The VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST
Space Age Art Here
By BILL THOMAS
A large plastic cube in the middle of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was in near frenzy Tuesday as a group of Vancouver Artists hammered and drilled the Intermedia exhibition into readiness for opening tonight.
The cube built by Greg Birdsall, emits a fantasy of colored lights whenever the box detects any exterior noise — and there was lots of noise Tuesday. The cube is just one of the exhibits that illustrates the marrying of art and the complex electronics techniques of the space age.
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It is tempting to describe Audrey Capel Doray's sound and light column as typical of the show, but nothing in this exhibition is typical.
The column, about five feet tall, has four speakers which emit radar-like singles. If a viewer is within seven feet, the systems detector picks up the return signal and sets strange music in motion. If the viewer gets closer, the sound intensifies and strobe lights start to flash in the multicolored plastic upper section of the column.
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Space electronics engineer Bob Milles of California designed the complex circuitry that puts the sound and light into the Plexiglas sculpture.
Vancouver artist Dennis Vance has built a walk in light tunnel that flashes as spectators walk over pressure sensitive switches. He is also responsible for Wave, a touch organ whose chrome pipes emit different sounds when they are stroked by spectators.
The grand finally, to be presented opening night only, is a blazing fire sculpture by Vincent Trasov. A few feet away on the gallery patio, Phil Harisson's water sculpture will be in full operation.
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Gary Lee Nova is presenting six blocks of ice, each of one cubic foot dimension, in four rows of four. He will photograph them continually until they melt to plain water. He then speeds up the film so the blocks just vanish.
Mr Nova, said the Vancouver Intermedia group started in 1964.
"In 1966, Intermedia staged the Trips Festival in a large building on the PNE grounds. By 1967 Jack Shadbolt and a group formed a committee for Intermedia and we were able to get a $45,000 grant from the Canada Council."
Gallery director Collin Graham was able to get an additional grant from the Canada Council for this special showing here.
Mr. Graham said, "All except one work was designed specifically for this exhibition. The alliance between technology and art is a key feature of Intermedia creations, and has become one of the dominant features of international art in the last four years.
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