Living in a resort town, you’re exposed to nature in a very un-natural way: a sense of the familiar in the unfamiliar. The wild is on display here. It is a performance and the animals are the celebrities. Tourists, like paparazzi, steal snapshots of grizzly bears and parents actually try to ride their kids on the backs of elk grazing through garbage. It’s Alberta’s own little freak show where land and creature are passively held captive. Because of this engagement, I see nature and its inhabitants with emotions that fit into our social conditioning. Since they are so closely exposed to our society, they are at once creatures of the wild and slaves of our misgivings. The characters in The Fragile Circus are personified and narratives have been injected. They are placed in very human situations that, at a glance, can be somewhat entertaining, yet on a deeper level can harbor very tragic feelings. The user plays the role of the intruding tourist ? poking and prodding the creatures with attention, forcing them to perform.
Myron Campbell is an artist and designer who is interested in ideas of consciousness and the subconscious, dream states and fairy tales. Notably, The Fragile Circus has been featured in festivals across the globe. It was awarded the New Media Mention at the 2004 Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal, 3rd Place for best Art / Experimental Interactive project at Vidfest (www.vidfest.com) in Vancouver in 2005, and in the same year was runner-up for the netarts.org 2005 Grand Prize in Machida, Tokyo. Notsosimpleton (www.notsosimpleton.com) is the home of all his creations, including The Fragile Circus, and in 2002 was featured in Taschen’s publication “1000 Best Websites”. Today Myron lives in a tiny dwelling buried in the side of a hill, spending most of his spare time collecting forgotten patterns and discarded thoughts. He is currently working with the National Film Board of Canada to create a short animation of The Fragile Circus. He has also received a grant from the Alberta Foundation of the Arts to create a project about birds called “Distant Air”, and has just put the finishing touches on a new music video for the Bell Orchestre, funded by Bravofact!