The Dark Pool

The Dark Pool employed interactive audio, video and photographic elements in combination with objects that pursued the artists’ interests in narrative structure and how narrative is enacted and affected by video, audio and objects.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VI, no. 3, p. 15, January/February 1995:

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller will be media artists-in-residence at the Western Front throughout February. The residency will be followed by an exhibition of their new work in Front Gallery. The new work The Black Pool will employ interactive audio, video and photographic elements in combination with objects. This piece pursues the artists’ interest in narrative structure and how narrative is enacted and affected by video, audio and objects. Both Cardiff and Miller have worked with interactive technologies, exploiting the confluence of distance and closeness that these interactions can create. The Black Pool will be related to Cardiff’s last piece, To Touch and Miller’s earlier work Conversation/Interrogation.

To Touch is a rough wooden table into which sensors are embedded. By running a hand over the table the viewer activates the sensors and triggers sounds from speakers around the room. In writing about To Touch Cardiff states, “I am intrigued by the divergent ways in which to present a story so that it can become less of a linear information experience and more of a physical and spatial understanding…I am combining this interest in narrative structure with a technical approach similar to an electronic sampler, using a table with sensors (switches) inserted into the surface. When the sensors are activated there are auditory responses, such as voices, sounds or music that play from various speakers located around the room…”

George Bures Miller states his interest in “our culture’s immersion in, yet ambiguous relationship with technology; the connections between identity, power, gender and communication; light, electricity and darkness.”

Miller’s Conversation/Interrogation was recently shown at La Chambre Blanche in Quebec City. It involves the viewer in a potential shot reverse shot relationship with a man on the screen, the viewer’s live image is switched into this prerecorded tape. Prerecorded statements such as “I remember so much about you” figure the relationship between the viewer and the speaker as either intimate and conversational or authoritative and interrogative.

Janet Cardiff has had solo exhibitions at The Power Plant (Toronto), The Randolph Street Gallery (Chicago), and a The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge). George Bures Miller has show at Galerie Clark (Montreal), Eastern Edge Gallery (St. John’s) and been included in group exhibitions in Seattle and San Francisco.