewer in an installation of cardboard boxes with dancing wires makes it pleasant to look at.

In the next room is Florian Grond‘s New Media installation Along the Line. The installation applies a super brainy mathematical phenomenon (that is beyond my scope of comprehension) called Hilbert space-filling curves. This phenomenon permits a squared surface to be traversed without crossing the same point.  In layman terms, Along the Line focuses on notions of space-time and the infinite line.

A camera captures images of art viewers and then sluggishly projects them onto a screen. However, the image is not representational of the viewer, rather, it distorts their images into lines and blocks of color similar to the abstract painting style of Gerhard Richter. Inside the dark room as your body and the bodies of others turn into abstract lines and colors, it feels like you have been teleported into a science fiction novel. The work of art not only beckons the viewer to enjoy artwork; the viewers participation adds to this artwork that is in a state of constant flux.

You can view these exhibitions at Oboro until June 2, 2012 and entry is free.

All photographs & video © Juan Madrigal

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