• Artist: Leeroy New
  • Medium: Sculptural Installation
  • Project Type: In the Aggregate
  • Curator: Noa Bronstein
  • Neighbourhood: Scarborough

A descending fleet of space vessels made of bamboo and discarded plastics appear frozen in the middle of an aerial encounter.

Location

Scarborough Town Centre, Centre Court

  • Address: 300 Borough Drive
  • Public Washrooms: Yes
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Indoors
  • Advisories: Everyone
  • Content: Family friendly

The Project

Balangay are ancient boats of the Philippines. Artist Leeroy New reimagines them as a fleet of Filipino retro futuristic space vessels made of bamboo and discarded plastics. New imagines a speculative (or not-so-speculative) future where the Philippines becomes the destination of the world’s waste and where its population adapts to this new ecology of nature, technology and trash — but mostly trash. Growing up in the south of pre-internet Philippines where access to art galleries and museums were non-existent, New had to look to other sources of creative influence in the form of sci-fi films and comic books, illustrated card games and even special effects shows. He grew to realize that these visions of a sleek futurism produced in the first worlds did not have his specific cultural and historical context in mind. Therefore, he created his own brand of speculative Filipino sci-fi driven by the belief that the sci-fi genre has great power in determining the technological innovations and attitudes of the future. New refers to the nature-centric or animist principles of Filipino precolonial mythology and histories to inform this alternate futuristic vision.

The Artist

Leeroy New is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice manifests in large-scale immersive environments, costuming, collaborative performances and video works driven by concepts of world building, myth-making and social change. New’s work intersects Filipino contemporary life, pre-colonial mythology and environmentalism through using natural materials, found objects and discarded materials transformed into representations of specific speculative futures. He hopes that these attempts at alternative imaginings will model regenerative and practical ways of moving towards a better future.

Acknowledgements

  • Exhibition Sponsor

The soundscape for Balangay Starfleet was created by Pantayo, a Toronto-based queer kulintang ensemble: Eirene Cloma - synth, drum machine, Michelle Cruz - agong, kubing, ulimong, bamboo whistle, Joanna Delos Reyes - sarunay, archival audio, field recordings, kat estacio - electronics, wind gong, hand-made opera gong, floor tom, Katrin Estacio - kulintang, synth Recorded at ARC Recording Studio, September 2023 Recording engineer: Matt Gauthier