Renato Vitic is a Calgary-based artist, writer, and arts administrator. He is the Director of TRUCK Contemporary Art and has exhibited his installation and painted works in Calgary, Edmonton, and Halifax. As a member of the walking collective, The Ministry of Walking, Renato has presented interactive walking performances as part of the Performance Creation Canada Conference, the Walking and Art thematic residency at the Banff Centre, and The New Flanneurs: Contemporary Urban Practice and the Picturesque, where he presented the performance Walking on Water in conjunction with the Alberta Art Gallery and the Visualeyez Performance Art Festival. His interactive performance installation Interchange: The Deconstructionist Market is currently being presented at the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, Ledge Gallery, in Calgary.
1. Bending wood
It’s wood. Saturated with water by steaming, you can bend it. When it dries, it retains its shape! ‘Nuff said!
2. The mediated sublime
A term poached from Maurizio Bolognini’s interactive installation SMS Mediated Sublime that implicated the audience in the manipulation and experience of the technological sublime. Last year at TRUCK we presented Halifax-based artist Stephen Kelly’s Open Tuning (WaveUp) in which real time environmental data (wave amplitude, periodicity, and direction) was collected via sensor buoys located in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and transformed into kinetic and aural output. Landlocked and caught between oceans, the experience of this remote virtual/natural environment reverberated right through me. More recently we exhibited local artist David Bynoe’s Machine for preserving the wind, which, through the action of a worm drive, wooden sprockets, cams, and weights attached to dowels, created the illusion of a wind in a wheat field gusting through the gallery space. Growing up on the prairies, this work had a powerful presence for me in TRUCK’s little basement space.
3. Aluminum heat sinks
These little gems are precision machined or extruded metal blocks used to dissipate waste heat from delicate computer components such as CPUs, GPUs, integrated circuits, chipsets, and graphic cards. They can be passive (simply attached to a circuit board with a screw or a heat conducting resin) or can be combined with a cooling fan (or in more recent electronics a liquid cooling system). They often have an elaborate fin structure designed to optimize heat dissipation. They are beautiful and enlarged by about a factor of 500 they would rival any Richard Serra sculpture!
I have rarely encountered a thinker whose ideas have been received with such incomprehension, hostility, and fear. Such strong reactions signify a particular currency and relevance with respect to contemporary culture for me, despite claims “that deconstruction and interests in Derrida have become largely moribund…” The Deconstructionist’s Market is not simply a literal interpretation of a literary technique, but rather an adoption of the purpose of eviscerating and reassembling objects in difference “in order to interrupt the perceived programs of perception, interpretation, and experience.” Even that description as written is insufficient; let’s just say it is not about nihilism or the rejection of (in my case) objects or material culture, but about a different relationship to them.
Shinjin is a term that is often confused with the ideas of “grace” or “faith” in western religions, but particular to the traditions of Shin Buddhism and, interpreted as the concept of “true mind,” based in the qualities of wisdom and compassion. David Hockney is fond of quoting the Chinese proverb that the three essentials for painting are “the eye, the hand, and the heart, and no two alone will do!” To grossly extrapolate and apply this to the larger scale of life, Shinjin is the heart in this equation. Being - by inclination - phenomenologically challenged and sometimes a little too rational I find the concept a stimulating test.
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