Art's Birthday: World Briefing

Jan 16 — 20, 2007

Gathering, Installation


Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


8:00 p.m. (Jan. 16) / 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Jan 17 – 20)


This event was programmed as part of a multi-day celebration of Art’s Birthday that coincided with the 100th anniversary of radio. Local and international artists used sound, video, robotics, poetry, images, and performance to celebrate and deconstruct utopian ideas of network, radio, and places.  

Artist-in-residence Oliver Hockehull presented World Briefing (2006), a performance event and exhibition that questioned and engaged with ideas of immediacy, causality, randomness, and consciousness. The project built on The Global Consciousness Project (GCP)—an international effort involving researchers from several institutions and countries to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement. Experiments conducted over the past thirty-five years suggested that human consciousness interacts with random event generators (REG) causing them to produce non-random patterns. 

Hockenhull installed a REG connected to a computer that used electronic noise in the form of low-amplitude voltage fluctuations to generate a constant stream of apparently random numbers. The resulting information was combed by a series of statistical benchmarks and translated to provide parameters for a further algorithm that edited a collection of video and sound clips for viewing. 

During the performance, the work was staged as a “consciousness” event where the audience attempted to influence the REG. Artist Eric Metcalfe was featured as part of the video work.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.