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Keith Salmon: Live & Up-Front
May 13, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Keith Salmon, our artist-in-residence in May, is a critically acclaimed Scottish Landscape painter. Despite a significant visual impairment (Keith is legally blind), Keith draws inspiration from hiking through the iconic Scottish landscape with his partner Anita Groves capturing in memory the very unique qualities of light, shape and color his eyes allow him to see. Keith’s unique vision pushes his painted depictions of the wild Scottish landscape into fantastically atmospheric abstractions of shape, line and color that defy traditional definitions of what landscape paintings are.
In recent years, Keith’s sight has declined. Accordingly, Keith may not be able to paint for much longer. Undaunted by his declining vision, Keith has began exploring sound as another medium where he can work. So far Keith has been slowly building a catalog of audio files he has been collecting on his travels around Scotland. He has yet to formally build or exhibit his sound pieces but is keen to explore the opportunity to work in a new and vibrant medium.
In 2014/15 Microsoft Research Intern and University of Washington PhD Candidate Kyle Rector in partnership with Microsoft engineers but a prototype “proxemic audio” art interpretation device(s) that sonically interprets visual art through movement and proximity. Think of the device as a distance based sonification scheme that allows visually impaired viewers to “hear” a painting. That “hearing” changes as you move closer to the work.
Through Seattle-based filmmaker Dan Thornton and Microsoft Research liaison John Boylan, Keith was introduced to the Microsoft Research team. Collectively, plans were created to give Keith an opportunity to use this new prototype as a platform for creating an original art piece combining Keith’s painting and nascent sound explorations. Microsoft, Thornton and Salmon have agreed to create this work collaboratively and have it debut at 9e2 in October 2016. The initial idea is to “sonify” an original large scale painting which will be Keith’s first American landscape painting. Keith will begin this work while in residence at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph Oregon this Summer.