Leó Stefánsson: Spectrograms from a Video Archive

Leó Stefánsson: Spectrograms from a Video Archive

EXHIBITION: Thursday May 14- Friday June 5  | Tue-Fri 12-4pm (closed on Friday May 22)

OPENING: Wednesday May 13 | 7-10pm

TALK: Tuesday May 19 | 6.30pm 
Quantum computer scientist Dominic Walliman in conversation with artist Leó Stefánsson and curator Elisa Ferrari

Photo documentation



“Spectrograms from a Video Archive” is a new media installation by VIVO artist-in-residence Leó Stefánsson.

Stefánsson has applied spectrography and sonification techniques to analyze a selection of video from the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive. His work reveals recurring patterns and anomalies within this extensive video corpus by utilizing purposely crafted signal transmutations. Beyond the visual and acoustic results of these analyzes, “Spectrograms from a Video Archive” provides a unique synesthetic experience for those who engage with it. The material qualities of the work generate possibilities for embodied knowledge as they are absorbed by the audience within the physical space of the gallery.

Through unique dissections and recompositions of the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive, “Spectrograms from a Video Archive” explores perceived boundaries between physics, the arts, archival practices, private ownership and collective, public knowledge. Stefansson also provides the basis for a larger inquiry into the creation of a cataloguing tool for video archives — one that identifies and categorizes video through inherent aesthetic and formal qualities while also recognizing inevitable, accumulative losses of information due to compression and preservation issues.

 LEÓ STEFÁNSSON is a new media artist specializing in sound art, audio- and data visualization, sonification, and interactive installation. He graduated from the MAA Visual Arts program at Emily Carr in 2013 where he developed his practice on the intersection of art and science. Inspired by physics and the neurosciences, Leó creates work that reveals and transforms hidden information in unexpected ways. Recently, Leó has created a range of artworks that describe objects and places in terms of their inherent frequency and amplitude.

DOMINIC WALLIMAN Scientist by day, writer by night, Dominic Walliman got his PhD in quantum device physics from the University of Birmingham in the UK. He now lives in Vancouver working at the futuristic technology company D-Wave, where he programs quantum computers and makes films. In his spare time he writes science books for kids featuring **Professor Astro Cat**.