Caly McMorrow

Status Update, 2012

I find interest where lines blur between artistic disciplines, techniques, genres, and ideas; and enjoy exploring relationships between seemingly disparate elements. I’m inspired by the juxtaposition and merging of old with new; live with automatic; organic with electronic; and creator with audience.  Common themes in my work include the mutable nature of memory and history; and alternate versions of the past, present and future. I’m influenced by various aesthetics of retrofuturism and science fiction.

My newest body of work includes installations incorporating sound, light, interactivity, and indeterminacy based on participant input, which something, a light or sound or activity, changes with the intervention of audience members. I am interested in interactive work as a way to challenge the notion that art is to be seen and not touched, and assumptions that technology, art, or creation in general are inaccessible or reserved for an elite.

Status Update explores communication and the simultaneously cyclical, mutable, and ephemeral nature of time and memory. Audience participants are invited to move through a spiral of spoken recordings and vintage lights. Using an antique phone, they may record an answer to a question for the next participants to hear. Sound and light move together through the spiral, and as older recordings move through, new thoughts begin their same journey from the center outwards.

The illumination of a light bulb is often associated with new thoughts, ideas or revelations. Thoughts and ideas become words, and words become record. Any form of record can capture these singular moments that would otherwise be more ephemeral, but a record can also often be easily overwritten, destroyed, forgotten, or misinterpreted. In this installation, recorded responses are collected, separated from their questions, possibly repeated, possibly discarded, and open to the interpretations of those listening.

These recordings originate from an antique telephone. This phone is a physical representation and reminder of how technological advancements have changed immensely, yet how they still fulfill our basic desire to share information and stay connected. This installation asks its participants to use an antique to record a thought that itself will soon be mostly lost to history and its interpretations. New ideas become technological advancement and innovation, but they are always linked to what came before.

Biography

b. 1977, Minneapolis, MN
works St. Paul, MN

Caly is an electronic musician, sound designer, and interactive installation artist based in St. Paul, MN. One of few women in the DIY-driven culture of music made with video games and altered electronic toys, she blends these and live-looping technology with a background in classical saxophone and piano to create layered compositions of “ambient glitch.” She’s equally at home as part of a warehouse party or a gallery opening, and has performed and exhibited in varied venues including the Walker Art Center, the Spark Festival of Electronic music (as a performer, juror, panelist, and installation artist); San Francisco’s Noisebridge Hacker Space, The Tank’s Bent Fest; First Avenue and 7th Street Entry, and the Rochester Art Center.

She writes about her work

I am a sound designer, installation artist, and composer and performer of experimental electronic music. I blend the DIY-driven culture of circuit bending and hardware hacking with a background in classical music and technical theater. I!m inspired by the juxtaposition and merging of old with new; live with automatic; organic with electronic; and creator with audience. Common themes in my work include the mutable nature of memory and history; and alternate versions of the past, present and future. I!m influenced by various aesthetics of retrofuturism and science fiction.

Her proposal is for

The core concept of my project is an exploration of the increasing prevalence of communications technology in modern life; its history and evolution; and the layers of translation, distortion, and anonymity (or lack thereof) inherent in its various forms. I want this project to cause reflection on how people are or are not truly connected, how technology has permanently affected our lives, and what the concepts of distance and time really mean. As time passes, we are so much more connected, but how much meaning can be expressed in sound bytes or 140 characters at a time? Does the perceived anonymity of the internet foster honesty? When does technology help us to strengthen relationships, and when does it serve as a tool to criticize people in whom we have no true emotional investment?

Links

The Chris Osgood Advice Hotline, 2008
An interactive sound installation built as an homage to his years of service at Springboard for the Arts

Remix, 2009
An interactive sound installation with fabric buttons

Exception 2008
Excerpt from solo album All Of This Is Temporary

Speak ‘n’ Glitch 2004
Excerpt from Low Orbit, a collaboration with musician Lorren Stafford

Unexpected 2008
Excerpt from solo album All Of This Is Temporary