Ed Bear Nine Degrees of Freedom (2020), Installation with nice video projectors at Edge of Light


My work investigates the emotional and environmental tension between the highly underdefined, low-dimensionality of screen-based media and staged, installed, fast, and bright projected light’s interaction with material.

I’ll first half-jokingly jump into a broader point that my work is more grounded in the entire safely accessible EM spectrum more so than just what is perceivable by the human eye. Our own bodies’ receivers are no longer the limits of our societies’ cultures, powers, and control systems, so the discourse of material, space, time, and energy can expand accordingly. The skies are the limits.

But speaking to the human eye, light based media pushes and pulls at the limits of our personal experiences with the geometry of space and time, The in-person experience of Nine Degrees of Freedom is unphotographable and transformed completely by videography. Artefacts of the projection technology create scrolling bars, raster tearing, and other framerate beat frequency effects that reveal the specifics of the camera technology that are normally hidden by their ubiquity. Some image stabilization algorithms encode stutters in the framing, other autofocus and auto-exposure systems oscillate continuously between extremes, while the camera’s exact position in gallery space produces repeatable, but chaotic recordings that look nothing like reality.

Ed Bear, 2020

Ed Bear [b. 1983, he/they] is an American performing artist and engineer. His work with robotics, sound, video, transmission and collective improvisation investigates the questionable calibration of social relationships with material technology. As an educator and designer committed to an equitable, open source world, he researches and practices material reuse as a civil responsibility. He has toured extensively in North America and Europe as a musician and teacher.

In 2009 and 2010 he received NSF and other funds to study e-waste streams as educational resources, software defined radio, and novel energy harvesting using ionic polymer metal composites. As a research specialist at the Lighting Research Center in 2012 and 2013, he developed solutions control of emerging solid-state lighting systems for multiple markets with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. Until 2019, he worked with littleBits, Inc. on gender-neutral, modular electronics education and founded Kin Circuits after leaving. He was a 2019 Pioneer Works resident, a 2017 Harvestworks and Signal Culture, 2016 Unit 11, 2015 WaveFarm, and 2012 LMCC SwingSpace artist-in-residence, a 2010 free103point9 AIRtime fellow and received the 2008 Roulette Emerging Composer Commission. His music is available on Peira, Azul Discographica, Ever/Never, Roar Tapes, and several other record labels.