Thompson Rivers University

Projecting new perspectives

  Posted on: October 7, 2016

Levi Glass, a fourth year visual arts and philosophy student, is graduating from TRU in 2017 with an honours degree and a focus on undergrad research. When he’s not working as a research assistant alongside visual arts professor Donald Lawrence, he can be found installing work at the Kamloops Art Gallery as an assistant preparator or building projectors out of everyday objects in the senior-students’ studios.

The recipient of a BC Arts Scholarship, a research ambassador with a UREAP scholarship and a study abroad student, Glass stays busy combining art, research, experimentation and play. He recently completed a semester at the University of Mainz where his work was shown in galleries in Italy, Switzerland and Germany.

Fourth year arts student Levi Glass peering into his Party Stack Projector

Levi Glass peering into his latest work, Party Stack projector

While Glass was learning overseas he was able to use the studios and access the library during his self-directed, open studio residency.

“Germany is really into video, photography and contemporary art. It’s one of the best countries to visit if you want to study and appreciate new media,” he said. Glass focused on studying the relationship between historical and contemporary understandings of images and related projection devices during his five months away from home. “Projection is popular in Germany, it was inspiring to see the work of my new peers and famous artists showing at modern galleries.”

Interested in the working of optics, his research includes the construction of traditional and contemporary approaches to the historical form of cameras obscura. He uses everyday objects to project concepts and stories which are left up to the viewer to interpret and find.

“It’s good to look at things through a different lens and see the world differently. And we do see the world differently when we use optical tools. Telescopes, microscopes, these have shown us a way to see the world differently. The projection of images can do something similar,” explained Glass.

Party Stack is Glass’ latest work which was recently shown during the Prairie Sun Festival

Party Stack, recently shown during the Prairie Sun Festival

Projection changes the way you look at and interact with an object. “When the audience interacts with these projections, they become the curators, the critics and hopefully this is the best way for them to learn more about the work and themselves,” said Glass.

He attempts to control how the viewer sees something displayed and presents objects in such a way that the viewer becomes active, interacting with the image and the projection. One of his goals is to make the act of looking at something less passive.

“The meaning of the work is developed through the audience and how the audience interacts with the work,” he said. “When looking at my work, the conclusion is not necessarily known, because it’s up to the viewer to interpret. And the process of understanding becomes open.”

View more photos of Glass’ Party Stack projector and other work with optics.

Glass will be participating in a residency at the Gushul studio in Alberta this fall.