Extra Credit- Ken Gregory



Ken Gregory is a unique contemporary artist.  He has been working with do-it-yourself interface design, hardware hacking, audio, video, and computer programming for over 20 years.  His creative performance and installation works have shown publicly across Canada, and at many international media and sound art festivals.  His works are presented in the form of gallery installations, live performances, live radio broadcasts, and audio compact discs.  From this description, I’m sure you can conclude that most of his works emphasize sound.

I found a lot of Ken Gregory’s works to be interesting.  The fact that they are interactive and involve motion and sound is different from what we have typically learned about in class.  In one work, he used fire alarm bells throughout a room.   He made them respond to peoples’ body heat, so when people would enter or move about the room it would cause different pitches of the bells to vibrate.  I love when natural sound can be successfully imitated by mankind; it intrigues me to see the process and the results.  A work that produced such a sound was “Wind Coil Sound Flow.”  “Wind coil sound flow” is an acoustic electromechanical system that transforms wind-generated vibrations on a kite’s towline into harmonic frequencies.  The first stage of this multi-part project involved a large, one-stringed guitar played by the wind outdoors.  The sounds generated through this system were recorded digitally and were used to activate the long strings in the sculptural installation that in turn, create new and complex sounds conveyed through kite-shaped audio speakers.

My favorite of his works was “Lick my LEDs” in which a display of flashing lollipops were interconnected and synchronized by a digital signal better known as the common pulse.  After three weeks they completely melted and new ones were brought in.  This artwork I feel is more attractive to younger audiences and that those who are older can look at it and be reminded of their childhood and the sweet, sugary, joy candy brought to them.

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