PhD submission, Plimsoll Gallery, Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart, Tasmania
A series of 8 large scale installations
Searching for the Subject 2000 - 2004
Searching for the subject was an exhibition of 8 interconnected installations that offered the viewer the possibility of developing new narratives about the relationships between language, knowledge and bureaucracy. The viewer passed through a maze-like complex of rooms, corridors and spaces, that belong to a mock institution entitled SECURE CONTENT. The challenge was to try and piece together the nature and function of the institution. The thesis was awarded a Dean's commendation for excellence. The eight installatons that comprised the submission are detailed below. Download the exegesis for the full story.
Desk, chairs, computer, Powerpoint presentation, light box, plastic plant,
PhD submission, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
Reception provides the entrance to the mock institution called SECURE CONTENT.
Stained plywood, light, CD player, sound track
210 x 120 x 85cm
Booth is a replica of information booths I saw in Riga, Latvia in 1992. It is clearly institutional yet it is also individual. It both promises and denies the viewer an exchange or interaction, suggested by the sounds of someone working within – typing, shuffling papers, stapling, a cough. But the door to the Booth is locked and the window emits only a tiny stream of light.
Metal trolley with wooden base, 476 cardboard boxes,
476 plastic resealable bags,
350 x 220 x 90cm
This is an impossible trolley, only 90cm wide but 3 metres long. It is stacked high with boxes that are filled with shredded documents, each boxed labelled with a code.
Shredded Room, 2003–2004
Shredded documents, paper shredder, sensor
The shredded room is a landscape of shredded documents. Viewers trigger a sensor as they enter the space which sets off a large and very noisy shredder.
Constructed room, shelving, book pages, muslin, cardboard boxes, metal brackets
The storeroom is a claustrophobic maze constructed from thousands of coverless books and unlabelled storage boxes. It is not possible to find the centre of the maze as the corridors become too narrow to enter.
Room 714 & 715 (Are you thinking what I'm thinking?) 2001, 2004
Constructed room, caneite acoustic tiles, observation mirror, office furniture and paraphernalia, files, computer, Quicktime movie, signage, fluorescent lighting
300 x 220 x 290cm
Originally shown in the Figure it exhibition, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart, 2001
Room 714 is a small, completely empty room with the exception of a built–in mirror that is positioned just below comfortable average viewing height. The room is lined with acoustic tiling and is lit with fluorescent lighting. The acoustics of the room create a stifling atmosphere that encourages an intense subjective awareness.
Lined with the same acoustic tiling as Room 714, Room 715 is a research lab. The mirror in Room 714 is revealed as a one–way observation mirror; the desk is covered in papers, reports and files; the filing cabinet is open and can be explored, and there is a video of an unknown individual undergoing an EEG on the computer. A subtly positioned surveillance camera watches over everything.
Meeting Room, 2003–2004
Constructed room, 2 doors, table, chairs, documents, glasses, slide projector, timer, 80 slides
Every 3 seconds strange images of black holes are projected onto the back of the meeting room wall
The Meeting Room door is locked and so cannot be entered. However, the viewer can peer through the lettering that spells out SECURE CONTENT. Inside, a meeting is in progress but has been abandoned. Paper and files cover the table, a jacket hangs on the back of a chair. Images of strange black holes are projected on the far wall of the room, changing every 3 seconds. A door to another room can be seen in the distance.
Surveillance and sorting room, 2004
Office furniture, caneite panels, convex mirror, recording and surveillance equipment, reconstructed shredded images, pins, shredded documents, grain bags, computer, Quicktime movie
This room appears to be the central hub of the institution called SECURE CONTENT. The entrance is lined with bags of shredded documents. The walls are covered with scientific charts and meticulously reconstructed shredded images of dark circular shapes. Various machines are recording indecipherable data, a computer shows a series of strange moving black dots, and 3 surveillance monitors show what is happening in other parts of the institution.