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Slow Friction

Exhibition, 2021

Slow Friction presents a collection of explorations into the extremes of attention in the age of seamless user experiences. Internet platforms go to great lengths to make today’s world look like a polished product at all times. Clever bits of interface design are pasted over stammers in service caused by poor connectivity. These visual apologies seek to hold our monetized attention by reducing the seams we experience in our role as both a consumer and product.

New work by the art and design duo Midgray (Kris Blackmore and Carnation Contemporary member Simon Boas) and sound artist Keith McGraw reframes the fleeting, expectant moments in which we encounter technological glitches as important human experiences worthy of deeper investigation. The works on display span diverse forms—print, textiles, smartphone screenshots, and writing—surrounding an installation that presents a single digital image one pixel at a time over the course of weeks, transforming each color into immersive sound and light.

Exhibited at Carnation Contemporary April 17-May 2, 2021

Installation Focus: Quartet for the End of Time (13.5 Days)

"Quartet for the End of Time (13.5 Days)" presents a single digital image—a "loading" image captured from Instagram—one pixel at a time over the course of weeks, transforming each color into immersive sound and light. The light marches through suspended bulbs, pausing only for a single second. The sound follows the chords of synesthetic composer Olivier Messiaen’s most well known piece, "Quartet for the End of Time," which he wrote and premiered while he was a prisoner of war. The same numerical values that drive the lights influence the sound. As a result of the acoustic phenomenon called "beating," interference causes the chords to sound more chaotic when the values that drive them are very similar but not identical. As such, the sound exposes the subtle changes that are only evident in the lights when the audience has been watching for long spans of time.