The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency provides professional artists with an opportunity to be inspired and create their works in the park’s setting. In return these professional artists invite visitors to interact with them and uniquely discover the park through their eyes and works.
Reva Stone uses a variety of digital technologies to make work about how biotechnological and robotic practices are changing the very nature of being human. Her work has included pieces such as Imaginal Expression, an endlessly mutating interactive 3D environment, Carnevale 3.0, a robot that she created to explore ideas about the nature of human consciousness, and Portal, a work that combines custom software, video, robotics and mobile phones to create a work that appears to be thinking. Recently, she has been altering and re-purposing obsolete devices that refer to the history of technology. Reva has received many awards, including the 2015 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Manitoba in 2017, and an honorable mention from Life 5.0, Art & Artificial Life International Competition, Fundación Telefónica, Madrid, Spain.
In her new installation work, fragments, she examines how unmanned aerial vehicles (uavs or drones) are represented in popular culture, and reveals the often-unconscious stories we tell ourselves about them. While at the Riding Mountain Artist’s Residency, She will be working to complete an animated video titled Alphabet that is one of the five related components she will be using in exhibitions.
Alphabet consists of an alphabetized, animated word list of the more than 60 geographical areas and countries that use and develop uavs. Flying up and out from each of the named areas are the names of their individual uavs. These names will slowly fade into the surrounding sky. The letters in the names of weaponized uavs will be flame-orange in colour.
“After trying other backgrounds like a dark grey motionless sky, videos of explosions and targeted killings, I have decided to use a blue sky with slowly moving clouds,” said Reva. “Blue skies are normally associated with feelings of happiness and pleasure.”
In her research, she discovered that in areas where targeted killings occur, sunny days fill the children with dread. They have learned to associate blue skies with the days when strikes occur. The names themselves will reveal layers of meaning: who owns uavs and how many, who have militarized uavs, the proliferation of militarized uavs, and what countries are selling uavs to other countries and areas. Merging threat and safety together by using a bright blue sky adds another uneasy layer of meaning to this work that appears so innocuous at first glance. Reva intends to compete this animated video during the duration of the residency.
Heading out to Riding Mountain?
Connect with Reva on Saturday June 3rd at 7:30 p.m. at the Wasagaming Community Arts Centre.