“The one work that appeared to transcend, subvert of simply confront more completely the impact of technology as well as a real versus virtual dialectic, was co-curator James Hullick’s Landing. It is at once bold, curious and both visually and aurally engaging. Inside a streamlined teepee-cum-gothic cathedral made from modern synthetic materials is home to an apparent spiritual symbol – a severed hand dangling above an actual bird’s nest by a bow of wires. The hand seems both frozen in a faux-Buddhist sign and in the nest sit a cozy set of marbles (or are they glass eggs?). Extending out from this shrine-like construct and connected by thick wires are three short mechanical beings. A hidden surveillance camera statically watches the installation intently and projects its vision onto the wall behind, giving a recursive effect as the image repeats on itself infinitely. With strategically placed sensors, our very presence near this installation triggers a response. The metallic bowls of these mechanical beings begins to spin. A marble within the bowl creates an eerie yet familiar rustling sound. Are these beings talking to us? What is our response supposed to be? Why do we feel a sense of trepidation or danger when confronted with the central spiritual force that emanates from the spire-like mother ship? What is the power that it exudes?
Shifting our gaze away from the installation we look at the projection on the wall behind. The effect of the projection repeating on itself into oblivion creates an uncanny visual suggestion that the actual installation may have somehow travelled from an alternate universe and what we see on screen is, what Hullick calls, a “virtual echo of its journey into our reality.” But once we step into the range of the observing camera, our vision is eclipsed by multiple reflections of ourselves seen from behind – always from behind. Denied our narcissistic desire to see ourselves frontally reflected we realize we are doomed to forever be looking into the void like the figures in Magritte’s La Reproduction Interdite (No To Be Reproduced, 1937). But what do we imagine we will see or wish we could see in there anyway? Is the virtual a euphemism for the void?” D.B.Valentine, A walk in the Dark…Luminance, Artifact Magazine, Summer 2010.
MARS Gallery, Port Melbourne.
10 September – 3 October 2009.
Recycled objects, mixed media, hardware, metal bowls, power drills, abandoned nest, electronic converter boxes, car carpet, aluminium.
Can be installed in a gallery for weeks/months and operates automatically.
Tim McNeilage, D.B.Valentine, )-(u||!c|<
D.B.Valentine, Rachael Thompson, )-(u||!c|<