James Nizam, Earth Spin Moon Orbit, 2023. Courtesy of New Media Gallery.


New Media Gallery, New Westminster, BC - To Dec 10

by Michael Turner

Could it be a measure of where humans are in their evolution, whether they privilege the “hard” sciences over the social sciences, or vice versa, when making sense of their world? In The Making of the English Working Class (1963), E.P. Thompson reminds readers that the measurement of time was socially constructed, in the hands of the bosses, while in James Vincent’s Beyond Measure (2022), which curator Sarah Joyce cites in this exhibition’s press release, time’s measure is “written into our biology, hard-coded in our DNA as circadian rhythms.”

Featuring seven national and international artists, the work in Measure is focused as much on “the creative potential of new technologies” as it is on “the movement of day into night; the change of seasons; the cyclical movement of sun, moon, and stars ... delineations [that] have connected us intimately to our environment.” The artists represented are Annette S. Lee, Alan Storey, Félicie d’Estienne d’Orves, Matthew Biederman, James Nizam and Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt).

In Biederman’s Iterating Colour Field, Sorted and Measured Three Times (2008), an ever-changing colour spectrum is measured, tracked and sorted. Lee’s Dagwaagin, Ptanyetu, Fall Soundscape, Finding Stillness in the Motion (2022) proceeds similarly, with an emphasis on the changing seasons. For Nizam’s Earth Spin Moon Orbit (2023), it is the Moon and its real-time passage around Earth that, through laser activation, allows a treated section of the gallery to trace the Moon’s orbit. The two works in d’Estienne d’Orves’ Light Standard (Series) (2015) measure and track the length of time it takes light to reach Earth from both the Sun and Venus.

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