[dis]place brought together three artists - Sophie Dixon, Mai Spring and Claire Orme.
Working across a variety of media their practices examine the broadly used notion of ‘Place’. Based in the UK and Finland the artists open a dialogue which traverses the fragile boundaries between reality and perception. Challenging the very concept of stability between ourselves and the landscape around us.
For the exhibition, I presented an ongoing project created in collaboration with musician Phil Maguire. The works allude to the history of communication, exploring the ever-unnerving conflict and collision between human and machine. After discovering the site of a short-lived 18th century optical telegraph in New Cross, our research took a darker turn into the cryptic and occult undercurrent to the advancements in communicative technology. A series of sculptures and sound, alongside a performance, oscillate the viewer into an imagined dystopia, devoid of both time and space.
hARTslane Studios, New Cross
Babe, stop sending me mixed messages ;)
Wood, card, tracing paper, LED lights
Emoji is the fastest growing language in the UK, and as a visual method of communication has already far eclipsed hieroglyphics, its ancient Egyptian precursor which took centuries to evolve.
Francis Bacon and John Wilkins dreamed about developing a visual language that could take us back to the pre-Babel era - is the emoji marking a return to a more pictographic script for communication?
I'm ready to communicate. Not too fast.
Wood, card, fans
In 1794 an optical telelgraph, designed by Lord Murray, was erected on Telegraph Hill in New Cross. Britain was at war with France and the Admirality needed a faster means to send messages to its fleet moored on the South Coast than could be achieved by rider on horseback. The system of communication involved a chain of buildings each on a prominent hill, bearing a series of six shutters on their roof. The shutters were opened and closed by men pulling chains in the building underneath, forming 64 signal combinations each signifying a different letter or word.
But what happens when the human is taken away, and a machine is put in his place?