UNCONTAINABLE: Broken Stillness
UNCONTAINABLE: Broken Stillness
Curator: Helen Sloan
boredomresearch, Susan Collins, David Cotterrell, Sigune Hamann, Peter Hardie, Tim Head, Susan Sloan
The subtle and beautiful works in Broken Stillness use digital practices to examine the border where well-established forms of image-making, especially painting and photography, meet enhancement and new forms mediated by digital technologies. Through animation, motion capture, modelling software, unique software, hacking and other processes the artists generate unexpected interpretations of landscape and portraiture traditions. Slowly moving and shifting, their works reveal the constructed nature of images, highlighting our expectations about both static pictures and the expectation of hyper-speed from the digital environment. The exhibited works display the materiality of the digital or photographic image while challenging images that are frequently regarded as 'true' representations.
Tim Head presents recent work which explore the alterior life of the pixel, randomly generated from his bespoke programmes to create ever-changing colour fields; whilst Susan Sloanʼs animated ʻportraitsʼ use the myriad moments usually discarded by the games or cgi designer that often reside as unrealised potential through digital code. Sigune Hamann presents a new frieze-format photographic print captured at the London student fees protests in November 2010. Using a manual camera as if it were a film camera, Hamannʼs semi-abstract images retain the character of the unique moment. Susan Collins, meanwhile, relays web cam seascapes that change in real time pixel by pixel, constantly constructing and reworking a digital painting. Peter Hardie uses scientific modelling programmes to conjure the sight and sensation of light playing on water, leaves floating downstream. In this artificial moment – more banal and convincing than narrative CGI – he problematises the usual distinctions of ʻauthenticʼ and ʻmediatedʼ experience. boredomresearchʼs works are more like fantastic aquaria, their digital life forms responding to the viewer but pursuing their own decisions, making the viewer a ghostly presence on the periphery of their parallel world. David Cotterrell’s work produced from a residency in Helmand Province uses digitization of video to explore the mediation of images of war and the contrast between actuality and cinematic or news footage of conflict.
All the works in the exhibition look at the intersection between the keynote signature of the individual artist and the standardization provided by the digitized image. The exhibition asks the viewer to examine the role that individuals can play in the re-construction of images that we consider as traditional or mainstream.
Lanfranco Aceti, ISEA2011 Istanbul Artistic Director and Özden Şahin, Program Director
UNCONTAINABLE: Broken Stillness is part of the Official Parallel Program of the 12th Istanbul Biennial.
UNCONTAINABLE: Broken Stillness is supported by Arts Council England, Bournemouth University, Salisbury Arts Centre, SCAN and ISEA2011
Bios of the Artists
boredomresearch are Southampton-based artists and programmers Vicky Isley and Paul Smith, lecturers in Computer Animation & Computer Art at the National Centre of Computer Animation, Bournemouth University. They employ modelling techniques similar to those used by scientists to study natural phenomena, using these to create moving landscapes, still life, ʻlife formsʼ and interactive environments. Their work has been shown in festivals and exhibitions round the world as well as in many online exhibitions. www.boredomresearch.net
Susan Collins is one of the UKʼs leading artists working with digital media. She works across public, gallery and online spaces. Her recent works mainly employ transmission, networking and time as primary materials, often exploring the role of illusion or belief in their construction and interpretation. Works include Transporting Skies which transported sky (and other phenomena) live between Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance and Site Gallery, Sheffield; Fenlandia and Glenlandia - live year long transmissions from remote landscapes, and The Spectrascope, an ongoing live pixel by pixel transmission from a haunted house.
David Cotterrell is an installation artist working across varied media including video, audio, interactive media, artificial intelligence, device control and hybrid technology. His work exhibits political, social and behavioural analyses of the environments and contexts, which he and his work inhabit. Over the last ten years, his work has been extensively commissioned and exhibited in North America, Europe and the Far East, in gallery spaces, museums and within the public realm. Recent exhibitions include: Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China at MASS MoCA, Massachusetts, War and Medicine at the Wellcome Collection, London and Map Games at the Today Museum of Modern Art, Beijing.
David is Professor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, has been a consultant to strategic masterplans, cultural and public art policy for urban regeneration, healthcare and growth areas and is a council member of AIR, an artists' representative body with over 15,000 members. He is represented by Danielle Arnaud.
Sigune Hamann is an artist who deals with still and moving images. This encompasses hybrid media forms combining analogue and digital processes. She explores the effects of time and perception on the construction of mental images in photographs, videos, installations and internet works. Projects include: the online narrative nothingbutthetruth (2002); photographic film-strips (Harris Museum, Preston 2005, Gallery of Photography, Dublin 2008, Kunsthalle Mainz 2008) and the video installations Dinnerfor1 (British Council Berlin 2005) and the walking up and down bit (BFI 2009). She is currently working on an installation showing at the Wellcome Collections later this year.
Peter Hardieʼs work is driven by observation and reaction to specific moments in time and space of landscape: leaves floating down a river, cloud shadows moving across hills, trees moving in the wind. His animations and still images have no narrative but aim to recreate the sensation of perceiving the original scene and moment, using three dimensional computer animation systems to eliminate traces of the artistʼs hand. Hardie has exhibited widely within the UK and also at festivals in Europe.
Tim Head explores the ʻraw materialʼ of the digital environment: what he calls ʻthis quasi-dimension [where] physical space is collapsed and a different order of space fills the voidʼ. This familiar yet alien territory which is part of our everyday experience is expanded into something surprising through the artistʼs random generation computer programmes, which provide a subtly ever-changing experience far removed from the pixelʼs usual duty in relaying commercial and social information. He has exhibited in many major venues including Whitechapel Gallery, Venice Biennale, Documenta 6 and the Guggenheim New York.
Susan Sloan is a Lecturer and Research Fellow at the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University. She works collaboratively and individually, using animation to create artworks and public projects; including her ongoing study into portraiture that utilises 3D animation software and motion capture technologies, to look at identity through motion and action. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally including the SIGGRAPH Gallery, San Diego; 404 Festival, Argentina; IVO3 London; IVO6, London, Sydney; Kunstihoone Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia; Yokohama Art Museum, Japan; and Glasgow International Festival.
SCAN, Helen Sloan (Curator)
Helen Sloan has been Director of SCAN, Digital and Interdisciplinary Arts Agency since its launch in 2003. SCAN is a networked organization and creative development agency working on arts projects and strategic initiatives in arts organisations, academic institutions and further aspects of the public realm. Helen's career spans over twenty years during which she has curated, commissioned and convened over 200 exhibitions, new works, and events. She has written and researched a number of key strands in digital arts including wearable technologies, the intersection between art and science, and arts policy. She has directed festivals such as Across Two Cultures in Newcastle 1996 (an early event on the overlapping practice of creative thinking in arts and science), Metapod, Birmingham 2001 - 2, and Bournemouth's festival Public Domain 2010. Current areas of interest digital arts and place; high-speed networks and online resources/spaces; models of practice and the creative economy; and climate change and the arts.
Salisbury Arts Centre
Salisbury Arts Centre (trading name of charity St Edmunds Arts Trust) was established in 1975 in the former St Edmunds Church. Between then and 2003 it developed a far flung reputation as a seat of high quality experimental and alternative theatre and performance; and since a major refurbishment project in 2003-4, funded by Arts Council England South West, has been establishing itself as a regionally significant venue for contemporary artistic practice across multiple art forms including film, theatre, dance, and more recently visual art. Broken Stillness is part of Re Imagining Exhibitions, an 18-month action research project aimed at establishing a strategy for the Arts Centreʼs ongoing provision of a high quality, contemporary visual arts programme.