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   Lyla Rye
Byte
Video still
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2002 [installation documentation: 8 minutes with intermittent audio / excerpt: 1 min. 20 sec.]

This work can also be shown as an installation, displayed on a grouping of TV monitors stacked as if in an electronics store window.

Byte shows Lyla Rye singing into her baby daughter's mouth. At the end of the 12 second clip, the baby bites Rye's lip. Over 40 manipulations of the same base clip form the 8 minute video. Some have superimposed black squares or a section of the image may blur over time to direct attention to different aspects of the interaction.

In the summer of 2002 Lyla defended this work against allegations of obscenity after police confiscated the video on display in the storefront window of eyelevelgallery in Halifax. Rye said she intended her artwork to be thought provoking but never pornographic. "I think the piece is simultaneously beautiful and disturbing but I can't see in any way how it's obscene," she said. "It's become quite absurd what's considered allowable...it's so narrow...and I feel that's why I'm exploring these issues." No charges were ever laid. Lyla Rye

Shown at Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby, Ontario; eyelevel gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Cambridge Public Galleries, Cambridge, Ontario; YYZ Artist's Outlet, Toronto, Ontario; Pace Digital Gallery, New York, New York in Screen Kiss.

This work is distributed by V/Tape, Toronto, Ontario.
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