We have 23 pairs of chromosomes and some 21,000 genes. There is certainly more to what makes us than our genes, but I’m fascinated by the randomness of it all, both inside and outside this biological system. Similarly, I marvel at the random events that lead to artistic creation. I began making light sculptures after completing a home reno using polycarbonate twinwall; holding one long, slender leftover piece of the laddered material got me thinking: could I shape this into something beautiful? Thirteen years later, I installed the sprawling work you see here in the steel silo at Electric Eclectics, an annual light-and-sound festival at the Funny Farm on Scotch Mountain, near Meaford, Ontario.
Someone asked me if I was going to provide a soundscape for it; I hadn’t planned to, but, as a film editor, I’d worked with sound effects and even created sound tracks. For an experimental art and music festival, I thought, I should be experimenting with sound as well as light. So, for the first time, I did just that. I wanted a collection of sounds greater than the sum of their parts–things that didn’t necessarily belong together, but, when layered together, would support the theme of a creative event emerging from randomly collected elements.
My whimsical soundscape echoed and boomed in the silo; the coloured light bounced and danced off the corrugated steel in unpredictable patterns.
You never know what may happen. I’d set up the space with small-group seating arranged underneath the sculpture. Late on the first night, I happened to be nearby when a group of revellers entered the silo, sat down and spontaneously began chanting in unison. An artist couldn’t hope for a better response to their work.
If you’re close to Meaford in early August, consider checking out Electric Eclectics. Music, dance, a beautiful setting, interesting, fun people and great art–what more could you want?
Transporting my work is often a conundrum, but the four arms of Chromo stacked nicely. Assembling it 15′ above our heads presented quite the challenge. It’s always good to have a son around to help, even if he forgot his work boots.