INSTALLATION

Twenty-one Improvised Extinctions

2020, AI interpreted landscapes with gauGAN and upscaled with Gigapixel.

1200 digital paintings, drawn by the artist, interpreted by gauGAN, the AI app. Each iteration has been an attempt to steer a narrative, not knowing how each step would be interpreted by the AI. I draw, it responds, then I respond with small revisions, always building on the previous result. Each landscape was evolved slowly and then suddenly scrubbed by a cataclysm, wiping the slate to begin a new world. Meanwhile, day and night, meeting and working at my screen, my window started to feel like another screen, under glass. Window browsing virtual and real are more alike now. We cast ourselves into the screens and the screens respond, interpret our wants, and narrow our field of view until our landscape is reduced to a soliloquy to ourselves.

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Kali Yuga
(documentation exhibit walkthrough)

2021, 8:09 minutes


The title of the exhibition, Kali Yuga (which translates to “The Age of Vice”), refers to a Hindu apocalypse tale. As the story goes, while dreaming of our universe and all of the people within it, a deity is suddenly stirred from sleep. Upon awakening, our shared reality is destroyed, ready to be rebuilt, anew.
Richardson draws parallels between Bentham’s panopticon design, the contemporary media landscape, and this ancient myth, framing our world as a fragmented feedback loop of hyper-connectivity, self-obsession and alienation.

These artworks were made possible with the generous financial support of The Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.

 

Blind Spot

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, Custom-designed software patch for MAX MSP Jitter, Kinect camera, MacBook Pro, projector, QuickTime loop, dyed four-ply cardboard, rear projection screen, wood, paint, speaker

A hole in a wall flickers with light. Visitors peer through this hole to see a video of snow falling in the woods accompanied by faint sounds of wind through branches. At first there doesn't seem to be much to the scene. However, if the viewer blinks, the video instantly cuts to black and the sound is suspended, only to resume when their eye is open again. Having the playback disappear when no one is looking recalls the uneasy sensation of looking over your shoulder to catch someone watching you, and finding nothing. This uneasy childhood paranoia is paralleled by our illusion of continuity in the memories of our day and the passing of time as seen through our eyes. Consciousness is a cut-up series of imperfect disruptions pasted together by faith and reason.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Ouroboros
(1 of 6 works in the Kali Yuga solo exhibition)

2019, live  .  digital 8 camcorders, projectors, robotics, arduino, speakers, macbook


Two cameras, two projections, looking at each other’s output produce an infinite feedback loop. Projection casts light, which creates tiny shadows in the imperfections of the wall. The iterations magnify and mutate into fragmented organic patterns. In addition to the image, the RCA video is split and filtered through an audio channel. Black translates as silence and white as full spectrum noise. The sound is shaped into resonating harmonics. 

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Going Gray
(1 of 6 works in the Kali Yuga solo exhibition)

2019, live  .  5 digital8 camcorders, 5 CRTs, 4k flat screen tv, 4k camcorder, wood, mirror, clamp light, cinefoil.

A flat screen framed in a round portal reflects the ragged portrait of the viewer. A live feed is relayed over and over to a monitor, rescanned by a camera, to another monitor, and so on from room to room, until the live image returns from its journey. The portrait has been ferried through space optically, not by wired signal. Analog erosion from the passage draws creases, ripples, and noise into the flesh of the face.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Sands Stand Still
(1 of 6 works in the Kali Yuga solo exhibition)

2019, 8:00 minutes  .  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.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

The Cave
(1 of 6 works in the Kali Yuga solo exhibition)

2019, 7:00 minutes  .  VHS camcorder, VCR, ultra short throw projector, matress, speakers, macbook

A VHS camcorder films a couple in silhouette, intimate. Each time they record themselves they then swap the tape to a VCR which projects their act on a wall behind them. With each recording, the previous event recedes further away creating picture-in-picture depth. Observing themselves, they shift from subject to object, from self to other.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Sphere of Influence, Circle of Protection
(1 of 6 works in the Kali Yuga solo exhibition)

2019, 10:00 minutes  .  video multiplier, projectors, broken mirrors, flash, midi to voltage converter, speakers, macbook


POV projections of collisions. A reference to the parasitic relationship between anonymous lurkers and self-broadcasting dash cam posters. The panorama, similar to a vanity mirror, encompasses the peripheral view. Duplicate crashes rush in from every angle simultaneously. A powerful strobe casts the ghostly afterimage of blank walls and a shimmering circle from broken mirror glare into the eyes where it resonates and builds with each additional collision.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Janus

(second construction install with intersecting screens)

2017, 8:00 minutes

Two projections intersect each other creating a symmetrical X, loosely referencing the different halves of the brain; the first consisting of colour and melody, while the second focuses on monochrome textures and rhythmic noise. The first channel is entirely composed of video glitches, as a result of hundreds of edits made ala prima as a continuous stream of consciousness. The second channel was on consciously planned reply to the subconscious first channel. The glitches were generated using a power failure method with Atari 2600 game consoles, captured with a time base corrector (TBC), and sorted by aesthetic likeness both in colour and tone.  

A pdf of the essay Dataism authored by Shauna Jean Doherty, a commentary on Janus, is available for download here.

Lethe Baptism

2014, 2:06 minutes, installation loop (additional 1:03 added here only)

 

Memory is the final format. The finished edit is output as separate soundtrack and imagetrack. Viewers pass through a tall blue (the colour of signal loss) velour curtain into a large screening space. The audience must piece together the edits of image to it's sound and decode the meaning of the recombinant clips and the significance of their order. I recommend viewing this on a large monitor or projection, and with speakers in a pitch dark room.

please play on loop.
 

The original installation (2:06 minutes) never showed the sound and image together, so I've added that here at the end to give people a slight advantage at decoding and making comparisons.

Previews of the prints can be found in the PRINT section, here.

Oracle I and O

2013, 5:52 minutes, installation loop

 

The vanity of the looking glass is interrupted by milky clouds of constantly changing Rorschach phantasms. The viewer is led to ignore their familiar features and attend to their true reflection through free association and subconscious influence. The effect is achieved by mixing nurturing benign milk with an intoxicating and bitter concoction of dark alcohol spirits. The Dark and the Light, I and O are a reference to a samurai chant for clearing the mind while practicing archery on horseback... I, O, repeated until the mind is cleared.

Braided power cord, handcrafted hardwood, reconstructed LED monitor, USB flash video loop, digital media player, two way mirror plexiglass

The Life of Death

2010, 5:39 minutes, installation loop

 

Long after our death, the canned laughter of our youth echoes on. Our digital phantasm is teleported into the future and experienced by an unknown audience like starlight bridging the abyss of cold darkness. A vintage tube television, a solitary figure, sounds and images—edited in many spaces and many times—converge to produce a sculpture in four dimensions. Inspired by the golden age of live television and one of it's greatest teleplay authors, Rod Serling. Originally projected on tulle mesh as an installation at AWOL gallery.

Rear projection on fine white tulle cloth, floor to ceiling at 1:1 scale match for accurate overlay of the space in which the original recording of the television stop motion animation was recorded.

Necropolis
(documentation exhibit walkthrough)

2012, 9:39 minutes

 

Necropolis is an immersive multi-media meditation on the nature of video and its strong affiliations with death culture. Consisting of six installations housed within a twisting, darkened superstructure, Necropolis channels visitors through stages of erosion, narcissism, acceleration, idolatry, self-doubt, and oblivion.  Catalog available from The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. UPDATE: Necropolis was exhibited in Ottawa by Karsh-Masson thanks to the tireless curators at Artengine. The space was smaller than MOCCA so the sections Analog Tide and Blind Spot were subtracted for this itteration.

These artworks were made possible with the generous financial support of The Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and Toronto Friends of The Visual Arts.

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Analog Tide

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, UHF transmitter, custom-made channel sweeping device, analog CRT televisions, MacBook Pro, DVI to RCA converter, QuickTime loop, waterproof pocket camcorder, wood, paint

A magnetic recording of a wave is eroded over time through continual re-recording, until it finally decays into a noisy foam of static. The re-recording is broadcast via a small transmitter to a collection of tube TVs strewn about like shells on a shore. The wave travels from one cluster of televisions to another, flickering up and down the beach. The TV sets are tuned to a different unused UHF band in succession. As visitors climb the ramp, they and the televisions are immersed in invisible waves.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Forever Endeavour

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, PC with dual VGA output, VGA to RCA converters, CRT cabinet televisions, synchronized QuickTime loops, excerpts from Poltergeist and The Ring, mirrors, wood, paint, dyed four-ply cardboard

On one screen exists a young girl, on the other, a woman. They stare out from their screens looking into each other's eyes. The glare of televisions is reflected in their gaze. A moment is held between the two, and then they cross-dissolve and trade places from one TV to another. One recalls the future, the other the past, but both are familiar and alike. The girl is Carol Anne from the film Poltergeist. The woman is Rachel from the American remake of The Ring. Although these samples come from films that were made two decades apart (and by different directors and writers from opposite ends of the globe), the context is the same. They are both preyed upon, by ghosts in the signal mediated by television. The characters appear to be the same person, in different phases of life. Across the gulf of time, death and fiction, they stare into a cathode ray mirror. Their faces, once illuminated by screens, have become screens to illuminate our own faces. Above and below, our flickering reflections repeat and recede.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Parsec

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, PC with dual HDMI output, HD projectors, QuickTime loop, PVC pipe, concrete, high-power drill, vice, suspended light bulb, DSLR camera, dyed four-ply cardboard, rear projection screens, wood, paint, speakers, compact mixer

Parallel dots of light approach from a distance, accompanied by a low bass tone, and then pass the viewer. This sequence is repeated ,but each time is a little faster. As the lines gain speed, an audible bending of the sound is noticeable. A Doppler effect pitches the tone up and down more dramatically, similar to the sound of a race car passing. As the dots continue to accelerate, an array of optical distortions occur. At their peak, the dots occupy the entire length of the corridor, their movement so rapid now that they have coalesced into a single form. The pan in sound is no longer discernible as the sound fills the hall from front to back seemingly everywhere at once. The sensation of speed, suspension of time, and the spectacle of light and sound demonstrate the parlour tricks of video: frame rate and resolution.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Memorial

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, MacBook Pro, HD projector, QuickTime loop, candle light, Ableton Live scrubbing captured with Snapz Pro X, CNC routed wood segments, dyed four-ply cardboard, rear projection screen, wood, paint, excerpts from The Passion of Joan of Arc, Joan of Arc, Saint Joan, and The Messenger, compact mixer, speakers and subwoofer

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 vingnettes are head and shoulder video portraits. Each was recorded live, scrubbed in real-time and played like puppets. The video segments radiate from the centre in chronological order. In varying instances they bite their lips, pause, hiss, scream, and weep. Together their 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 centre of the window.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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Pan

(1 of 6 works in the Necropolis solo exhibition)
 

2012, PC with dual VGA output, HD projectors, Synchronized QuickTime loops, dyed four-ply cardboard, rear projection screens, wood, paint, speakers, subwoofer, excerpts from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Altered States, and Enter The Void.

Three films and three attempts at visualizing the incomprehensible. In each instance, the use of abstract psychedelics is reinvented. The first attempt uses classical animation cells and complex lighting effects. The second uses manipulation of liquids. In the last attempt, the scenes are rendered using highly detailed computer graphics. The three films are composited entirely in the viewer's mind and not beforehand. This is achieved through a ritualized editing process in which all three segments are matched to the same runtime length and then cut into single frames. One at a time, the frames are painstakingly "braided" together, so that the viewer sees (and hears) all three films simultaneously by optically mixing the rapid cuts together. The entire piece is then divided into two halves and stretched so that the perspective is ideal when standing at the threshold to the hallway. The viewer is obliged to pass through the hall, into the centre of the image, and into the darkness beyond.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Fire and Theft

2009 (redesigned and reconstructed in 2019 for the Kali Yuga solo exhibit),
live earth cams, mac minis, projectors

Tracking the sun’s course from multiple vantage points, our vision is multiplied by live webcams overlooking city skylines. The surface of the earth is folded in on itself forming our own panopticon. From this omnipresent vantage point, the sun is trapped, rising and setting from screen to screen from hour to hour, creeping ‘round the room like a tethered phoenix.

This artwork was made possible with the generous financial support of The Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

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