Kelly Ruth is a sound and visual artist from Canada. She has been activating her textiles and tools through using electronics, sound, and integrating microcontrollers into the foundations of her woven cloth. In her visual art she includes dyeing with plants, and weaving, recognizing these as early technologies, and a relationship that humans have had with the land. Her work is primarily concerned with the interplay between class, economics and ecology. In performance she uses contact microphones and effects pedals on her weaving loom, spinning wheel and other fibre related tools, along with sound machines she has built.
Using contact microphones and effects pedals on her weaving loom and spinning wheel, she collects the sounds from the moving parts and through dragging her hands and tools on the surfaces on the machines. Through improvisational playing she layers the sounds in loop pedals. In place of a spindle on her spinning wheel, she has stretched elastic bands used to create a low fi pitch akin to the sound of a bass guitar. She also recently built several light controlled oscillators which are featured in the recording. The pitches are controlled by waving flashlights above the groups of oscillators to create the fuzzy drone sounds that come in and out of the composition.
Throughout the year of the global pandemic I realized what I missed most as I became more and more isolated was the experience of going to live shows and the random meetups between acquaintances new and old. I enjoy being a part of the fabric of a society or culture and similarly the joy of exploring and discovering new spaces, cities, communities etc. One way that I have been able to satisfy this during the past year has been to revisit my on again off again interest in virtual worlds. This time around on my journey, I am thinking more about the human’s experience within the metaverse since as societies we are deeply entrenched in the metaverse whether we consider ourselves to be exploring a virtual world or not. I have witnessed people blurring the lines between reality and fantasy in the virtual world, and I witness this as well in how people process media as we are continually tossed around in the waters of knowledge and information. Truth appears to be subjective. I also believe that virtual worlds are coming to take us away and I am not sure we are prepared for this. In the future I wonder what happens to a society should it slip entirely into a post reality? How can humans remain objective and avoid becoming islands within themselves as their worlds dissolve into many fractured visions of one’s own projections?
Persistence Beyond All Truth is for me the soundtrack to my journey through the lands within the virtual world as I think through all the philosophical challenges that have come up for me during this time.
I spend a lot of time in as much silence as the world will afford me. As a result when I listen to music I do it intentionally, and after an extended period of relative silence the music I get attracted to seems to blow my mind. I enjoy this sensation, that the world is repeatedly new and I think it keeps me curious and invigorated. When I take the time to not rush through my environments I notice the sounds around me and particularly how each place has a unique set of sounds.