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Jack Straw Productions' New Media Gallery

Jack Straw Productions' New Media Gallery was opened in 1999 to support artists working with visual and installation art, with an emphasis on sound. Gallery residencies of up to 3 months are a combination of applicants from our annual call for applicants, and exhibits by invited artists. As part of their residency, gallery artists receive up to 20 hours of studio assistance with one of our engineers.

Installation detail: wreath Current/Upcoming exhibit:

The Four Dignities
mixed media installation by artist Rene Yung, with additional sound design by Janice Giteck

Opening reception: Friday, July 15 7pm

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 16 11:30am

Closing September 30, 2005

The Four Dignities is a secular interpretation of the Buddhist concept of mindfulness that extends to every aspect of living, embodied in the different positions we assume throughout the day: sitting, standing, walking, and lying down. Through sound, light, and space, the installation seeks to engage viewers in contemplation of these bodily states.

Visually, the work consists of four planes of softly-lit fabric around a central axis, creating four distinct quadrants. In the sitting, lying down, and standing quadrants, a plain chair, a simple bed, and a small speaker overhead position the viewer in proximity to the recorded text: quietly spoken single words or brief phrases evoking the moments of daily life informed by that position, underlaid by a faintly audible narrative describing in precise, poetic language the physicality of that particular position. 

Environmental sounds, assembled by composer Janice Giteck, emanate quietly from the periphery, shifting gradually from urban interior to urban outdoors to deep nature, in a continual cycle layered over the barely-recognizable sound of a softly-struck bell or gong at one-minute intervals. The carefully modulated texture of sounds and meaning creates an environment that holds the viewer in contemplation of the basic dignity of being embodied.

The audio component of The Four Dignities was created at Jack Straw Productions during a 2004 New Media Gallery residency. An early version of the work was exhibited in California last summer as part of Sacred Spaces, a group show at the Berkeley Art Center.

“If you're in need of a place to slow down the modern world's constant deluge of experience and information, ‘The Four Dignities’ is a welcome escape hatch.” Read more about why The Seattle Weekly’s Andrew Engelson chose “The Four Dignities” as a Visual Arts Pick at http://www.seattleweekly.com/features/0531/050803_arts_vizpick.php

Follow these links to read more about Rene Yung and her other projects:

“Taking in the work of Rene Yung” http://www.iexaminer.org/archives/3213/3213titw.html

“Teacups personalize new I.D. library” http://www.nwasianweekly.com/teacups24.26.htm

Rene Yung is a San Francisco-based installation artist, designer, and writer, who explores issues of culture and identity through multi-layered works, often combining imagery and text. A native of Hong Kong, Yung investigates the transcultural experience by deploying a broad range of information and production systems, to question assumptions about culture and community.

Yung has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at "TransCulture," part of the 1995 Venice Biennale; the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas; Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose. She has conducted numerous community cultural development projects involving diverse, cross-generational populations, and has received public art commissions from agencies including the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, City of Oakland, the Seattle Office

of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Wing Luke Asian Museum, Seattle. She sees her total art practice as a multi-faceted whole comprising these related areas of investigation.

Yung has received support through grants and residencies from the Creative Work Fund, California Art Council, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, the Hedgebrook Writer's Residency Program, the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, the Goldman Institute on Aging, and Headlands Center for the Arts.

Janice Giteck (born-1946), composer of music for concert, multi-media, dance and theater, has scored five award-winning films including Emiko Omori's "Rabbit in the Moon" (Sundance, Emmy Awards 1999). Giteck has CDs on MODE, New Albion, Periplum, was commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony for "TREE", and held a "Meet The Composer" residency (1998-2000) in Seattle. A professor at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle (1979-present), Giteck is currently working on: "Ishi (Yahi for 'man')" for instrumental ensemble with film.

Jack Straw Productions thanks the Paul G. Allen Charitable Foundation, ArtsFund, the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the 4Culture King County Lodging Tax, the Washington State Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and our individual contributors for their vital sup ort of our programs and services.
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