Sep 15 - 25
Modernity can in part be defined by the disappearance of wilderness from Western world-view, and by the ever-evolving distinction between the natural and the artificial. We now are more apt to think of the two as intertwined and co-dependent systems. Some scientists contend that we have entered a new geologic era - the Anthropocene - marked by the impact of human activity on earth’s ecosystems. With these current conditions in mind, Shohola Nights reflects the shifts in our understanding and representations of the world and our place in it.
Set against the backdrop of night, Shohola Nights is an experimental representation of landscape that is notable for its use of light and sound. At times emblazoned upon the landscape and at other times fugitively cast, the various sources of light illuminate or obfuscate minute detail, while the enveloping sound conveys the ever-churning progress of life on the planet.
Lauren Schaffer is an inter-disciplinary artist from Montreal, now living in Toronto. She received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and her MFA from Concordia University. In addition to exhibiting across Canada, she has work in the public collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Crane Canada Ltd. and several private collections. Lauren has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec. Her film, a blind was awarded ‘Best Experimental Film’ at the 2015 Toronto Urban Film Festival. Lauren is an instructor for OCAD University’s Continuing Studies Department and Seneca College’s Department of Arts Fundamentals. Nicholas Hooper, a graduate of the University of Victoria’s MFA program, has shown work in Victoria, Halifax, and points in between. He has received grants from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. His immersive installations incorporate audio, kinetics, and large-scale components. He has worked extensively as a prop-builder and special effects technician in film and television, and is currently an administrator at OCAD University. Shohola Nights is Hooper and Schaffer’s first collaboration. It is the result of three sessions of night shooting in Shohola County, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River. A natural arboretum and distinctly rich in insect life, this section of the river two hours north of New York City also functions as a cargo rail corridor. These elements provided abundant material for their mutual interest in sound field studies, Hooper’s explorations in subjectivity and point of view, and Schaffer’s look at natural science and entropy.