#M was conceived specifically for the CSArt 2016/17 Season. CSArt Ottawa is an organization that curates a season of art events that range from musical performances, theatre, visual art, writing and spoken word.
M is a portrait painting installation that you want to touch and engage with. It provides a shared experience where by the viewers can manipulate the “pixels” and create countless permutations of the art. It is ever changing but it is also temporal and only exits for the duration of the exhibition. Afterwards it is disassembled into it’s 49 pieces (pixels) and distributed to the subscribers and other patrons.
Each pixel box is independent and has three sides that can be rotated. Mounted together in a 7 by 7 grid they create three self portraits and countless unique combinations as each box presents three opportunities and can be easily changed. When the boxes are removed from the grid each becomes it's own independent artwork and a memory of that shared experiences.
To encourage exploration each of the three portraits has a unique resolution and the colour scheme is unique to two and combined for another. Some look to discover the three portraits and others are more interested in disrupting to create something truly unique.
This is a completely new work for me that mixes together things I love; making, interactivity and portraits. My inner maker/inventor was inspired through designing, testing and refining the pixel boxes (All the Pixel Boxes we're laser cut at the Ottawa Library maker space, Imagine Space). As I like to play with interactive works and portraits this provided me a great opportunity to combine those in an installation, I call it M and at it's core it's a self portrait.
Media Coverage: Apt613 Endless Art
"Are you on The List, you know that elite, get you into places list? No, well come sit in a chair worthy of a VIP for a moment or two, while Mark creates a piece of art based on you and your VIP qualities."
The List is an art installation at Nuit Blanche Ottawa that provided both a spectator and a individual VIP experience. The willing participants (VIPs) we’re greeted, walked the red carpet and sat in a chair within an exclusive, decorated, open air lit space. At that point, Mark talked with the VIPs while creating a quick gestural abstracted portrait sketch. Once complete the portrait was revealed, set aside to dry, and hung on a purpose built structure for all to see. Before the participant left, they we're pin that lets people know, “Hey, I’m on the List!”.
The List grew over the course of the night, final count involved 100 paintings but represents many more VIPs than that. Many times groups of 2, 3, 4 and 5 would come in together and be represented as a group in one painting.
Firefly is a wearable, social light installation. These playful, wearable Firefly pendants, flow through various light sequences, based on human contact and socialization patterns, engaging their audiences into discussion and exchange. From a vantage point the keepers of the fireflies will paint an array of light, data and human interaction into a new space. 250 Fireflies we’re distributed at the opening event of the Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau 2013 festival.
Firefly is an artistic collaboration between Mark Stephenson, Michael Grant and Darcy Whyte.
This project received funding and assistance from RecycleYourElectronics.ca, the Awesome Ottawa Foundation and ArtEngine and has recently received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council for continued development on the project. Version 2 is underway and will be revealed soon.
The HipsterMonocle is a small laser cut monocle like object with a handle and interchangeable lenses. The HipsterMonocle takes it’s inspiration from photo haring apps Instagram and Facebook. The monocle adopts the square photo format, rounds the corners and even has coloured lenses responding to the concept of filters. All said and done, it’s a fun, social analogue to Instagram.
Eventually the project comes full circle back to the online space with a web site that documents the use of the HipsterMonocle online via photos tagged with #hipstermonocle.
This project started as a concept exploration used as part of Mark's Designing for Laser cutting workshop. The project has since had a couple commissions; one for the Creative Cities Summit in Ottawa in 2013 and for a fundraiser for Nuit Blanche Ottawa + Gatineau 2014. For the NBOG fundraiser a new version of the monocle has been developed that has a specific connection to the theme of Detour.