BANFF – A new exhibit at the Walter Phillips Gallery will use video, virtual reality, and 3D printing to educate and inform people.
Piña, Why is the Sky Blue? from artists Stephanie Comiland and Simon Speiser opened March 3 and is set to run until July 30 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity gallery.
The exhibition features video, virtual reality, 3D printing and combines elements of science fiction storytelling with documentary content. The work focuses on a fictitious omniscient artificial intelligence named Piña who has gained consciousness through machine learning.
“The Walter Phillips Gallery is thrilled to be presenting an exciting collaborative exhibition by international artists Stephanie Comilang and Simon Speiser,” said Haema Sivanesan, curator at the Walter Phillips Gallery, in a media release. “It’s a timely project to feature at the gallery because the exhibition deals with themes of artificial intelligence and the potential that technology affords to imagine a hopeful decolonial future."
People are able to meet healers and activists through Piña such as Ciber Amazonas – a group of Indigenous journalists, writers and broadcasters who use forms of technology to communicate cultural information and build community.
Piña re-narrates the violence of Spanish colonialism and emphasizes the need to resist ongoing cultural erasure.
Comilang is an artist who splits her time between Toronto and Berlin, Germany, with her work creating narratives that look at our understandings of mobility, capital and labour, which are shaped by various cultural and social factors. Her work has been featured in North America, Europe and Asia and she won the Sobey Art Award in 2019.
Speiser works in fictional concepts that combine nature and technology, with a variety of media and disciplines such as writing, sculpture and video working together in displays. He has had exhibits across the world in places such as Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
“The artists focus on matrilineal knowledge systems and the responsibilities of women as knowledge keepers and stewards of ancestral cultural practices,” said Sivanesan in a media release. “It draws our attention to the globally relevant conversations that we’re having in Canada right now about decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenous ways of being and knowing.”