PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY, Montreal / Ottawa
For VOLTA13, Patrick Mikhail Gallery presents INTERCONNECTION, a site-specific installation that features the work of three gallery artists: Thomas Kneubühler, Natasha Mazurka, and Amy Schissel. In dialogue, these artists have created work that investigates communications patterns and structures on three distinct levels: beneath the surface at the cellular level to understand how cellular structures interact with each other; at the terrestrial level to document how communications and technological interventions on our landscape have the potential to enable humans to communicate with each other, even as the natural environment transforms beyond recognition; and how the modern-day electronic skin that surrounds our planet and connects us is creating a new vision of a hybrid landscape that is informed by traditional topography and the Internet.
The work of Thomas Kneubühler often deals with social issues and how communications technology affects people's lives—all set against a backdrop of modern life typified by quietly haunting landscapes and cityscapes. Kneubühler presents large-format photographs of the High Arctic in the total darkness of midwinter’s Polar Nights. The photographs document military research stations that house satellites, high-tech radar, and microwave towers that enable humans to interact across a barren landscape in an environment of total sensory deprivation.
Natasha Mazurka creates embossed drawings and cut-vinyl patterns that highlight the communicative potential of pattern, and its implications on social networking by sampling and combining visual references from diverse disciplines such as architecture, biology, bioinformatics, digital networks, and futuristic popular films. The result is a drawing process that involves hand-embossing on parchment paper, creating a fragile and tactile surface that counteracts the digital and non-material references in the patterns.
Amy Schissel’s professional practice analyzes the role of painting/drawing in the Information Age. Schissel addresses the progressively dematerialized quality of digital society by visualizing and mapping digital communications and information flows that cut through time and space, seemingly negating the need of geographical location for human interaction. She reinvents our contemporary landscape, fostering a sense of civic legibility where the World Wide Web calls us to be everywhere yet nowhere at once.