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Etheral Computing: Darsha Hewitt

Co-presented with Galerie SAW Gallery and SAW Video this work was included in the Platinum anniversary celebrations of the Arts Court Facility. Presented alongside, in the Club SAW facility, was an installation from the Bakery Group and music from Jokers of the Scene.

Etheral Computing is an environmentally responsive sound installation that acts as a prospector of the paranormal world. Various Ghost Research Societies and Ghost Hunters believe that unexplained magnetic field activity can sometimes indicate the presence of spirits and/or misguided energy of the deceased. These groups use a variety of hi-tech testing equipment such as electromagnetic sensing devices to investigate claims of paranormal activity in a given location.

The installation consists of a series of wall-mounted sound generating devices that look like radio intercoms from the 1970s (see image above). The intercoms have out of tune radios embedded in them and a lattice of copper wire protruding from it. The wire lattice extends out from the intercom and traces the walls of the gallery. Thee wires sense fluctuation and packets of electromagnetic activity and trigger alterations (sometimes subtle, sometimes noisy) in the soundscape.

Biography

Darsha Hewitt is a Canadian artist from Ottawa, Ontario, interested in experimenting with electronics in order to capture traces of the invisible ethereal realm. By handcrafting, rebuilding and cross-wiring basic electronics, the artist intervenes with the commercial obligations of today's ubiquitous electronic products, and exposes them to the noise of an invisible realm. Her main areas of research are late 19th and early 20th century audiovisual and communication technology, which amateur electronics enthusiasts used in their reinterpretation of the world around them. She often draws on the formulas and aesthetics found in vintage D.I.Y. electronics magazines, such as Popular Mechanix and Electronics Illustrated, in order to create "homemade sensing devices for invisible matter."

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