Nancy Lee
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"Dispersion" is a large scale audio-visual performance that emerged from  an artist residency, The Courtyard Commission, at the Ismaili Centre in Burnaby, BC. Curated by Scheherazaad Cooper, The Courtyard Commission, is part of the Ismaili Council's program 21st Century Renaissance: Exploring historical and contemporary engagements between art, science, technology, religion, philosophy and ethics.

The Ismaili Centre's marble exterior inspired us (Laine Butler & I) to develop visuals to project on to the building using paint. We video recorded the microscopic process of paint marbling on a small canvas using a 90mm marcro lens. Kiran Bhumber composed a piece inspired by our visuals. Ralph Escamillan choreographed movement with Sophia Wolfe and Alex Tam inspired by the space in the courtyard. 
During this residency, we have discovered a different, more tangible medium (paint) as artists who generally work in the digital realm. I have thought a lot about humans and our relationship with color pigment, how blue was the last color that came to human consciousness and how we are alchemizing color when we use physical pigment (made from natural minerals), record it to a digital format (camera, visual softwares) and then transform it into light (projections). I have thought a lot about how different color pigments in paint have different temperaments - they have a different consistency, they dry differently, they are cohesive to themselves, they maintain integrity - whereas, the colored light we see from our screens and projectors exists on a spectrum - it's movements are merely illusions in the tangible world. Discovery is a major theme in this performance.

creative team

  • Director & Visual Artist - Nancy Lee
  • Visual & Installation Artist - Laine Butler
  • Composition - Kiran Bhumber
  • Choreography - Ralph Escamillan
  • Performance - Sophia Wolf & Alex Tam