bitforms gallery and ISSUE Project Room are pleased to announce a solo exhibition with American artist Ed Osborn. The exhibit features Albedo Prospect, a video installation considering the polar imaginary, and its characteristic spatial and geographic disorientation. Projected as a video triptych, the work is a study of glacial landscapes in the Svalbard archipelago as well as the crackling sounds of its physical transformation.
In this special New York premiere, the Floating Points speaker system from ISSUE Project Room is transported to a gallery setting, surrounding Osborn’s arctic vistas with an eight-channel sound space. Originally scheduled to debut in ISSUE Project Room’s historic 1926 theater, the exhibition marks bitforms gallery’s first collaboration with the non-profit, whose downtown Brooklyn space is presently under reconstruction. “At first I wasn’t sure how the architectural damage in August to our space would affect my project with Ed Osborn,” says curator Stephan Moore of ISSUE Project Room. “Now, for us to present the piece at bitforms gallery, instead of a live performing arts context, Albedo Prospect can inhabit the temporal space of ten days rather than one night. As a result, we’ll look more closely at the visual philosophies behind Osborn’s dynamic work from the Arctic.”
The construction of viewpoint on the Svalbard environment is generative, pulling from a databank of very personal audio and video clips that capture the landscape as a dynamic system. Shot on location at sea and ashore in the archipelago, Osborn’s sound score includes ambient and underwater recordings. The project is based in part on accounts of a 1931 airship flight to the high Arctic from which the writer Arthur Koestler filed wireless reports. Though his newspaper dispatches from this journey are part of the public record, the actual radio transmissions have been lost. “These broadcasts were noted for their vivid and entrancing depictions of the terrain, in which Koestler found many ways to repeatedly describe the largely invariant scene of ice and snow,” says Osborn. “Here the space of those vanished broadcasts is used as a starting point to re-imagine and navigate a site of quiet spectacle.”
Albedo is the fraction of sunlight that is reflected from any surface it hits. Polar regions have the world’s highest albedo measurements due to their concentrations of snow and ice; most heat and light are reflected away. Albedo Prospect is a search that takes place along a horizon in flux. It frames a mental image of place and releases it into the light of a journey, only to be recollected in hindsight.
CONCURRENT & UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS WITH ED OSBORN
Collection View: Night Sea Music
September 1 – November 4, 2012; SF MoMA, San Francisco, CA
Standing Wave (solo exhibition)
November 14 – Decemebr 14, 2012; Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
Reconsidering (group exhibition)
September 20, 2012 – January 4, 2013; Green Space, TF Greene Airport, Warwick, RI
Standing Wave (solo exhibition)
September 20 – October 10, 2012, Chazan Gallery, Providence, RI
Production support for “Albedo Prospect” provided by EMPAC, Brown University, and the Arctic Circle Residency Program.