Sage Sidley

Sage Sidley
NSCAD University (Halifax, NS)

The series, Untitled Drawings, began through my investigation of overlapping systems of the networked and mingled layers of our environment, consisting of digital, ecological, and social spaces, of which we figure into. With growing concerns for the environment, theorists and scientists from all fields are urging us to look beyond mono systems and begin looking at systems as a whole. Everything is interconnected and interrelated. 

Using drawing as a lens, I recognize that my interactions within physical and digital spaces are extensions of my sketchbook. I am interested in how drawing can grant new insights to data infrastructures and systems, via smartphone applications and social media practices. Anyone with a mobile recording device permits anything and everyone to record for long as their battery and storage space allows. Moreover, the ability to capture and share at any moment blurs private and public spaces. To reflect these ideas, the titles of these works were processed using A.I. alt text software, used to provide users with descriptions of images.

The drawings are created from footage of insects I find on hiking trails in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, walks in public spaces in Halifax, and in my home and school. I use the icon of insects to investigate digital technology because of their constant presence in our domestic, public, and natural surroundings. Although this presence often goes unseen or unnoticed, it is ubiquitous; humans are always sharing space with insects. Additionally, insect terminology persists in high-tech developments such as the use of terms buzz, web, swarm, hive-mind, worm, and bug. These terms are especially prominent with surveillance practices such as bugged, fly on the wall, and drone behavior.

I pair the insect footage with images of indexical ‘drawings’ I find in public spaces, and screen captures of my desktop and google maps. I splice and layer images from numerous sources such as Google maps, Google street view, local surveillance video cameras, street debris, photographs from walks, and studio objects. I then print, project, copy and reformat these collected images again, mimicking the multilayered mixing and re-contextualization permeated through data collection and social media outlets. This back and forth process bounces from digital to physical realms in a continuous loop, until the origin is lost in a delirium of cutting, scaling and copying. 

Sage Sidley is a recent Master of Fine Arts and Digital Media graduate from NSCAD University in K’jipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. She is originally from Rossland, British Columbia and attained her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in visual arts and a minor in mathematics at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in 2016. Sidley works with ideas of place and technology in the form of expanded drawing to explore power relationships informed by place. Specifically, our digital and physical spatial interactions and the fluctuant roles of the observer and observed. She has attended artist- residencies in Berlin, Germany and Inverness, Cape Breton. Her work has been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions in B.C. including, the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Reach Gallery Museum, and the Vernon Public Art Gallery. One of her drawings is part of the permanent public art collection at UBC Okanagan.