The Dis/ease/s of the Ear

Exhibition Opening and Performance
June 26th, 19:30

Opening Hours
June 27th – July 3rd, 15:00 – 18:00
Saturday / Sunday closed

Steve Bates is an artist and musician living in Montréal. His work listens to boundaries and borders, points of contact and conflict. Thresholds are explored, stretched and, at times, completely broken. Information and signal feed back onto themselves creating new situations and events. The sonic is the starting point for his projects which are evocations of communication networks and systems, or expressions of spatial and temporal experience. He frequently uses sound material that is site specific in an attempt to uncover place and how the sonic effects our experience of site. His work has been exhibited in Canada, Chile, Europe and Senegal. He works in the field, on the air, in museological/gallery and performance contexts. These shifting territories reflect the content of his practice.

Black Seas is an ongoing project influenced by historical and contemporary experiences of auditory hallucination. This growing body of work includes performance, installation, video, transmission, objects and materials. It consults documents from literature, cognitive science, early experimental psychiatry, philosophy and religious studies, telecommunications and sound studies, 18th century psychic journals, horror films, and shared stories and oral histories. It is a project about listening to noise through desire, agency and otherness.

For the exhibition at bb15, Bates will install an assemblage of some of the work produced to date. With Black Seas I became fascinated with how a sound could exist and simultaneously not exist. Of a radical interiority and how it meets an exterior. Of all the hearers, is a project about a weird listening. A listening, as Mark Fisher described it when theorizing the weird and the eerie via H.P. Lovecraft, where two worlds are brought together; the external and the internal. A weird listening is one that “lies beyond standard perception, cognition, and experience.”

Kristen Roos is a Vancouver based artist whose practice includes site-specific installations, performance, and sound design for dance. Kristen holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from the University of Victoria. His writing on sound and radio art appears in the Radius GRIDS booklet published by Half Letter Press (Chicago), the Errant Bodies publication Radio Territories (Berlin) and the New Star Books publication Islands of Resistance: Pirate Radio in Canada (Vancouver).

Anti-Wave examines the silent electromagnetic transmissions that are ubiquitous today. These inaudible frequencies are received with devices that recognize them not as information, but as something similar to the unwanted sounds that were heard in early radio reception. A hidden infrastructure is revealed by translating these frequencies into audible sounds –  a process that dissects the wireless devices that embody our lives and examines the relationships between people and the objects that inhabit their daily rituals. The installation allows new daily rituals to be created, through the use of textiles which block the frequencies emitted by wireless devices, drawing attention to possible health effects and emf hypersensitivity.

Black Seas - Steve Bates