Monday 11th, March 2013 / 21:35


When hidden by the veil of avatars and usernames, it seems like people somehow become much quicker to tangle their harshest critiques into the fibre-optic threads on what we often think of as the Internet abyss. What begins as emoticon intelligence soon slips into a skimmed-over debate, as aimless retaliations address insecure blips in our collective unconscious. Apparently there’s a lot to be said and, in her new show, Inside Voice, Louise Johnson responds visually to a powerful comment she came across online stating in all-caps, “Nobody ever changed anyone’s mind by calling them a fucking idiot!”

It’s an interesting conversation to be had (perhaps even on our website), but what I found most intriguing was how creatively she addressed this topic. In partnership with the International Festival of Animated Objects, Johnson has made a short film of imagery from sand on a backlit surface. The grainy characters have cogwheels visible in their heads amongst a linear frenzy of what seems to represent our cognitive internalization of the mechanical exposure of everyday life. Her artist statement describes these as depictions of “a sharp contrast between the civility of their behaviour and the incivility of their thoughts.”

With sand comes an element of Zen and I’m reminded of the meditation “eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.” If you’re downtown during rush hour or on a lunch break, maybe this could be the perfect thing to wander over to and embrace as a welcome pause.

Inside Voice will be running from March 12 to 17 at Stride’s window gallery in the +15 at EPCOR.

By Cait Lepla

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