‘Longcyles’ gallery might ‘make you uncomfortable’

By Rebekah Frank


Walking into the EWU art gallery, students are confronted by videos portrayed through TVs and projectors, as seemingly random music plays throughout the gallery.

The exhibit is put on by art lecturer Jenny Hyde and audio engineer Ben Luca Robertson. It is called, “Longcycles,” and it takes on a different experience from typical galleries.

“Galleries and museums tend to be very calming, sterile environments that don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I think this one maybe could make you uncomfortable and maybe that is an okay thing,” said EWU art lecturer Christopher Tyllia.

The uncomfortable feeling that Tyllia is describing here comes from the eerie violin orchestra music that is playing in the background of the exhibit. When one walks into the gallery, the first thing that appears is the many TV screens showing different images and videos with different lighting in them.

The lighting in the images are a mixture of fluorescent lights, different colored lights as well as videos showing the changes in lighting throughout the day, as a way to express time. One image shows a lime that has a light fading from one side of it to the other. The different lighting of the image as well as the different colors are what is directing the sound.

According to Hyde, the exhibit is using photoresistors to direct the music that is playing. The videos are like the musical score. The resistors read the score and then tell the computer how to direct the sound.

“At a basic level, the volume and placement of sound in the gallery responds to the amount of light generated by [Hyde]’s video projections,” said Robertson.

“The two of us are both very much interested in sort of our everyday surroundings — what is around us every day, … what makes up the majority of the spaces that we exist in that we don’t necessarily pay a lot of attention to but completely frames our lives, and one of those things is the actual frequencies from fluorescent lights,” said Hyde.

Hyde put together the videos for this exhibit including a video of cars driving by showing the progress of time, different angles of a fluorescent light and many other images to portray different spectrum of light. Robertson put together the technology for the sound. Their goal, according to Hyde, was to use sound in an artistic way, but not in the form of traditional music.

When students walk into the art building, they will immediately hear the sounds from the gallery. The music that is playing changes tones, with notes going from eerie to quiet and all other options.

“The experience I get is somewhat anxious,” said Tyllia.

The different tone and sounds going on in the background stirs up different feelings amongst whose observing, depending on where they are standing in the gallery. It is like walking around campus everyday. The more places you go, the more sounds you experience depending on your atmosphere.

“Everyday life is deeply atmospheric,” said Robertson.

Hyde would like to stress that this exhibit is a collaboration between the art department and the music department. There will be a gallery talk and reception for the exhibit on Feb. 26 in the art building room 116 at 12:30 p.m. The gallery will be open from Jan. 30 through April 4.

“It is something I haven’t seen yet, it is a little bit different. It was nice to see,” said EWU senior Lauren Liuick.