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ISSUE and bitforms gallery present a solo exhibition with American artist Ed Osborn's Albedo Prospect, a video installation considering the polar imaginary, and its characteristic spatial and geographic disorientation. Projected as a video triptych, the work is a study of glacial landscapes in the Svalbard archipelago as well as the crackling sounds of its physical transformation.
For the New York premiere, ISSUE's Floating Points speaker system is transported to a gallery setting, surrounding Osborn's arctic vistas with an eight-channel sound space. Originally scheduled to debut in our historic 1926 theater, the exhibition marks bitforms gallery's first collaboration with ISSUE, and will be on view through Saturday, November 10.
Reception: Fri, Nov 9, 6:00-8:30 PM
Gallery Hours: Tue - Sat, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The exhibition will be on view beginning on Tues, Nov. 6.
The construction of viewpoint on the Svalbard environment is generative, pulling from a databank of very personal audio and video clips that capture the landscape as a dynamic system. Shot on location at sea and ashore in the archipelago, Osborn's sound score includes ambient and underwater recordings. The project is based in part on accounts of a 1931 airship flight to the high Arctic from which the writer Arthur Koestler filed wireless reports. Though his newspaper dispatches from this journey are part of the public record, the actual radio transmissions have been lost. "These broadcasts were noted for their vivid and entrancing depictions of the terrain, in which Koestler found many ways to repeatedly describe the largely invariant scene of ice and snow," says Osborn. "Here the space of those vanished broadcasts is used as a starting point to re-imagine and navigate a site of quiet spectacle."
Albedo is the fraction of sunlight that is reflected from any surface it hits. Polar regions have the world's highest albedo measurements due to their concentrations of snow and ice; most heat and light are reflected away. Albedo Prospect is a search that takes place along a horizon in flux. It frames a mental image of place and releases it into the light of a journey, only to be recollected in hindsight.
Ed Osborn (b. 1964, Helsinki) is known for sound art installations that travel the distance between sculpture, radio, video, performance, and public projects. His works combine a visceral sense of space, aurality, and motion with a precise economy of materials. Ranging from rumbling fans and sounding train sets to squirming music boxes and delicate feedback networks, Osborn's kinetic and audible pieces function as resonating systems that are by turns playful and oblique, engaging and enigmatic.
Osborn has performed, exhibited, lectured, and held residencies throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. The recipient of many awards including a DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Stipendium and a Guggenheim Fellowship, he holds an MFA from Mills College and is on the faculty of Brown University.
bitforms gallery is devoted to emerging and established artists who embrace new media and contemporary art practice.
Designed by sound artist and Floating Points curator Stephan Moore, our fifteen-channel set of Hemisphere loudspeakers re-imagines the concert experience for both performer and audience. Each Hemisphere radiates sound in all directions, activating the acoustics of the space they occupy. Immersive sonic environments are generated, electronic sounds take on the intimacy of acoustic instruments, and location is liberated as a musical dimension.
Production support for Albedo Prospect provided by EMPAC, Brown University, and the Arctic Circle Residency Program.
ISSUE’s Floating Points series is made possible, in part, through generous support from The James E. Robison Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.