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Light Wave, installation view at MoMA Studio, The Museum of Modern Art (New York), 2013, Lamps, Pedestals, Foam Hammers, Arduino, Dimension: variable
Light Wave, installation view at MoMA Studio, The Museum of Modern Art (New York), 2013, Lamps, Pedestals, Foam Hammers, Arduino, Dimension: variable

Light Wave 

February 6–March 29, 2014

Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Light Wave, a large installation work, by New York-based Canadian interdisciplinary artist Joe McKay. This installation was exhibited in Sound in Space at MoMA Studio, MoMA The Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA) from October 3 to November 24, 2013. During this time, Two Mice was exhibited in Signals Now at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Rochester, New York, USA). McKay’s collaborative work Tablet Tumbler, a project with Kristin Lucas, will be exhibited at EYEBEAM Art Center (New York, USA) from January 16 to February 1, 2014. 

Light Wave is a two player video game, played on 24 old floor lamps instead of a screen. At either end of the long serpentine row of lamps sits a pedestal with a force sensor embedded in the top. Hitting the pedestal sends a signal through the lamps, turning them on and off in sequence. The harder the hit the faster the signal. If the second player times their hit precisely they can return the signal back through the lamps. The rally continues until someone miss-times the hit and the game resets. Light Wave works on many levels. It is a game - easy to play yet fun and addictive. It is also an aesthetically pleasing installation. It asks us to think about old and new technologies. The installation presents us with a collection of random lamps, each one unique, yet the game asks us to think of each lamp as a pixel, and see the blinking lights as an animation. The title itself invokes the dualistic nature of light, which is famously both a particle and a wave. 

Presenting games in a gallery is a challenge to some art viewers, and a relief to others. Games tease our preconceptions of the way we are supposed to behave while viewing art, and asks us to have an experience that is not purely passive. Light Wave is a two person game, yet the participants are 40 feet apart - encouraging viewers to play with people they have never met, having conversations through the language of blinking lights and foam hammers.

Also Included in the exhibition is Two Mice, a video game that requires custom hardware… a second mouse. This abstract game requires the player to use both hands to navigate their avatar around the screen. We are so accustomed to the feel of the mouse, yet holding a second mouse seems somehow wrong. By interrupting our expectations, the game challenges the viewer to contemplate the ways in which we take computer interaction for granted. 

Joe McKay received his MFA from UC Berkeley (2007), participated in Whitney Independent Study (2000-2001) and received his BFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1993).  His Light Wave installation was exhibited at MoMA Studio, MoMA The Museum of Modern Art (New York, USA) from October 3 to November 24, 2013, at Long Island University, Humanities Gallery (New York, USA) from January 27 to February 28, 2013 and Bennington College, Usdan Gallery (USA) from April 9 to May 8, 2013. During this time, Two Mice was exhibited in Signals Now at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Rochester, New York, USA). McKay’s work was featured in solo exhibitions BigTime, Berkeley Art Museum (2010), Loss of Signal, VertexList (Brooklyn, New York) (2007 & 2004), The Electric Donut (with Kristin Lucas), New Museum of Contemporary Art, Media Z Lounge, New York (2001). His work also featured in a number of group exhibitions including the future is not what it used to be, Postmasters Gallery, New York, (2009), Aesthetics of Gaming, PACE University, New York (2009), Schematic: New Media Art from Canada, Space, London, England (2008), RESET/PLAY, Arthouse, Austin Texas (2008), TRY AGAIN, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain (2008), Off the Grid, Neuberger Museum of Art Deadpan III, The Lab, performance, San Francisco, USA (2008). McKay’s exhibitions have been reviewed by Chris Ashley ("introducing…", NYFA Interactive ( 2006) and Holland Cotter ("Sampling Brooklyn, Keeper of Eclectic Flames”, New York Times, Jan 23, 2004, “Goings on About Town”, New Yorker, July 7th 2003). 

To receive a free video game download by Joe McKay, email us at with subject: “free video game”. Or come to the opening to play the game and get one for free.



Pics or it didn’t happen

Rachel de Joode, Felix Kalmenson, Adriana Ramić, David Hanes, Elliot Vredenburg, and Elle Kurancid 

Curated by Sarah Friend

In the Project Space, Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to present Pics or it didn’t happen, a group exhibition including works by Rachel de Joode (Berlin), Felix Kalmenson (Toronto), Adriana Ramić (Los Angeles), David Hanes (Baltimore), Elliot Vredenburg (Los Angeles), and Elle Kurancid (Toronto). This show is curated by Toronto-based writer, maker, and activist Sarah Friend

The phrase Pics or it didn’t happen began in web forums as a response to an outlandish or dubious claim like, “Duuuude. Last night I met Miley Cyrus and she twerked on me.” Response: “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Such an exchange is a reminder that our culture equates photos with proof (a flawed proposition).

This is an exhibition of art documentation photos—the digital traces that remain after an exhibition, the self-made archive—presented in place of art itself. But in Pics or it didn’t happen, the art “documented” does not exist. Various artists explore this conundrum and its ramifications, both in and outside of this exhibition, and the art world.

Rachel de Joode has a solo exhibition opening at Neumeister Bar-Am (Berlin) in February, and another at SWG3 (Glasgow) in June. She is the founder and art-director of Meta Magazine. Felix Kalmenson completed the residency at ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics (Berlin) in fall 2013. His solo exhibition HLS-F71, opened in January at The New Gallery (Calgary). Adriana Ramić received her BFA from the University of California (San Diego) in 2011. Her recent projects include Craigslist-Assisted Readymade at Stadium (New York) and Architects of Gamma Bad at Sunhoo Industrial Design Park (Fuyang, China). David Hanes received his BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (Toronto) in 2013. His solo exhibition David Hanes: Aware, opens in April at Birch Contemporary (Toronto). Elliot Vredenburg is currently an MA candidate at the California Institute of the Arts (Los Angeles). He is a member of the Toronto collective Workparty, whose project The Little People was installed at Toronto City Hall for Nuit Blanche in fall 2013. Elle Kurancid exhibited in Reputations, a two-person show at Pari Nadimi Gallery in fall 2013. She will start an MA at Goldsmiths (London) in September. Sarah Friend organizes an interdisciplinary lecture series called Small Talk (Toronto, 2012-3). Her research interests include modernism, utopian politics/aesthetics, and human-computer interaction.

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