grunt gallery will host a media installation based exhibition early May from Persian artist, Azadeh Emadi. The two-channel installation will be presented in the Main Gallery, and is accompanied by Floating Tiles, a related work in the Media Lab.
Motion Within Motion is presented by grunt gallery, in conjunction with SFU School for Contemporary Arts and Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies, presents the first Canadian exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Azadeh Emadi.
The exhibit features a two-channel video installation with immersive sound and one channel video. The work is inspired by Persian-Islamic philosophy of change. Using the theory of ‘substantial motion’ (al-harakat al-jawhariyya) by philosopher Mulla Sadrā Shirazi (1571-1641) as a starting point, Emadi employs digital video and installation technologies to challenge human-centric assumptions of change, time and motion. The work engages two distinct points of view: a non-narrative documentary filmed in Iran and an altered variation that magnifies the footage to the pixel-level. The resulting installation is both synchronized and perceptually disjointed, demanding a simultaneous reading of both cinematic time/movement and the largely abstracted constituent parts of the digital image. Zooming in and out of focus, splitting images into units and using different modalities of time and motion, Emadi’s installation reveals the inner activities of the frame – and provides experience “from a pixel’s point of view.”
Floating Tiles continues the artist’s exploration of time and perception via the juxtaposition of classical Islamic tile work – themselves the product of algorithmic pattern creation – and the digital manipulation of the pixel. Emadi is collaborating with Laura U. Marks at SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts in a residency on Islamic Art and Digital Media. In her essay that is to be published with the show Marks states “Azadeh Emadi never met a pixel she didn’t like. Pixels are the proletariat of digital media, hard-working and unsung, supplying tiny pieces of colour to produce the video image. Emadi’s breakthrough came when she discovered that pixels behave like whirling dervishes. Spinning, constantly changing, pixels inhabit a non-linear temporality that has a deeper reality than the video image; a temporality closer to divine time.”
Emadi will be delivering an artist talk, presented by grunt gallery on Thursday, May 10th 6pm at grunt gallery #116 -350 East 2nd Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. Marks will give a related lecture on May 23, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W Hastings St., room 7000. “Creative Algorithms: From Islamic Art to Digital Media,” proposing that “Pixels, algorithms, and artificial life all trace back to classical Islamic art from 10th-century Iraq, 16th-century Iran, and other creative centres.” The lecture, followed by a conversation between Marks and Emadi, is sponsored by SFU’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies.