'n-Polytope', by Chris Salter, work produced by LABoral, awarded at VIDA 14

The North American artist developed his piece during an artist production residency last summer at the Centro de Arte

Published: Dec 12, 2012
'n-Polytope', by Chris Salter, work produced by LABoral, awarded at VIDA 14

The installation 'n-Polytope', by Chris Salter, at LABoral. Photo: LABoral/S. Redruello

n-Polytope, a performance-installation by North American artist Chris Salter, produced by LABoral, has received an honourable mention from the VIDA 14 International Art and Artificial Life Competition launched in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica, which every year recognises the work of pioneering artists in the domains of art, science and new technologies.

A jury formed by Mónica Bello Bugallo (Spain), Jens Hauser (France), Martin Kaltenbrunner (Austria), Karla Jasso (Mexico), Sally Jane Norman (New Zealand/France), Nell Tenhaaf (Canada) and Francisco Serrano, the then Director General of Fundación Telefónica, have awarded this large audiovisual performance-installation. In this work, Salter employs today’s existing technology to reinterpret the spectacular architectural environments imagined by the Greek architect and composer Iannis Xenakis in the 1960s, 70s and 80s of the last century.

The work was developed by Salter during a residency at Plataforma 0. Centre for Production at LABoral last July in collaboration with Sofian Audry, Marije Baalman, Adam Basanta, Elio Bidinost and Thomas Spier. n-Polytope was on  show at the Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón until 10 September as a precursor to its presentation in other international artistic spaces.

The design and final construction of the installation by Salter, who showed his work in Spain for the first time, was made possible by an alliance of collaboration between the artist and a number of entities and institutions from different countries, with Gijón’s Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial acting as the unifying agent. In this way, the coprodution between LABoral and the Canadian studio-laboratory LabXModal was supported by the financial help of Fonds de recherche du Québec-Société et culture (FQRSC – Quebec Research Fund for Society and Culture), Canada, by the German engineering consulting firm Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, and the collaboration of STEIM (STudio for Electro Instrumental Music), the Netherlands and, also, the Spanish company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC), which made the installation structure.

Chris Salter (US/QC/CA) is Associate Professor for Design & Computation Arts at Concordia University in Montreal and Director of the Hexagram Concordia Centre for Research-Creation in Media Arts and Technology. He studied philosophy, economics, theatre and computer music at Emory and Stanford Universities. After collaborating with Peter Sellars and William Forsythe/Ballett Frankfurt, he co-founded and directed the art and research organization Sponge (1997-2003). His solo and collaborative work has been seen all over the world at such venues as the Venice Architecture Biennale, National Art Museum of China, CTM, Ars Electronica, Meta. Morf in Norway, PACT Zollverein, Todays Art, Villette Numerique, EMPAC, Transmediale, EXIT Festival, Place des Arts, Elektra, Shanghai Dance Festival, V2_, among many others. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010).

The re-imagining of Xenakis’ work by Chris Salter, produced at LABoral, is translated into both a performance and as a continuously evolving installation mode, steered through a sensor network utilising cutting edge machine learning algorithms which learns different rhythmic and temporal patterns produced by the light and sound. Creating bursts of light as well as evolving patterns, the behaviour of the LED’s suggest cosmological events, like the explosion of stars and supernovas. Counter-pointing the intense visual scenography, multi-channel audio fills the space with its noisy bursts, clangerous, gamelan-like lines and percussive explosions of sound.

 

In this year’s call Fundación Telefónica, which is a member of the Board of Trustees of Fundación La Laboral, the governing body of the art centre, awarded the VIDA 14 first prize to the work Pigeon d'Or by Tuur van Balen (Belgium); German Ralf Baecker received second prize for his work Irrational Computing while May the Horse Live in Me by AOO/Art Orienté Objet, a collective made up of French artists Marion Laval-Jeantet and Benoît Mangin, was given third prize.

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