aAron MUNSON Isachsen Installation at dc3 Art Projects

aAron Munson and Gary James Joynes have been collaborating on numerous projects since 2015 where they first worked together with Eva Colmers on the celebrated art film 2.57k. Since then they have collaborated on a number of projects with Joynes providing custom sound design and music for Munson’s installation works including the Foote Prize winning exhibition Isachsen (2017),  Sit Still Take Notice (2021), and most recently on the VR project Where are you? (2023) which premiered at the Know Thyself/ As A Virtual Reality exhibition at the University of Alberta FAB Gallery.

aAron has also contributed greatly to the success of Joynes’ installation works providing his expertise as a world-class DOP and in staging professional photography and video camera systems and lighting gear for Gary to capture the source materials for both his Broken Sound and Sonic Suns installations. Joynes has also benefited by having aAron capture most of the documentation of his most recent works.


Where are you? (2023)
aAron Munson – Video and VR Programming
Gary James Joynes – Original Music & Sound Design Score

aAron Munson began his artistic research with an fMRI scan of his brain. He wanted the functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to map his brain’s activity before he embarked on two experiments. Then, Munson meditated intensively. He went to the Fine Arts Building at the University of Alberta and rested on a mat, surrounded by students who sometimes joined him. For a full week, Munson slowed down by turning his attention inward, toward his body. He subsequently underwent a second fMRI scan to record any changes in his brain’s activity. The next week was markedly different. The artist used social media continually, moving from Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat and TikTok, a platform that was especially addictive. Although Munson found the experience disruptive and somewhat bewildering, he took note of how the various algorithms created images of himself. The artist could feel his brain changing. This perception of cognitive mutability was reinforced by the third fMRI scan, which was distinctive from both the first and the second scan.

The virtual reality artwork that Munson produced in collaboration with software engineers and medical imaging technicians features these three scans. The shimmering heads float in front of the viewer, showing different states of blood flow. Viewers can move towards and away from these medicalized heads, pushed and pulled by the soundscape created by Gary James Joynes. The white tracks positioned in between the heads are more interactive. These sections portray the parts of the brain that were stimulated by social media, and their interiors reveal colourful streaming videos that change constantly. Visitors to this virtual landscape can use their phantom hands to pick up, move, and inspect these flickering sections of the brain, with the controllers vibrating intensely as they do so. Visitors can consider this exhausting barrage of information from a novel and potentially slower vantage point. Though VR may seem overwhelming Munson enables participants to find stillness and seek reflection within it.

aAron Munson Where are you? (2023)


Know Thyself/ As A Virtual Reality
FAB Gallery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada



Sit Still Take Notice (2021)
aAron Munson – Concept & Performance
Gary James Joynes – Original Music & Sound Design Score

While aAron Munson sat for eight hours a day for 30 days, six 3D printers produced hundreds of black and white Buddha heads.

Joynes’ concept for the sound design combined the sound of the printers mixed with a 6-channel generative sound score featuring a series of 6 individual pure tones that Nicola Tesla postulated when presented together (individually in a pattern surrounding the listener) to have the potential of opening the human Pineal (aka the spiritual third eye). These tones were mixed also with a vocal score sung by Joynes to accompany these magic tones.

Sit Still Take Notice (2021)


dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton, Canada, 2021


Isachsen (2017)
aAron Munson – VR Sculpture and Lightbox Print Installation
Gary James Joynes – Original Multichannel Arctic Sound Design Score
David Hoffos – Installation
Dara Humniski – Fabric Sculpture

Isachsen, an Arctic weather station in the far reaches of the Canadian North, operated on Ellef Ringnes Island from 1948-1978. In 1974, Doug Munson, a 19-year-old farm boy from Southern Ontario, was stationed at Isachsen for 12 months as a weather observation technician with Environment Canada. The nearest settlement is over 300 miles south, and the only connection to the outside world was a monthly air-supply drop and the occasional radio transmission. In winter, the sun fails to rise for three months, and the temperature can drop below -50C; Isachsen is a test of endurance.

Over 40 years after his father left Isachsen, aAron munson hauled eight pieces of luggage over four flights to reach the abandoned station, which was decommissioned in 1978. After being dropped off by a chartered Twin Otter ski plane, aAron and his guide Mark set up camp in an old garage to escape the violent Arctic winds. He spent the next seven days capturing the frozen state of the ghost station and surrounding area.

Isachsen presents Doug and aAron’s experience of being at the station through a multimedia exhibition of photography, video installation, sculpture and sound. Contributing artists aAron munson, David Hoffos, Dara Humniski and Gary James Joynes present work that offers an intimate perspective into the impact of isolation in the high-Arctic.

aAron MUNSON Isachsen


dc3 Art Projects, Edmonton, Canada, 2017


Short Film – 2015, 14 min
Director/Producer: Eva Colmers
Sound-Sand Cymatics Animation & Original Music/Sound Score: Gary James Joynes
Cinematographer/Editor: aAron Munson

Far away, inexplicable forces shape matter into form. And so life begins: people arise from dust and are drawn to each other by the magical frequency of 2,750 Hz.

Captivating, beautiful and stirring, the short film 2.57k allows us to see and hear the extraordinary.


Tony Olivares
Amber Borotsik

Set Designer/Key Grip
Larry Kelly

Camera Assistant
Christina Ienna

Matt Vest

Location Sound
Aaron Macri

Production Coordinator
Geraldine Carr

Costume Design
Amy Kucharuk

On Set Dresser
Libby Bolstler

Production Assistant
Aidan Anderako

Production Stills
Gary James Joynes

Craft Services
Cheryl Millikin

Video Mastering
Joe Owens,
Presto! Digital

Sound Mix
Gary J. Joynes &
John Blerot

Sand Supplier
Sand Recycling Ltd.

Promotion Design
Vladimir Calic

Shot on location at dc3 Art Projects and Film Alberta Studio in Edmonton, Canada


San Francisco International Festival of Short Films 2023

Visions Film Festival 2017 – Rekjavik, Iceland

Auckland International Film Festival – Official Selection 2017 – Auckland, New Zealand

Lift-Off Film Festival – Official Selection May 8-10 2017 – Tokyo, Japan

NYC Independent Film Festival – Official Selection May 1-7 2017 – New York, NY USA

Reeling: Dance on Screen Festival January 7-8 2017 – Edmonton, Canada METRO Cinema Nov 27, 2016 – Edmonton, Canada

Female Eye Film Festival June 17, 2016 at 12noon (with feature Anatomy of Passion) – Toronto, Canada

Allentown Jazz & Arts Fest May 3, 2016 at 7pm – Allentown, PA USA

Arizona Int. Film Festival (Best Experimental Short Award) April 22, 2016 at 9:30pm and May 1st at 2:15pm – Tucson, AZ USA

Capital City Film Festival April 8, 2016 at 6pm – Lansing, MI USA

Taos Shortz Film Fest April 10th, 9 – 11am at The Taos Arts Centre – Taos, NM USA

Sarasota Film Festival April 5 at 9:45pm and April5 at 9:30pm at Regal Cinema – Sarasota, FL USA

2 Award-Winners: “2.57k” and “Figurine” at METRO Cinema March 12th, 2016 at 7pm – Edmonton, Canada

Dawson City Int. Short Film Festival, Canada March 26, 2016 at 9:30pm – Dawson, YK

Cultural Collective Showcase January 21, 7 – 10pm – Edmonton, Canada

Edmonton Film Prize Announcement (First Runner-Up) January 12, 2016 at 4:30pm – Edmonton, Canada

Blow-Up Film Fest – Official Selection December 2015 – Chicago, USA

The Hearts Album Release Party & Best of FAVA Event November 10, 2015 – Edmonton, Canada

Festival de Cortos de Bogotá – BOGOSHORTS, Colombia December 9 – 15, 2015 – Bogotà, Colombia

Aesthetics Short Film Festival 2015 November 5 – 8 – York, UK

Citizen Jane Film Festival October 22 – 25 – Columbia, USA

Montreal World Film Festival 2015 Aug 27 – Sep 7 – Montreal, Canada

Short Film Corner Festival de Cannes 2015 May 10 – 17 – Cannes, France

METRO Cinema | cast + crew special screening May 24 – Edmonton, Canada

Ground Media Arts Conference – AMAAS June 13 – Drumheller, Canada

Mykonos Biennale July 2 – 7 – Greece