Pudy Tong is newsworthy

A new show at Anna Leonowens takes the media for a slow spin.

Former MP Rahim Jaffer gets media spin in Pudy Tong's MFA exhibition, March 9.

Former MP Rahim Jaffer gets media spin in Pudy Tongs MFA exhibition, March 9.
  • Former MP Rahim Jaffer gets media spin in Pudy Tong's MFA exhibition, March 9.

News nerds: put down your iPhone for a minute. MFA student Pudy Tong’s thesis exhibition Constant...Intervals, at Anna Leonowens, examines “journalistic rhythm,” slowing down the insanity of 24-hour news reporting for a closer look at editorial decision-making in an on-demand world.

A tongue-in-cheek take on the spinning newspaper transition from old-time cinema, “Editorial” is an image projected onto a wall; its 360-degree spins are calculated by averaging the time between real-time updates of the top story at theglobeand mail.com. When I stopped by the gallery, a photo of Toyota Canada’s CEO Yoichi Tomihara slowly spins in increments, like a stuttering clock with a dying battery.

Behind the projection, “Chronological,” two conference teleprompters on telescoping stands, display the latest Globe headlines from RSS feeds, using custom software that Tong developed. The slowness of the image’s movement versus the speed of the teleprompters’ font roll creates a weird game of anticipation. Don’t overlook “Daily” either, a small spike of raw newsprint on a plinth. One-fourth the size of the Halifax edition of the Globe, Tong updates the stack each day with a new paper, the thickness of which is proportionate to the day’s publication size.

Of course, Tong, a printmaking student, is also a news junkie who still loves the traditional newspaper format. He says, “It brings a routine; orientates me geographically, ethically and with time.” Although he thinks it sounds cliche, the shared experience of 9-11 and its minute-by-minute coverage, back when he was a high school student in Vancouver, has stuck with him.

And even if you glaze over the news section, Tong says, “It’s always nice to see little pixels move.”
Constant...Intervals runs until Saturday, March 20.

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