aBIOTIC: Verena Friedrich, LABOFACTORY and Finnbogi Pétursson
Verena Friedrich, The Long Now, 2015, electronic media installation. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

aBIOTIC: Verena Friedrich, LABOFACTORY and Finnbogi Pétursson

New Media Gallery, New Westminster, BC - To Apr 23

by Christine Clark

Curated by Gordon Duggan and Sarah Joyce of New Westminster’s New Media Gallery, aBIOTIC is a group exhibition showcasing two solo artists and one collaborative group, all of whom work within both art and science to make technology-based installations. Thematically, aBIOTIC revolves around the properties and malleability of water. The artists involved use sound, movement, music, light, shadow and reflection to create works of great mystery and beauty, which, although born of science and engineering, speak to human mortality and our unbreakable connection to nature.

Based in Paris, France, LABOFACTORY is a four-person collective comprising Jean Marc Chomaz (an artist-physicist), Laurent Karst (an architect-designer), Filippo Fabbri (a composer) and Greg Louis (a singer-songwriter). Their work Sky (2022-23) plays with turning water, in the form of mist, into a fluid sculpture that recreates the wave patterns in the sky and in the ocean, alongside an atmospheric site-specific digital sound composition by Fabbri.

Finnbogi Pétursson is a well-known Icelandic artist who, by using sound waves, in his installation Infra-Supra (2016-23) is able to build wave momentum in a shallow body of water and when the water’s light patterns reflect onto the gallery wall, Pétursson creates hypnotic feedback loops of waves and light and shadows.

Verena Friedrich, a German artist, currently one of three artists heading up the exMedia Lab at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, creates organic and electronic sculptural installations. Her piece The Long Now (2015) is a machine that gives birth to a water, soap and glycerin bubble that sometimes survives to float, unmoored, within a climate-controlled glass box.

Check website for exhibition-related events newmediagallery.ca.

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