• Prometheus 04

    Journal of the PhD Program in Architecture - IIT Architecture Chicago

    Monday, June 22, 2020
    Federica Goffi
    from PROMETHEUS 04 - PhD Research in Architecture Interviews


    "The artwork chosen for the front cover of the book is a 2016 piece by Ottawa-based artist Kenneth Emig titled “A View from Two Sides,” on the Adàwe Crossing on the Rideau River, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Figures 1, 2, and 3). Adàwe is an Algonquin word which means trade. Emig defines the piece as a kinetic observatory, and in his own words:

    “The original call for submissions required an artwork that would connect both neighbourhoods, both sides of the Rideau River. The spheres reflect into one another. There are many contrasting scenes and views available, for example, comparing the surrounding environment to the concentrated image of the environment in the spheres or the sky and the water. There are also no sides on a sphere. What are the two sides?” 

    Indeed there are no sides to a sphere and what conversely emerges is a kinetic contiguity of place and continuity of time suggesting that we cannot fragment or segment the land or its people from the stories in place; there is however a multidirectionality, as a result of a multicultural society and diversity of backgrounds."

  • InterVIEWS book cover

    The public art commission, "A View from Two Sides" in Ottawa, Canada used for the book cover.

    InterVIEWS cover
    Thursday, December 19, 2019
    Federica Goffi
    InterVIEWS Insights and Introspection on Doctoral Research in Architecture, ISBN 9781138390775 by Routledge

    book description:

    With the continued growth of PhD programs in architecture and the simultaneous broadening of approaches, InterVIEWS: Insights and Introspection on Doctoral Research in Architecture begins a timely survey into contemporary research at academic institutions internationally, in the context of the expanding landscape of architectural inquiry.

  • City of Ottawa 2017 Urban Design Award of Merit - Urban Elements

    A View from Two Sides

    A View from Two Sides
    Wednesday, July 5, 2017

    “A View from Two Sides” is a City of Ottawa public art commission located on the Adawe Crossing Pedestrian Bridge. The artwork features two 1.5m diameter reflective stainless steel spheres, suspended at eye level above the water. Each sphere presents the observer with an ever-changing panoramic view that includes the sky, river, shores, bridge, pedestrians and cyclists. The artwork is an “Urban Element” on a major pedestrian and cycling connection between the Vanier and Overbrook communities with Sandy Hill, the University of Ottawa and Ottawa’s downtown core.

    The bridge provides access to the natural beauty of the surrounding parks, river, and community from the middle of the river. “A View from Two sides” condenses that broader visual experience into two locations and places the viewer in the middle, both visually and figuratively, enhancing the human experience of a beautiful location. The artwork offers a place to meet the surrounding environment and experience the sensuality of engagement.

    Project Team

    • Kenneth Emig; Artist - Emig Research
    • Paul Mace; Leibe Engineering Associates
    • Robert Schneider; Cintube Ltd.
    • Lynda Hall; formerly of the Public Art Program, City of Ottawa
    • Public Art Program; City of Ottawa
    • City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer

    Jury Comments

    "The project offers a focal point along the new pedestrian route that emphasizes an interaction of space and allows us to become part of the view. It is a simple idea that is bigger than what it is. A clever play on perspective"


  • Organizers Cancel Outdoor Concert Due to Frigid Temperatures

    Sunday, February 14, 2016
    Tom Spears
    The Ottawa Citizen

    Sunday was mainly sunny, with moderate winds and a high of -18 C, leaving residents shivering in the wind chill equivalent of about -40 in the morning, and -33 in the afternoon.

    The cold didn’t stop the installation of an art piece called A View from Two Sides by local artist Kenneth Emig on the Adawe Crossing on Saturday.

    Photo by James Park

  • Animals, mirrors and magical mushrooms added to Ottawa’s Art collection

    Monday, November 3, 2014
    Peter Simpson, The Big Beat
    The Ottawa Citizen

    from the article:

    "A safer flirtation with perception comes from Kenneth Emig’s installation Convex Red. The hanging is not ideal, as lights from the gallery reflect the viewer into the work, but even without a darker setting this lightbox with mirrors screws with the mind. I felt as if I was falling into the work — which, figuratively speaking, is what a good piece of art should do."

  • Kenneth Emig’s new sculpture exhibition at Galerie St. Laurent + Hill is all light, mirrors, and magic

    convex red
    Wednesday, March 20, 2013
    Paul Gessell
    Ottawa Magazine
  • Espace 100

    Espace 100 Cover
    Friday, June 1, 2012
    Francois Chalifour
    Espace magazine

    In the summer of 2012, in celebration of the 100th edition and 25th anniversary of Espace magazine, twenty-five authors from various backgrounds and of different generations were asked to propose five outstanding sculptural exhibitions or public artworks from the period of 1987-2012. Artist Mathieu Beauséjour designed the front cover of this special edition, which enclosed a do-it-yourself sculpture created by the team of Doyon/Rivest – a nod to the do-it-yourself sculptures featured in the magazine’s earliest editions, published in the late 1980s.

    Francois Chalifour selected Kenneth Emig in his five outsitanding sculptural exhibitions from 1987 to 2012 and commented below:

    "Kenneth Emig: excavating the surface. Cube was hung at mid-height in the gallery, inviting the viewer to lean towards it. On doing do, a gaping abyss suddenly opens up in the middle of the nonetheless solid floor through a plat of neons, reflecting endlessly in the mirrored surfaces. Hades!"

  • Canada Dance Festival: 2008 Collection

    Sunday, June 29, 2008
    Bridget Cauthery
    The Dance Current

    At the CDF 2008, I had the pleasure to be working in a number of different capacities. In addition to reviewing the festival for this publication, I was also one of the post-show moderators for the Dance Dialogues program, as a representative for the Society for Canadian Dance Studies in their collaboration with the festival and The Dance Current. Readers may also know me in my capacity as company manager for Toronto Dance Theatre. It began with a lot of red tape... Kenneth Emig (Ottawa), June 7th-14th, NAC Terraces Red arrows fixed to the sidewalk led the audience from Elgin Street to the terraces atop the National Arts Centre (NAC) for the premiere of Ottawa-based performance artist Kenneth Emig’s site-specific work at the Canada Dance Festival 2008. In the scorching heat, accompanied by a live sound artist, Emig performed on all the vertical and horizontal surfaces of the delineated site. At once tactile and elemental, Emig’s thorough exploration made this reviewer appreciate the architecture of the space – the building is a continuous mosaic of round-edged triangular tiles. Three of these tiles had been removed and filled with sand, gravel or metal. Each was mic’d and provided some wonderful sonic material for the sound technician to manipulate. The twenty-minute work was simultaneously filmed from multiple angles and projected onto the walls surrounding the fountain one floor below in the foyer of the NAC, offering audiences another means to view Emig’s work. Emig’s choreography centred on an inventive use of space – leaving no stone unturned.

  • Kenneth Emig: Provocation of the Senses

    The monumental installations of Kenneth Emig lead to a perception of things that lies far beyond the border of appearances.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007
    Katy Le Van

    translated by

    Until October 28, AxeNéo7 presents the Continuum exhibition of multidisciplinary Kenneth Emig. This Toronto native has many strings to his bow, including a public art commission for the Eva-James community center in Ottawa, a series of dancing performances at national festivals, several years of experience in the audio design division. from Nortel, the establishment of the World Forum for Noise Ecology, an artist residency at the National Research Council of Canada, and more! This multifaceted baggage is easily discerned in its aesthetic practice, where sculpture, optics, dance, sound and technology collide for the pleasure of the spectator.

    It goes without saying that the immense rooms of the Spinning admire the creator's installations admirably. Three rooms, so three assemblies which, at first glance, turned out straight out of a science fiction world. There is a certain coolness due to the industrial reference evoked by the preferred materials, among others the neon light tube, steel and reflective glass. The geometrical recall of the constructed objects also has something to do with it: it is indeed a "round" saucer, a "rectangular" window, a "cube" suspended. Their masterful size allows spontaneous awareness of the surrounding place and at the same time introduces the interaction between the work and its viewer. This one approaches, observes, moves back, circulates around the composition, in short, it plays with it of its body and its spirit.

    Kenneth Emig's cube, 1998, mirror, fluorescent lights, steel, 100 cm x 100 cm x 100 cm.
    Facing Cube, a closer investigation of the central prism leads to the discovery of an infinity of returned images thanks to a skilful game of mirror reflections. Amazing that such a simple structure could seem to contain so much! And in the room, even the window, usually caulked to the taste of the exhibiting artists, fits easily into the layout of the premises. As for Convergence, it is a satellite saucer with a shimmering surface that reproduces the true portrait of the one who contemplates only if he is placed at certain precise angles. The changing acoustics are also dominant, the ambient tones becoming more accentuated or fading with each step taken.

    The sculptor's approach is empathetic towards an audience challenged to be moved by the space that surrounds it. The innovative man thus wishes "that visitors leave the gallery with a renewed curiosity that will accompany them in their daily lives". Obviously, it was successful.

    Ah yes!… It should be mentioned that Emig is part of the Enriched Bread Artists Center, located in the Little Italy district of Ottawa, which opens its doors to everyone for the 15th consecutive year starting on October 18. His studio is also a place to discover!

    Until October 28
    At AxeNéo7
    See visual arts calendar

    To see if you like / The works of James Turrell, those of Dan Flavin


  • Wizard of Sound and Light

    image from the Ottawa Citizen - 07.09.06
    Thursday, September 6, 2007
    Paul Gessell

    Don't be surprised during the next month if you are walking down rue Hanson near Brewery Creek in old Hull and you see something mighty strange through the big picture window on the old hosiery mill now known as La Filature.

    Don't be surprised during the next month if you are walking down rue Hanson near Brewery Creek in old Hull and you see something mighty strange through the big picture window on the old hosiery mill now known as La Filature.

    You just might see through the streetside window a lithe, shaven-headed man twisting and turning energetically in front of a mirrored satellite dish more than three metres in diameter.

    That same man, a light-and-sound rock band roadie in his youth, may be discovered on other occasions dancing in a more enclosed part of the old building. In those instances, his movements will be paired with the dramatic sounds from a continuum, a synthesizer-like contraption capable of producing most any sort of musical sound you have heard and many you have probably never heard.

    Welcome to the world of Kenneth Emig. He's an Ottawa phenomenon. He is part acoustic designer, part visual artist and part dancer. (He's currently working on a commission for the 2008 Canada Dance Festival).

    These various creative disciplines are not incompatible for Emig. They are, in fact, interconnected. And while he likely never danced his way around the lab when he worked for Bell-Northern Research, he certainly incorporated his acoustic wizardry into his unique dance performances and sculptures.

    Emig's world goes on display, beginning Sept. 12, at Axe Néo-7 in La Filature. Axe Néo-7 is that most contemporary of the capital region's contemporary art galleries. The gallery offers large exhibition rooms, exactly the kind of spaces Emig needs for his artworks to breathe and his body to dance. The musical accompaniment will come from Edmund Eagan, a prominent Ottawa composer whose continuum almost seems intelligent enough to make music on its own. It's unclear at times whether Eagan or the machinery is in control.

    The aforementioned satellite dish, titled Convergence, is one of three sculptural installations Emig was preparing for Axe Néo-7 during a recent visit to his cluttered studio in the Enriched Bread Artists collective in Ottawa.

    The dish reflects sound and light in intriguing ways. Conversations taking place in front of the dish might be audible to someone standing far away at just the right angle. Likewise, the angled mirrors on the dish create reflections that change with every angle.

    A second room at Axe Néo-7 is to contain a glass-covered cube reflecting fluorescent tubes ad infinitum. Each side of the cube is one metre. The cube is to be suspended from the ceiling, slowly twisting and turning from normal air currents in the building.

    The untitled work to be put in the third room is a series of large framed "windows" that will give visitors a look into an impossible world of parallel light sources. It's an impossible world because there is no easy explanation as to how this magic is created behind the "windows."

    "How does it work?" Emig expects people to ask. Such a question would be a good sign because it shows people are really thinking about the work. "You can't ask for more."

    (Emig showed me exactly how it works but swore me to secrecy. He's like an author who begs you not to reveal the ending of a new novel).

    Emig's work is more than just games in a funhouse. The purpose of the exhibition, named Continuum, is to explore "the nature of space" as it relates to the human body and its senses.

    Space, it turns out, is not what you thought it was. Space, in Emig's world, is elastic. Sculptures are not immovable.

    They cast light or sound around the room and even into fictional spaces. A dance performed around a sculpture becomes an extension of the seemingly static object, altering the way it casts light or sound and turning what we all thought was an inanimate object into a living, breathing one.

    Now, everyone may not see all these layers in Emig's works. However, they can still be enjoyed purely for their funhouse possibilities. But if you are willing to work a little in figuring out his message, the experience will be more rewarding.

    Continuum will continue at Axe Néo-7 until Oct. 28. There will definitely be a dance performance Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. Other performances will occur randomly.