Overtones, an exhibition by Baltimore, MD-based artist, Shannon Collis was presented September 13 – October 12, 2013, acompanied by a text by Toronto, ON-based sound artist, Darren Copeland.
Overtones features a series of ongoing experiments that explore the relationship between sound and visual form. In this exhibition, Collis investigates the sonic behaviors of different material surfaces when agitated by a variety of kinetic, mechanical devices. The project consists of simple systems that explore the expressive character of audible visual phenomena and the relationship between the drawing substrate, the printed mark, and sound. The work expands on methods from a traditional printmaking practice by highlighting the acoustic traces of material process. Small mechanical drawing devices act as tools to etch the surface of metal plates and other substrates. The resulting images reveal both the dense layering and subtle patterns of movement. These images are shown together alongside their related acoustic-mechanical devices. Both elements evolve through a series of stages, a process of translation and exchange between artist and technologies. In this project, Collis has developed interesting ways to interact with sound on a physical level, to make audible the visual qualities of mechanical and hand-generated marks. She hopes to maintain the expressive and intuitive nature of the print/drawing process, including the descriptive aspect of different drawing methods and the spontaneity of mark making. This can be reflected in the rich layering and complexity of marks.
Shannon Collis is a Canadian artist residing in Baltimore, MD. A graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Collis is also completing research at Concordia University in Montreal in the area of Digital Media and Computation Arts (Fall 2013). Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Maryland, where she teaches Digital Foundations and Print Media. Her studio practice focuses on creating installations and interactive environments that explore various ways in which digital technologies can transform our perception of audio and visual stimuli. Her work has been exhibited across North America as well as in Europe, Asia and Australia.