ESSAY: Pockets for air, by Karina Irvine

AUDIO DESCRIPTION by HaeAhn Paul Kwon Kajander

The artist acknowledges support for this project from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Excerpt from GRANULAR an Audio Description: "Approaching the wood column to the right, we crouch down to look at a smartphone, balanced horizontally atop one of two galvanized outlets, near the bottom of the column. The phone is sitting on an outlet that has had its faceplate removed. One single peg extends, looking like the base of a dimmer switch or dial that might control lights, maybe a ceiling fan. The smartphone is playing a video in a loop that is composed of two 16:9 frames, the slightly smaller one inset and centred within the other. Each layer of video scans the ground, filmed from above at various proximities, where white pellets - evocative of both styrofoam and snow - swirl and gather into formations that resemble small hurricanes, murmurations or tiny hailstorms. Each frame shows different ground, featuring early spring dirt or gravel, concrete pads or asphalt road. The centre scene opens with a piece of small orange styrofoam detritus on a dirt ground that is mostly covered in small white styrofoam pellets, punctuated by wispy grass and weed leaves. The scene cuts to a few more shots of the same ground where a piece of yellow insulation foam and a blueish green piece of styrofoam are lying amongst weeds in a field of white styrofoam particulate. At the same time, the frame surrounding this main scene shows small pellets of ice falling like tiny hailstones and bouncing on the ground. There is a subtle difference between the formal qualities of these two kinds of white pellets, their relationship to gravity and wind. In order to view the horizontal video screen directly from above, one needs to squat and rest the crown of the head against the wooden post. This fixed view is destabilized by the gentle swaying of grass blades, movement of innumerable white pellets, and the shaky movement of the handheld camera in either or both of the two frames." - HaeAhn Paul Kwon Kajander