HEARding Cats Collective is pleased to announce Pavilions: Nested Worlds, a multimedia art installation occupying virtual and physical space by Van McElwee.

Installed in the gallery of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild, Pavilions: Nested Worlds will allow visitors to utilize their smartphone to explore and interact with six virtual geometric structures - or pavilions. Mobile phones become instruments for peering into these structures and act as windows into this augmented reality environment.

Each of the six pavilions represent an alternate world, a separate fork in a more expansive multiverse. The seventh world, represented by our present reality, will feature sound from Rich O’Donnell. By spatially deploying multi-channel sound, O’Donnell acts as a bridge between our reality and virtual reality, providing continuity between the alternate worlds and suggesting he is, in fact, performing within all seven worlds.

Graphic renderings for each of the pastel-hued pavilions were created by artist and animator Casper McElwee. The playfully fictitious nature of these structures represent the source of O’Donnell’s sound environment, matching each color used with its own section of timbrel and envelope characteristics.

Fundamentally, Van McElwee has developed a system whose content and form reflect the labyrinthine condition of digital culture. How do we live in a reality that is constantly branching, constantly being invaded by other realities? How does our existence change when actual and virtual occupy the same space? Is reality itself an artwork? Pavilions: Nested Worlds will deepen these questions.

Van McElwee lives and works in St. Louis. His single-channel sound works, installations, and web projects have been exhibited extensively worldwide, and he has received numerous grants and awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the American Film Institute Independent Filmmaker Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Independent Production Fund, and a travel grant from the Government of India. McElwee is represented by The Kitchen in New York, Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, Heure Exquise! in France, LUX in the UK, the Inter Media Art Institute in Germany, and Trabant Gallery in Austria.

Rich O’Donnell - The multi facets of Rich O’Donnell span 60 years as virtuoso percussionist, improviser, composer, designer and builder of percussion and electronic instruments, teacher and writer. He is director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University in St. Louis, and co-founder of HEARDing Cats Collective. He was 43 years with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, most of them as principal percussionist.

The event takes place on April 6th, 7:30 PM @ The St. Louis Artists’ Guild, 12 Jackson Ave, Clayton, MO 63105.

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