Colour Bars + Tone, 2024

Photographic Collages / Written Text Collages / 2 Channel Video / Live Performance

Analogue vs Digital / Live vs. Pre-recorded / Past vs. Now / A priori vs. Empirical / Physical vs. Mystical / Seen vs. Unseen

Colour Bars + Tone seeks to reveal the gaps and spaces between the known, physical/tangible, and an unknowable mystical world. By riffing on the definitions of photographic terms, I aim to get below their many layered meanings and to propose a parallel reality. That the concrete and physically seen is exemplified by discrete technical terms such as ‘Chromatic Aberration’ or ‘Digital Noise’ while simultaneously exploring a personal, sometimes humorous reading of those terms and how they intersect into all the layered foibles of everyday life.

The title ‘Colour Bars + Tone’ – aside from being an industry insider term to describe the beginning of an analogue television program – refers to a personal experience. On Gabriola Island, on the West Coast of Canada where I live, I have a friend who can speak with metaphysical entities. He’s a spiritual healer and has trained under elders in shaman techniques. While walking around the remote island, he related that there was a group of women – teachers and elders from another time, perhaps spirits? – that were connected to the land. Apparently they had been watching me do my dancerly exercises in the forest, by the ocean. They asked him: Was I a Weather Mover? Straightening light into different strata? Creating bands and spirals and bars of colour? I told him that I was just doing my regular exercises and that the tuning forks I was using were to promote balance and healing. But they were calling me Colour Weaver, or Colour Bars amongst themselves. And so I’ve been pondering my inner landscape, made of colour charts and bars, exemplified by CMYK or RGB or analogue artifacts, but also sound, text, colour and tone within the physical body, the digital, and the soul.

“Our traces log our essence and leave a trail, a digital binary pathway of broken, degraded pixels behind us as we age and fragment and split. And yet, who’s to say that those small gathering of pixels, of digital noise, of colour bars and chromatic aberration are not the beginning of something new and fresh and green and tender in a parallel existence to our own?”

Performed text by Evann Siebens, Cloud Seven, Brussels, Belgium, May 2024.

Music Credits: Daft Punk, Technologic; Glenn Gould playing J.S. Bach,’s Golderbger Variation, BWV 988; &Me, Black Coffee, The Rapture Pt II; Oscar Petersen performs ‘I could have danced all night’ written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

With thanks to John Paul Fischbach, Keith Doyle, Wil Aballe, Jeff Hallbauer, Frances Horn, Saskia Gevaert, Manon Fraser, Amy Raymond, Kevin Cregan, Frédéric de Goldschmidt and everyone at Cloud Seven.