New Westminster New Media Gallery explores the power of magnetism

A new exhibition at the New Media Gallery is exploring the physical and metaphoric possibilities of attraction and resistance.

The four works in the new exhibition magnetic_T all use magnets, magnetism and magnetic fields in installations described in a press release as “baffling, exquisite, hypnotic and mind-blowing.”

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The exhibition runs Feb. 23 to May 12, with an opening reception on Friday, Feb. 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Visitors will be able to check out these four works:

Chijikinkutsu: Nelo Akamatsu’s work is made using water, sewing needles, glass tumblers and coils of copper wire. When electricity is supplied to a coil attached to each tumbler, it creates a temporary magnetic field that draws the needle to the coil, and the faint sound of needles hitting glass resonates in the space. Its name comes from two Japanese words: “chijiki,” meaning geomagnetism; and sukinkutsu, a traditional installation for Japanese gardens that uses drops of water falling through an inverted earthenware pot and resonating through hollow bamboo tubes.


240 Points Toward Infinity: Paris-based artist Tatiana Trouvé has created a work that “oscillates between the real, the imaginary and the illusory,” as the release says. It uses 240 plumb bobs and lines, re-cast in ferrous metal and creating a variety of strange and impossible lines.


Bearings: New York-based Lithuanian artist Zilvinas Kempinas has created a sculptural work on a low stage that uses a multiplicity of small steel bearings in perpetual motion thanks to a hidden system of rotating magnets.


Moving objects / no. 502-519: Pe Lang’s wall-based sculptural work features a series of circular magnets, each trapped in its own identical space and performing “some crazy slow dance that appears to have intent and purpose,” accompanied by the sound of motors and magnets.


The gallery warns that the exhibition contains static magnetic and small electromagnetic fields and will not be accessible to those wearing implanted ferromagnetic or electronic medical devices sensitive to magnetic fields (such as pacemakers).

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