A view of Leila Sujir’s “Forest Breath” (2018, stereoscopic 3D video lightbox with stereo audio), featured at Surrey Art Gallery this fall. (submitted photo/SAG)

Art exhibit

‘Garden in the Machine’ marks digital-art anniversary in Surrey, with VR game and more

Surrey Art Gallery’s fall exhibit bridges the digital and natural worlds

This fall’s feature exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery focuses on six artists who make large images and environments “that question the limits of technology and nature.”

The Garden in the Machine art show, to open on Saturday, Sept. 21, celebrates the 20th anniversary of digital-art programming in the gallery’s TechLab.

The exhibit bridges the digital and natural worlds with art created by Faisal Anwar, Helma Sawatzky, Leila Sujir, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Paisley Smith and Robert Youds.

In Data Mulch, Surrey-based artist Sawatzky digitally stitches together dozens of photographs of a brimming compost bin at Granville Island Public Market.

Anwar’s interactive video CharBagh uses social media to generate a Persian-style Islamic garden. The artwork grew out of Anwar’s workshops with Surrey residents who took photos related to sustainable food production, climate change and nature. A variation will play on Surrey’s UrbanScreen this fall, at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Ave.).

In For Everyone a Fountain, Youds uses computer software to translate photographs of Victoria’s Butchart Gardens into coloured light sequences spanning the four seasons. “These images appear in a tower of gleaming metal building and office materials,” says a release from SAG. “Youds creates a compelling space that collapses the boundaries between architecture and nature, work and leisure, image and object, utopia and dystopia.”

For Unceded Territories, Smith teams with Yuxweluptun to create a virtual-reality game that invites participants to move through different natural landscapes inspired by Yuxweluptun’s paintings of colonization in B.C. “As people play the game, their presence leads to sinister consequences such as forest fires and oil spills,” according to the gallery release. The VR component of this installation is available for public viewing Thursdays between 3 and 7 p.m.

Meantime, Sujir’s Forest Breath highlights nature “as a space of spiritual connection and renewal that needs protection,” using stereoscopic 3D video to show a section of dense woodland on Canada’s West Coast.

• RELATED STORY: ‘The Nature of Things’ showcases 24 artists at Surrey gallery’s group exhibit.

Change, growth and mutation are at the centre of the exhibit, Surrey Art Gallery curator Jordan Strom noted.

“These themes connect to the evolution of our TechLab since its launch in 1999,” he said in a release. “This Surrey Art Gallery program has showcased experimental art practices from robotic drawing machines to aerial drone videos, interactive sculpture to new forms of virtual reality.

“We’re excited to honour this milestone with an exhibition that features several of Canada’s emerging and internationally recognized digital artists.”

The opening reception on Sept. 21 will feature a conversation with Anwar, Sujir and Youds, starting at 6:30 p.m. at 13750 88th Ave., Bear Creek Park.

Garden in the Machine will be shown at the gallery until Dec. 15. An informal tour of the exhibit led by Strom is planned for Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. Also, on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 26, Yuxweluptun and Smith will discuss their virtual-reality collaboration during a free talk, where attendees can explore Unceded Territories before and after the event.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Sikh millworker lodges human rights complaint against Interfor, again

Mander Sohal, fired from Delta’s Acorn Mill, alleges discrimination based on religion and disability

Developer offers free Tesla 3 with purchase of South Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Police looking for missing teen last seen at Surrey Central bus loop

Surrey RCMP say Daniel Froehlich has been missing since 10 p.m. on Sept. 10

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

Delta police say no evidence found of shots fired in Tsawwassen

Police received multiple reports of the sound of shots fired in Tsawwassen Sunday night

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. communities urged to improve access for disabled people

One in four B.C. residents has disability, most want to work

UVic students killed in Bamfield bus crash were from Winnipeg, Iowa City

Authorities said the two victims were a man and a woman, both aged 18

Safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island

Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants a safe route between Bamfield and Port Alberni

National weather forecasters predict average fall, cold winter

The Weather Network says precipitation will about average in most parts of Canada

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Most Read