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Instant Places

Instant Places

February 1 – 21, 2013

Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh have been collaboratively producing work under the moniker Instant Places since 2003. Instant Places have since produced a series of location-specific works presented around the world. Their work often utilizes custom computer programs to interpret source material from each location. Sources can include anything from still photographs to audio recordings. Within the software environment, Instant Places conjures computer programs that are able to take source material and continually manifest new content. In other words, these are generative works wherein the computer is continually remaking the ‘final’ visual product. As a viewer, you will never see the same thing twice.

147 Lochiel Street: Second Floor Alcoves (2013) is based on a series of charmingly simple drawings that were completed on a tablet device. These drawings are the source material for their program to continually reinterpret and represent as an ever-changing, unique image. While the background cycles through a greyscale at random, the hypnotic spheres and gentle lines seduce the viewer with a myriad of changing colours, intensities, and solutions.

147 Lochiel Street: Front Lobby Projections (2013) responds to the unique architectural qualities of the front lobby. Playing with the metal partitions between the windows, Instant Places created a program that is able to manage the physics of an ever-changing cluster of shapes reminiscent of tiny satellites. Things like attractions and repulsions, gravity and weightlessness, foreground and background, are constantly being renegotiated. The two projection windows are treated as one ‘work surface’, collapsing the physical barrier between the windows, embracing the surrounding streetscape and environmental conditions, while keenly playing off of the building itself. The clusters of shapes sometimes appear to get caught on the metal partitions, breathing life into an otherwise detached architectural necessity.

Laura and Ian

About Instant Places Artist Residency

From January 8 – 18, the gallery hosted a ten day residency with artists Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse aka Instant Places. During their residency the artists made audiovisual ‘snapshots’ throughout the new building- gallery rooms, stairwells, boiler room, freight elevator, etc. activating multiple building surfaces with image and sound transformations. While at the gallery the duo celebrated the 100,000,050th Birthday of Art with an audiovisual performance that was broadcast live around the world! Visit Instant Places’ blog  to learn more about their residency at the gallery.

Instant Places create intermedia artworks on location using software instruments they design. In their work they focus on the moment of creation, combining improvised actions in performance with sound and image sequences generated in real time. They began Instant Places in 2003, a series of location-specific works which they have realized across Canada, Australia, Japan, the United States, and South America. A full project archive is available at

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