For Immediate Release: Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present its Summer Exhibition Programming

For Immediate Release:

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present its Summer Exhibition Programming:

Cannon Gallery:
Stephen Kelly
Open Ended Ensemble (Competitive Coevolution)

James Gallery:
Nahed Mansour, Lee Nutbean and Giles Whitaker

ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard:
Thea Haines
Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden

Opening Receptions: Saturday, June 18, 2:00-4:00 pm
Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James Street North, Hamilton

KELLY PORTFOLIOStephen Kelly, Open Ended Ensemble (Installation view), 2014


Hamilton, June 13, 2016: Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce its summer programming featuring a solo exhibition by Stephen Kelly entitled Open Ended Ensemble (Competitive Coevolution)  as well as the group exhibition Proximities featuring the work of Nahed Mansour, Lee Nutbean and Giles Whitaker and The Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden in the Inc.’s ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard by textile artist, Thea Haines.

Cannon Gallery

Stephen Kelly
Open Ended Ensemble (Competitive Coevolution)

June 18 – August 13, 2016
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2:00-4:00 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, June 23, 7:00 pm – Co-Presented with the Hamilton Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee at Mills Hardware (95 King St. E, Hamilton)
Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present, Open Ended Ensemble (Competitive Coevolution), a solo exhibition by Halifax based artist, Stephen Kelly. The work is a series of installations in which a collection of electromechanical sound-producing automatons, or agents, integrate basic attributes of a biological living system. In the current version, an ensemble of self-modifying, high-voltage sound amplifiers slowly learn to maneuver a robotic probe to the weakest region of electro-magnetic radiation along a fluorescent light fixture. Strong radiation from the lights causes the amplifiers to produce sound, layering sympathetic tones over the familiar drone of fluorescent lighting.

The agent’s behaviour is adaptive, subject to an evolutionary process in which a random population of computer programs slowly evolve, eventually achieving enough control of the robotic probe to coax its movement away from the source of radiation and into silence. Meanwhile, the light fixture would prefer to maintain the drone, and slowly evolves a strategy of its own, learning to move the lights and trap the probe in regions of strong radiation. An arms race ensues as the two competing forces interact and coevolve, akin to predator/prey or host/parasite relationships in biological systems.

Agents in the Open Ended Ensemble are interacting with simple, conflicting goals in a never-ending game. Their sensory experience of the environment is inherently noisy, obtained entirely from the coupling of a bare-bones magnetic probe to a fluorescent light fixture. Their control of the probe is very imprecise and clumsy. As a result, the agents are navigating their world with partial information and limited motor control. A volatile model ecosystem emerges in which each device achieves intermittent success and failure as their interaction unfolds over days or weeks.

This exhibition will be accompanied by an essay written by Donna Szoke. The catalogue launch will be accompanied by an artist talk and will take place June 23, at 7:00 pm at Mills Hardware (95 King St. E, Hamilton) and is co-presented with the Hamilton Arts Council through their Echo Artist Talks speakers series.

Stephen Kelly is an artist, computer programmer, and musician living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has exhibited and participated in residency programs both nationally and internationally. His work incorporates sound, electronics, and other media in the creation of thematically diverse, often complex systems of cultural exploration. Stephen has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design as well as a Master of Computer Science degree from Dalhousie University, where he is currently a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Computer Science. He plans to continue crossing art and science within public installations and ongoing research projects in Machine Learning.


f4.pngLee Nutbean, Faux pas, 2014.

James Gallery

Nahed Mansour, Lee Nutbean and Giles Whitaker

June 18 – August 13
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2:00-4:00 pm

Where does the real you exist? Technology is embedded in the fabric of our daily lives. The artists in this exhibition,  Nahed Mansour, Lee Nutbean and Giles Whitaker probe the proximity of our relation to technology in the current paradigm; how it affects and shapes us, how we mold it, and the overlaps between. Drawing from popular sitcoms from childhood, Mansour considers the ways racial identities are performed and negotiated in a post-colonial present. A post-internet artist, Nutbean employs ‘total public transparency’ as a means to intervene within the personal information economy across social media platforms. Whitaker generates real-time animations and soundtracks through coding in an effort to critique the technological infrastructure that underpins society as well as the machinic processes that operate autonomously. Proximities asks us to consider the social impact of technology on the political ecology of self, other and community.

Nahed Mansour is a Toronto-based Canadian-Egyptian artist whose performances, video works and installations draw on personal and historic narratives to foreground the often under-represented relationships between entertainment, labor, and race. The popular iconic entertainers she references in her work become apertures for thinking about the ways racial identities are performed and negotiated in the post-colonial present. She has an MFA in Open Media from Concordia University and is the Director at Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts- Toronto.

Lee Nutbean is a postinternet artist working at the transdisciplinary intersections of art and computation, across academia, research and the creative industries. His work explores the evolution of smart networked technologies through the participatory design of provocative prototypes that elicit, process and respond to inspirational data. These electronic ecologies culturally probe the dynamic networks within and between corporeal and viral spaces, to reveal new phenomena that confront, question and push new digital practices.

Giles Whitaker works with video, photography, machines, microcontrollers, and found objects. Sound is a key element of his installations, which aim to reveal and analyze the political and cultural properties of the spaces they occupy. Giles completed his undergraduate degree in Wellington, New Zealand, and his MFA at Western University, London, Ontario. His past exhibitions in New Zealand and Canada include abstract video, sound, and interactive multimedia installations.


10 Thea HainesThea Haines, Foraged Palette (detail), 2015

Thea Haines
Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden

June 10, 2016 – September 2018
ArcelorMittal Dofasco Courtyard, Hamilton Artists Inc.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 18, 2:00-4:00 pm

The Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden is an exhibition of colour. Until about 150 years ago, all colour – artist colours, fabric dyes, were derived from natural sources – plant, animal, and mineral. The garden is a display of plants that are traditional sources of painter’s colours, such as madder (which produces alizarin crimson) and weld (yellow lake), and important textile dyes, such as goldenrod, bedstraw and woad. A remarkable property of botanical colour is that each plant contains multiple pigments, producing a range of hues from each dyestuff. All plants contain various chemical compounds that make them useful to us – for food, and medicine, and some of these compounds, like carotenoids, flavonoids, and anthrocyanins – give colour. The colours produced from one species of plant can vary, depending on climate, growing conditions and other environmental factors – which gives each colour local cachet/terroir. The Artist’s Palette Community Dye Garden will create awareness of the integral role that plants play in our lives, as food, and as colour, while creating an educational opportunity for the public to engage with the practices of by-hand textile making, using natural materials through hands-on workshops, and artist talks.

Thea Haines is a textile designer, artist, and educator living and working in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Currently an instructor in textile design at Sheridan College, she was previously an artist-in-residence of the Craft Studio at Harbourfront Centre, and a member of the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-operative, Toronto. Her research, practice and consultancy is focused on the use of natural colourants in surface design, printing and small-scale production, including the cultivation and harvest of colour-producing plants. Current projects include a study of colours produced from food waste, and a regional survey of dye plants in Hamilton. She received her MA in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Art and Design, in London, UK.

For more information please contact:Caitlin Sutherland, Programming Director, Hamilton Artists Inc.
Tel: 905 529 3355

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