THE ZEST CONTINUUM – collaborative project

The collaborative,The Zest Continuum, is an idea/project stretched over the North American Continent, connecting two women artists. Joanna Gabler, an American originally from Poland, now living in Williamstown, Massachusetts (formerly from Park Slope, Brooklyn where she lived for thirteen years) and Victoria Gibson, a Canadian living in Vancouver; with elements from Nature, our ever present contributor.

They were brought together by Victoria’s curatorial concept of the multimedia performance “Rise Up, Fallen Angel “ in the Spring and Summer of 2011, in which they collaborated and discovered that they have a great deal in common. They parted planing to do more work together in the future.

There are many ways in which Joanna Gabler and Victoria Gibson are very different. They were born and raised in two different cultures, on two different continents. Joanna was born and raised  in Warsaw, Poland, where she has received intensive training in math and philosophy (MA Phil) and later on, after emigrating to United States, in the visual arts. Victoria is a Canadian who earned a BA in music, late in life, after working as a mostly self-taught musician and Integrated Media Artist.

What they share is a love for art that is in a state of flowing change, mutation, development, and unfoldment. Joanna transforms diverse images of nature; stones, trees, flowers, architecture as well as rusting machinery or other materials into innovative forms, energy grids and meditative patterns ( Victoria creates evocative audio, projected works using video, images and sound in a time-based art form, and static images with digital photography, abstract objects and computer modification..

Joanna’s initial art media were pastels and oils. She also studied stained-glass and painting on silk in order to find a medium that could allow her to achieve maximum fluidity and the ability to work with light-filled images. This became more possible with the development of digital photography and the technology which allows her to transform once fixed photographic images into new realities.

She has had several exhibitions of her “transcapes” and is currently working on a solo exhibition for the Bennington Museum in Vermont, which will be open from 5/12/2012 to 6/24/2012. A full list of her exhibitions as well as an extensive database of her work can be found on both of her websites., which contains her digital images, and, which is devoted to her oil paintings, pastels and drawings.

The contribution of Nature to the work of both artists is so present that they see this force as a third member of the ensemble. Joanna started recording the life of plants a year ago and her plant music was already used by Professor Omar Sangare at the 62 Center for Theatre and Dance at Williams College during a performance piece “Inspired by Milosz.”  Victoria connects with the forces of Nature to create free improvised audio and visual improvisations, considering her work to be inspired and directed by natural energies.

Victoria has worked as an improvising musician with Anthony Braxton, Pauline Oliveros, Phil Minton and Paul Plimley. In addition to her musical work with Pauline, she has completed a residency in Banff (2010) and a tour of the Deep Listening Band activities in the Seattle area (2009) documenting Pauline’s activities with video and still photographs. While in Banff, Pauline commissioned a short film that was shown at the Walter Philips Gallery in 2010 as part of a concert featuring Pauline, Chris Chafe and Ione. The same short film was also shown as part of a telematic concert with the same ensemble that included Second Life, Toronto and Banff through on-line technology.

The following year, Victoria traveled to EMPAC to take part in a workshop to learn projection software; it was there that she developed the work “Bandwidth: Interactive Installation”. A residency at the Headlands Art Center in 2010 with Lisle Ellis, NY bassist, inspired the creation of “Rise Up, Fallen Angel”, a work shown at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn 2011 where she first curated Joanna’s images.

Victoria first adopted the term, Integrated Media Artist to describe her diverse art practice in 2007, because her work emerges from the nexus of technology and art to encompass many converging areas. The computer software Victoria is using will transform Joanna’s static images into time-based artworks that dance, kaleidescope, morph and change with the accompanying music. Plant impulses converted to MIDI information can control both audio and video filters or be used as a basis for pitch and duration of musical material.

Working with Nature in the form of plant energies and images of the world around us, our divergent paths converge, as Joanna moves into time-based art and music exploration and Victoria establishes her visual arts identity. Both women are eager to explore the possibilities of using Joanna’s plant-based music as a basis for audio exploration. A collaboration can use the best of each artist’s talents to create a new, innovative art inspired by and co-created with Nature.

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