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Stephen Kelly: WaveUp

Listen to the ocean through Kelly's wave-capturing kinetic scuplture at the AGNS.


Halifax artist Stephen Kelly's kinetic sculpture and sound installation, WaveUp, isn't necessarily about isolation and the loneliness of a remote location, though that mood pervades the experience, just below the surface of the work. Attached to mechanized and levered arms, speakers are mounted to walls and suspended from the ceiling. The arms move and the speakers turn while transmitting electronic sound based on weather conditions and sea state. Kelly's installation is connected by the internet to wave data buoys Fisheries and Oceans Canada floats and maintains on the Atlantic.

WaveUp strikes you with its simple statement about remote connection, the link between the near and the far, the immediate and distant environment. We can be here and there at once. What happens out there affects us in here. Though not the express intention of the artist, you may think about environmental, or ecological, interdependency. The work is fun and visceral. While you listen to the waves in translation, and watch the mechanization mimic nature, you can't help but raise your hand up to just below one speaker, emitting low, rumbling bass notes.

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