Wish You Were Here, 2022, 4:07 minutes, color, no dialogue
Time lapse recording of live, 24-hour webcams projected on 6 walls.
This exhibition includes four of Tasman Richardson’s digital experiences which were created as investigations into how surveillance appropriates human experience. This information is used as behavioral data and is translated to sell commodities to us.
This body of work is integral in identifying our existence in these times. It draws parallels between the mythical age and our era of technological confusion, pointing to predictions of a dystopian future.
Richardson claims, as many have, that the rise of technologically fueled capitalism will lead to the numbing of our emotions and experiences, due to desensitization and lack of in person interaction.
live generative feedback wall, installation documentation, digital 8 camcorders, projectors, robotics, arduino, speakers, macbook
Sands Stand Still
2019 / 8:00 minutes, b&w, sound,
Surveillance mirrors, wood, micro projectors, dulltech players, induction sound, crt static, vellum, speakers
A monolithic pillar in two segments, joined at the center suggests the flow of time. A mirrored infinity cube, at the center, marks the eternal “now”. Electrical pulses and static replace sand in this hourglass, breathing in and out shifting from black to white.
The noise drawn by the electron gun is heard by an induction mic. The sounds are sculpted into vowel sounds using formant filters: “In” and “Yo”. An old mantra translating as light, dark.
These works by Richardson allude to the theory that the world is cyclical, that it is, characterized by an unending process of creation and destruction. As a pioneer in digital media art processes and installations, Richardson reflects on the negative structures of surveillance capitalism in beautiful and poetic ways.
An eight-foot, circular window resembling the Rose window of Notre Dame cathedral is the centerpiece. Each hole in the window is illuminated by a cinematic incarnation of Joan of Arc. The extremely short vignettes are head and shoulder video portraits. Each was recorded live, scrubbed in real-time and played like puppets. The video segments radiate from the center in chronological order. In varying instances, they bite their lips, pause, hiss, scream, and weep. Together the sound is a droning chant. With each retelling and remake, the history is further obscured into vague iconography and cliched, exaggerated performance. The essence is lost; the truth reduced to the certainty of death. The faces of the performers
are helpless to look away from the inevitable flames which persist in the center of the window .
Tasman Richardson began his practice in 1996 by pioneering his audio/visual cut up method known as Jawa. He went on to revise the technique from a strictly studio based edit to live midi triggered performance and has since taught workshops on scavenging and structuring content with the technique.
He co-founded the FAMEFAME media arts collective in 2002 and launched the international a/v tournament Videodrome with his FAMEFAME cohorts Jubal Brown, Elenore Chesnutt, and Josh Avery. In 2011 he launched the strictly live, abstract, and anonymous performance showcase known as The New Flesh.
His work expanded to include installation in 2012 with the exhibition of his six room, 2000 square foot construction of Necropolis, first housed in Toronto's Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. He then produced the bookend of his critique of self reflection and mediated gaze with his installation Kali Yuga, first housed in Arsenal Contemporary in Montreal.
He has collaborated, exhibited, and performed internationally for over two decades.
His themes to date have been a critical response to recordings which he dubbed "contemporary necromancy", social media as a "voluntary surveillance state", video as "a soul without a body", and imperfect mediated reflections.