emig research | Exploring Transdisciplinarity

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EMIG RESEARCH is a transdisciplinary vehicle driven by Kenneth Emig, an Ottawa, Canada-
based artist exploring the sensory intersection of visual art, dance, and technology.

Artist Statement

As a trans-disciplinary artist who integrates sound, sculpture, optics, dance and technology within my artistic practice, I encourage my audience to be sensorially observant and curious about the world around them.

My art is influenced by an extensive background in acoustic research, design and global manufacturing for the telecommunications industry, along with developing and constructing large-scale collaborative environments over broadband networks to explore user interface design.

My work is often called sculpture, but I see it as sculptural in only the most generic, spatial sense. I approach my dance performance, light work, installations or physical pieces built from found technology from a position of physicality—how we as physical beings relate to the space around us and the objects within it—that changes and challenges our experiences of our surroundings as we move among them.

As a painting hung on a gallery wall is an installation, it can never be divorced from the context of its exhibition, and it is changed in both existence and perception by its environment and in relation to observers sharing that space.

As I explore intersections and amalgamations of body, space, motion, light, technology, and sound, my work strives to remind us that our perceptions are of objects and ideas have no beginning, boundary or end.

Biography

For over 20 years, Kenneth Emig has been involved in acoustic design research and development, telephone and hand-held device manufacturing, and related exploratory projects. During this period he has been actively showing his art and assembling his studio at Enriched Bread Artists in Ottawa, Canada. Emig has also been studying improvisational dance and contact improv while giving and participating in numerous classes and workshops. The multi-disciplinary nature of his product design work has permeated his art practice and influenced his improvisational movement explorations.

In 2002 Emig completed a large-scale, six-meter-long long mobile to fly over the stage for an AH HA Productions improvised dance performance at the Canada Dance Festival.

In 2004 he completed several commissions, including a public artwork for the City of Ottawa installed in the Eva James Memorial Community Center, and a large scale mobile of aluminum and blue glass for a private installation. He also performed in the Square Zero Independent Dance Festival exploring the intersection of dance and sculpture, entitled The Space Between, supported by the Canada Council Interarts Program. He was a guest worker at the National Research Council Institute for Information Technology, exploring the artistic use of collaborative spaces over broadband Internet. This work led to a presentation at the Banff Center and a performance/talk at the Transnet Conference at Simon Fraser University in June 2005, utilizing broadband internet to enable a cross-country performance between Vancouver and Ottawa.

In 2007, Emig completed an exhibition of large-scale sculptures entitled Continuum at Axeneo7, an artist-run center in Gatineau, Canada. The exhibition included two performances, one of which was an interactive video installation in collaboration with musician Edmund Eagan that connected two exhibition spaces. The performances at Axeneo7 provided inspiration for Emig’s Diffract, a Canada Dance Festival co-production completed in 2008. This dance + installation was a commission for Canada‘s National Dance Festival at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, and included eight, 30-minute, solo improvised dance performances in a public space of the building, again with Edmund Eagan.

In 2009, Emig received a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to support his continuing work on a series of new Architectural Light Boxes. This grant allowed him to collaborate with a physicist to construct and explore mathematical models of his work. These models, while capable of digitally simulating his artwork, clarified for Emig that his creativity flows from an experiential and hands-on approach rather than a mathematical or theoretical one.

In October 2011 Emig participated in the 4th Moscow Biennale of Comtemporary Art. His creation has been incorporated into the international art collection of Moscow’s State University of Social Sciences. He is currently Designer in Residence and Research Associate with the Experiential Design and Gaming Environments Laboratory at Ryerson University in Toronto and is participating in several group exhibitions and performances in Canada in the fall of 2013.

Events


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