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Ground Station:
Daniel Joliffe and Jocelyn Robert

Surrey Art Gallery • Surrey BC Feb 23-Apr 11, 2003

Daniel Joliffe & Jocelyn Robert - Global Positioning System Station on Wall
Daniel Joliffe and Jocelyn Robert, Global Positioning System
Station on Wall
(2003), installation
[Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, BC, Feb 23-Apr 11, 2003]

Two Canadian artists, Daniel Joliffe and Jocelyn Robert, collaborated on a unique piece of conceptual site art for an installation in the Surrey Art Gallery. Joliffe’s interest in the physical aspects of human-machine interfaces and Robert’s work with sound devices combine to give visitors an experience that would have been science fiction only a few years ago.

Taking advantage of GPS or Global Positioning System technology, the artists created an artwork using a piano to interpret satellite signals. The work is based on the idea that audio and satellite signals, invisible in the air around us, need receiving devices like radios or cell phones to be heard and interpreted in a language we understand. The artists placed a GPS device in the gallery to receive satellite signals. The GPS signals are processed by a computer running a program that interprets them as music. The music in turn is played by a piano.

Visitors to the gallery will marvel at the continuous, real-time composition being played by the Yamaha Disklavier piano. The music enables us to experience a part of the world around us that we otherwise would never physically hear or see.

A catalogue including a CD recording of “Ground Station” accompanies the exhibition. For more information about the show, go to artgallery@city.surrey.bc.ca

© Mia Johnson

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The print edition of Preview gives more details of galleries and exhibitions. Pick up a copy of the November 2002 – January 2003 edition at most galleries in the Pacific Northwest.

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