The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that has transformed 1.75 kilometres underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for Toronto's growing population.
From The Bentway's press release:
The initial residency, Sound and the City, will focus on the acoustic environment of The Bentway. The hum of the Gardiner Expressway above, the rush of passing trains to the north, the occasional cannon blasts from the Fort York grounds, and the general buzz from the surrounding city make The Bentway site rich acoustic territory. The artists will explore The Bentway as an instrument, experiment with the varied sonic environments along its length, and investigate new ways to interact with the site. The residency runs from April-August, and will include a series of public experiments, engagements and consultations.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to work in such a singular acoustic environment,” said Akiyama and Peters. “The Gardiner is such an iconic and important entity in the city and we hope to enliven and alter the space in ways that will help to deepen our understandings of sound, space, and the built environment.”
With the first Artist Residency, The Bentway aims to expand the parameters defining sound art, the types of projects contributing to the discipline, and the way sound shapes the collective creative experience of Toronto. New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA), who have an extensive background in the field of experimental sound, will work with the artists and provide key expertise throughout the process.
This isn't the first time that artist and Visual Studies professor Mitchell Akiyama and designer, research and architecture professor Brady Peters have collaborated. The duo also designed the model Spatial Sonic Network for the University of Toronto Art Museum's Making Models exhibition.
Mitchell Akiyama’s eclectic body of work includes writings about sound, metaphors, animals, and media technologies; scores for film and dance; and objects and installations that trouble received ideas about history, perception, and sensory experience. He holds a PhD in communications from McGill University and an MFA from Concordia University, and is Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
Brady Peters’ design and research work successfully bridges technology and design. He specializes in architectural acoustics, environmental simulation, computational design, and digital fabrication, using computer programming, parametric modelling, and simulation to design performance-driven forms. Peters is an assistant Professor at the John H. Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
The Bentway’s 2019 Artist Residency is presented by RBC.
Photo by Nic Lehoux