40th Anniversary

Steve Bates


Steve Bates is a Montréal-based sound artist working mainly with medium-fi technology. His current practise explores the detail in surface and the minute, unheard or ignored sounds around us, and usually emphasizes texture over rhythm. For Show + Tell, his installation on a clear day (apperception) questions the dominance of sight over other senses and forces a new reading by rendering recorded visual data as tangible media to be experienced aurally, visually and in the realm of the haptic. Using hourly visibility readings archived on Environment Canada's website, he converts Winnipeg's annual visibility for the year in which The University of Winnipeg received its charter- 1967 - into sound frequencies on a one-to-one ratio (by considering distance in kilometers as frequency measured in hertz, 1 km is "translated" as 1 Hz).  The installation renders visual distances as sonic playback that results in a rattling, clicking sound emitted from tiny speakers hidden within two telescopic lens barrels. One lens plays the visibility for the year 1967 linearly from January 1 to December 31, while the second plays time measured in a 1 Hz frequency tone. A second track holds the sound of 12 months playing simultaneously in one lens while the other plays back time, allowing the listener to "re-see" the year as time folds in on itself

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