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Steve Bates

FDBK (Feedback for a Black Box)


May 2 - 25, 2012

Vernissage + Fellowship Recipient Announcement 2012:

Thursday, May 3, 6–8 p.m.

Exhibition description

FDBK marks the completion of a loop that began two years ago with the awarding of the inaugural Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art.

As with all things circular, once whole, there appears to be no beginning or end. The exhibition brings together a number of pieces which, although autonomous, form a coherent environment. From video installation, sound, light, and radio transmissions, to publication acts, the exhibition itself operates as a form of feedback. At core is the idea of interval, first popularly theorized by Pythagoras in his search for harmonic unity as being both the space between, and the relationship to, one another of notes on a monochord. This suggestion of sonic experience, that is, vibration as discernible by an other, as being both of space and time serves as the reference to which Bates provides feedback both negative and positive. The artist tugs and pokes at the unifying systems suggested by the likes of Pythagoras and cybernetics as he furthers his inquiry into other authors, (Bergson, Shannon, Cocteau) and ideas that investigate the connections between science, music and mysticism.

A publication featuring a text commissioned from Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt in English and French, designed by Jim Verburg, will be launched simultaneous to a public lecture by the artist.

About the artist

Steve Bates is an artist and musician, raised in Winnipeg and now living in Montréal. Coming from a back ground in the noisier side of music, radio art eventually lead to installation projects, both gallery and publicly sited. The sonic is always the starting point for his projects which are then manifested as evocations of communication networks and systems, or expressions of spatial and temporal experience.

Bates frequently uses sound material that is site-specific in an attempt to uncover place and how the sonic effects our experience of site. Time is measured, stretched, pulled at, ignored, and extended.

Bates holds an MFA from Concordia University where he was awarded the inaugural Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Fellowship in Contemporary Art. Current projects include ongoing collaborations with Douglas Moffat as Field Sound, including Okta, a multi-channel, permanent, outdoor sound installation commissioned by the City of Toronto, Lanterner, a music duo with Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt, and solo exhibitions. Bates continues to release music, both solo and collaboratively. His work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Europe.

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