The Blind Man’s Stick (2010)

An exhibition in two parts: interactive video pieces and minimalist sculptural works concerning the physical interactions with media and new technology.

The Blind Man's Stick

The Blind Man's Stick

The Blind Man's Stick

The Blind Man's Stick

Strongly influenced by early Victorian film mechanisms, the video-based works aim to establish a direct connection between the viewer’s physicality in space and the playback of projected video. Other works of a more minimalist approach highlight the simple everyday physical interactions with technology and attempt to focus on the corporeal nature of interaction. The application of the phenomenological concerns, explored by artists such as Robert Morris in the 70s, is transferred into a contemporary arena of interactive digital technology. Here the interactions themselves are the centre of attention of the work rather than the technology or any mystical effect produced through such technology.

Sculptural Works

SPDT (top two images)

SPDT consists of two hundred and thirty four toggle switches floating on a perspex facade. The switches illuminate when flicked downwards.
The switch can be seen not only as the primary interface with digital technology but also as part of its essential make up. SPDT (single pole double throw) draws its inspiration from early computing where these two aspects were closely linked. Before computer keyboards or even punch cards, programmers would enter their code into the machines line by line through vast arrays of switches. This action, the flicking of a switch, spoke directly to the computer in its own binary language: on and off, ones and zeros; an intimate dialogue with no translation needed.

Dimmer (3rd from top: 3 sequential images)

Dimmer takes the form of a domestic light dimmer linked to a picture light. The work aims to present a closed circuit where the viewer’s action and the work’s reaction are intimately and inseparably linked.

Heat exchanger (4th from top: 2 sequential images)

Heat Exchanger in contrast to Dimmer looks at the viewer’s stillness as an active engagement. To elicit a response from the work the viewer is required to keep their finger pressed on a button which is positioned directly below an infrared heater-bulb. The longer the viewer stays, the brighter and hotter the bulb becomes; hence an exchange is set up: the viewer’s body heat subtly warms the switch and the heat from the bulb begins to warm the viewer’s hand.

Video Works

Orbital
ByPasser

Presentations

2010: Stone Squid Gallery, Hastings

Credits

(see credits for Orbital and ByPasser on separate pages)