Part of the series: New Machines for Inefficiency


Exhibited in Proto a CollectiveXX exhibition including Elizabeth Fearon, Kd Thornton, Marie De Sousa, Fiona Smyth, Beaver Hall Gallery, Toronto

Video screened at Cinecyle's open screening 2014, Toronto

Animatronic mockingbird, felt sphagnum moss, video, custom built motorized mechanics

syslogd references the system daemon which logs activity within a system. The syslog is a general messaging system that generates message about the system. The syslogd daemon reads the configuration file when it is activated and when it receives a hangup signal. In this work the title syslogd is a functions metaphorically as a place to situate the work.

The video consists of layered & whirling sky imagery of the video game Skyrim. Pine forest treetops whirl around in motion not unlike the Sufi Dervishes seeking some sort of transcendental meditative experience. The process of obtaining the imagery is through the repeated whirling of the Xbox gamepad within Skyrim. The experience is falsely reached, or perhaps never reached, as the darkening soundtrack alludes to some nefarious presence. Perhaps Skyrim is not the place to seek out meaningful transcendence, but it is however a place that lays claim to beauty through its intensely high realistic graphics and rich layers of mountains and nature.

On the floor on synthetic moss constructed in felt (felt created by the recycling of plastic bottles) a mockingbird like creature lays twitching, its wings moving in animatronic stutters.

Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for their support with this series.


The installation

syslogdoc2 from Myfanwy Ashmore on Vimeo.


The video

syslogd from Myfanwy Ashmore on Vimeo.