Featuring the works of Eimer Birkbeck, Richard Charnock, Joe Duffy, Max Livesey, Joel Porter, Rob Strongitharm, Yukari Yoshikawa, Andrea Zapp
Poi – The Maori art of spinning objects through space
POI – Point of interest. A mapping reference used in networked and mobile media
POI explores the exchanging of points in time, or places in space, giving us the chance to review the world around us through innovative media art works. The installations investigate our shifting existences, both physical and digital, and the ways we perceive, shape and interweave the environments we inhabit. The narratives created ultimately comment on our surroundings, from a social, historical and technological perspective.
Eight international artists approach the subject with interactive interfaces, video installations, sound sculptures, textile media and custom built immersive environments. Film and photography from the past, sounds and images from the present, artifacts referencing remote and ephemeral places in time are brought together, starkly contrasting the live involvement of participants and even the presence of another animal, illustrating the duality at the heart of the works as a whole.
Zizkov Pan (2009)
A multi-screen installation that deals with the notion of viewpoints using Prague’s Zizkov TV tower as a central location for a range of relationships centred around the gaze; from the touristic and observational to the surveillance of movement within urban space. A spatial layering of the built environment from the central to the peripheral is visually and physically captured as the cityscape reveals its network of relationships through fragments of the personal, political, architectural and historical.
Ubiquitous Interactivity (2009)
This dynamic and complex data space explores the ever growing number of identification objects that we carry, and how we are monitored by the technology we inherit. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cards contain a chip that carries a unique combination of digits split into sections, that each perform a function when interpreted by an RFID reader.
The controlling nature of this hidden data is questioned in this work by remapping the stored data into digital imagery that is exclusive to the ID number in each card. As participants swipe a card, its individual code triggers distinct visual elements to appear on screen, generating a complex array of pictures and objects that move and transform as additional cards are read.
Pilgrim’s Digress (2009)
A moving video image of a walker or Pilgrim is visible on the top of an interactive globe. While the globe is static, the figure engages in a series of randomly mundane tasks – reading, eating and sleeping. When the globe is rotated the figure loses balance and begins to slip off. He starts to run, frantically, to maintain his position at the centre of the globe. Pilgrim’s Digress forms part of a body of work exploring pilgrimage and religious journeys, humorously looking at the desire for equilibrium in the pursuit of understanding.
Colour and Colours (2008)
Inspired by The Wheel of Manchester situated in Exchange Square, this work offers the viewer a differing experience of reality. It communicates with us through visual, audio, and tactile interfaces, colour enhancement and layered imagery.
Emphasis is placed on the merging of colour and how it heightens our senses, while a visual story and spatial metaphor unfold. By employing colour as a film-enhancing element, together with illuminated and colour changing optic fibres surrounding the screen, the work references the subtle effects on mood and emotions within an immersive panoramic environment.
Instantanés (Marseille) (2009)
In Birkbeck’s latest work, the collected sounds of contemporary Marseille are resurrected, edited and replayed to the audience. Instantanés focuses on the acoustic complexity of a modern European city by revealing the linguistic exchanges that colour the public spaces of any busy social landscape.
Conflict, emotion and cultural diversity are all discovered through the artist’s microphone, challenging the audience to reconsider the mundane and assumed backgrounds of our lives in sound. Gradually, the ignored and taken for granted noises of urban public life transform into the audible fabric with which we dress our own social universe.
Ar Dievu (2009)
Two film sequences are projected onto five large net curtains causing images to bleed, overlay and continually shift. Reminiscent of a window frame, with visitors encouraged to wander in and out of the screens, the artist plays on the relationship between inside and outside, while exploring lapses in time and space. Remembering the abandoned home of a Latvian post war exile, the artist manipulates and challenges the boundary between fact and fiction. Alongside this is a series of Polaroid photographs in a continual process of developing and un-developing. By transforming the photograph into a highly ephemeral and unstable medium, the viewer is able to make a connection between this physical process and the abandonment and detriment of the portrayed spaces.
An Exploration of Consciousness (2009)
Participants are attracted by the enticing nature and behaviour of a rabbit making itself at home in friendly surroundings. Once drawn towards this space, their own movements are fed into a real time sonic environment that the animal too plays an important part in influencing. Through the control of familiar sounds being recorded and transmitted into the space from elsewhere in the building, the artist explores different levels of awareness and input. Participants move and explore this world of noise, gradually recognising their involvement. The duality involved in creating and shaping the sounds is exposed, prompting a gentle conflict between viewer and rabbit, and ultimately questioning the role of participation.
Obscure View (2009)
Max Livesey’s interactive globe allows us to reflect on the subjective process of mapping and the quality of publically accessible aerial photography via internet sites, such as Google Earth. He challenges the emphasis on high-resolution urban locations in theWestern world against the neglected low-resolution locations in undeveloped environments. With the high resolution geographical areas cut out of the globe’s surface and the distorted, partially visible face of participants displayed on a suspended planetary sphere, the egocentricity and partiality of satellite imagery and mapping services is underlined.
Google Gaze (2009)
Google Gaze is a textile media narrative that combines fabric, print and embroidery elements with digital visuals, interlinking virtual and physical places of being. Referencing former artistic means of documentation, such as painting and photography, it displays satellite imagery and online meeting spots as the most recent ways to share and perceive place and space. The textile material develops into another format of screen and interface, but the ornamental tapestry alters the original purpose and photo-realistic aesthetics of the online images. Rendered domestic and decorative, the virtual media space is framed as the new ‘fabric of society’; with its underlying assertion of authenticity now appearing fictional and illusory.