Robin Ripley and Diana Burgoyne, "Interface/Interfacing," 2009, installation detail: sewing notions and electronics.
DIANA BURGOYNE AND ROBIN RIPLEY, Interface/Interfacing
Numen Gallery, Vancouver
July 14 to September 5, 2009
By Beverly Cramp
‘Electronic folk art’ is a guiding principle behind new media artist Diana Burgoyne’s work. She uses materials that are inexpensive and accessible, exploring relationships between people and technology, and assembling installations that have a ‘home-made’ quality in their electronic components. She does it to make the work less intimidating, and more human. Burgoyne developed her ideas as a student, when a new music composer presented her class with a Casio board, worth about $10, describing it as the electronic folk instrument of our culture. “I took what he was saying into my own practice and began buying my materials from Radio Shack,” she says. “The materials I use can also be learned easily, either through the Internet or from Radio Shack itself.” The Interface/Interfacingexhibition at Numen Gallery is a collaboration between Burgoyne and long-time art studio partner Robin Ripley. The playful installation consists of a sewing needle drawn along a thread suspended along the gallery wall. As the needle moves it comes into contact with a series of thimbles below the suspended thread. A hand-made amplifier circuit, visible to the eye, is connected to the thimbles so when the needle touches a thimble, the sound is loudly heard. There are two special thimbles placed closely together and when either is struck by the needle, it flips a switch on another circuit that plays pre-recorded sounds.