The first night of Supercrawl marked the beginning of the Factory Media Centre’s new exhibit, Fractalize 1: I’ve Loved You From Afar. The exhibit is the first of its kind in Hamilton and challenges how art can create an immersive experience for the audience.
The Fractalize series is an ongoing collaborative multimedia arts project created by artist and cinematographer Lesley Loksi Chan, composer and digital media artist Tony Vieira and musician Arthur Yeung.
Tony Vieira, who is also a McMaster graduate & senior researcher at York University’s Augmented Reality Lab, took the time to provide an insider’s perspective on the exhibit, whilst being careful not to reveal its secrets.
Vieira met Chan and Yeung through the Factory Media Centre, a resource centre that supports community based and artists’ projects. His idea was to create a fractal exhibit, where the art is delivered through a series of pieces and mediums over time.
I’ve Loved You From Afar follows the story of two characters, Richard and Elizabeth, and explores the themes of human behaviour, desire and distance.
Visitors at the Factory Media Centre can experience I’ve Loved You From Afar through virtual reality, but the exhibit is meant to be experienced beyond the gallery space, through nine other elements including a web app, video installations and even by following Richard and Elizabeth’s social media accounts.
“I always think of the tone of the story in a way that is similar to the way I experience dreams and memory, which is a little strange, not always linear, not always making sense.”
“It’s really an experiment in e-literacy. [We are] experimenting with the different ways a story can be told [while using] as many media as possible to engage the end user. I don’t think of [the audience solely] as a viewer, reader or a listener, because [the audience] is all of them, an end user, sort of like a video game,” said Vieira.
Each end user’s experience with I’ve Loved You From Afar is unique. The story is non-linear, there is no start or end. The story is also delivered with intentional gaps that are open to interpretation.
“I always think of the tone of the story in a way that is similar to the way I experience dreams and memory, which is a little strange, not always linear, not always making sense… that’s how memories and dreams work, we only remember certain bits of it, and our experiences [and desires] create the filler for the gaps or our brain fabricates what it needs to fill in the gaps,” explained Vieira.
For seven days, a new piece of I’ve Loved You From Afar is revealed to the end users, and each piece will lead up to the unveiling of the exhibit’s secrets at the closing reception on Oct. 18 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton Annex.
After all the pieces are revealed, end users will put the pieces together, and their desires and contexts will shape the narrative of the exhibit. Each individual will have their own story and unique takeaway from the experience.
I’ve Loved You From Afar can be experienced after Supercrawl by visiting the Fractalize web app.
The artists will also be holding workshops at the Factory Media Centre, a non-profit and artist- run resource centre on 228 James Street North that aims to advance the discourse of contemporary media through exhibitions, screenings and community programming.