MID AIR at InterAccess (401 Richmond West) to June 9. 416-599-7206. Rating: NNN
when interaccess electronic me-
dia Arts Centre director Kathleen Pirrie Adams was programming an exhibit to coincide with U of T's Subtle Technologies conference, it wasn't a matter of trying to illustrate a relationship between art and technology. This gallery has been doing that full-time for almost 20 years.
Instead, she opted to show the diverse ways three artists animate elemental forces like air and electricity.
Chicago-based digital media installation artist Andrea Polli presents a "public simulation" of the eye-tracking stuff she uses extensively in her performance work. In Gape, viewers manipulate a track ball to approximate the more fragile eye-tracking technology. A series of moving eyes forms an exquisite trail wherever the cursor is dragged.
Too subtle, perhaps, is the work's second dimension, in which users can participate in creating sound poetry -- if they ever manage to get there by finding the right keys. Polli insists on not leaving clues in her presentation.
Tegan Smith's human-sized Large Balloon, Average Human, Small Planet consists of a balloon that expands and contracts as if breathing. But despite the conceptual scale issues raised by its title, it looks too familiar to inspire.
Winnipeg-based kinetic artist Ken Gregory's pieces appeal to the sumo robot set -- his raw mechanicals make the primary aesthetic statement in works like an animated galvanized metal bucket trapped in a tiny corner.
The best work here is actually outside the gallery. Suspended in the common hallway outside 401 Richmond's fourth-floor elevator entrance, Gregory's 12 Motor Bells transforms brass industrial bells into a very subtle musical instrument, barely humming as air brushes past them.