referencing experimental video installation
a continuing fascination in CCTV cameras and making videos about
nothing, I decided to ditch an ongoing project involving a home
made ROV (remotely operated vehicle), partly due to technical
problems and partly because I wanted to create something specific
to a particular space.
That space was the Main Gallery at Sheffield Hallam University.
Despite all attempts to be neutral, gallery spaces can never be
Upon entering such spaces
there is naturally the expectation that what lies within is all
This can often lead to confusion with, for example, discarded
crisp packets and faulty lighting mistaken as integral to the
I used to find this frustrating but now I tend to find it more
I guess that the issue lies in the all inclusiveness of post-modernity
and the exclusive nature of galleries. I much prefer making work
in real spaces away from the pseudo-neutrality of the art gallery
and away from its' self referencial strangle hold.
With this in mind and with the obligation of taking part in a
as part of my Masters in Fine Art, I decided upon this work.
piece consists of two small CCTV cameras mounted upside down on
180 degree panning units. Each camera was linked to its own video
monitor. As the cameras slowly pans back and forth they display
the rest of the space as well as the image caught by each other.
The visual and audio feedback adds to the sense of unfamiliarity
and dislocation already caused by the inverted cameras.
There is also a re-inversion as the camera pans across to see
its own transmitted image on the monitors. The space becomes artificially
corrected. A simulated restoration of normality.
Perhaps the most interesting effect of this piece is the audience
reaction. Although, at first glance, everything is laid out in
front of the viewer, the combination of camera movement, inversion
and feedback, makes the space difficult to comprehend. The effect
seems to be a shift away from the physical space to a more abstract
representation of it. This suggests notions of the mutability
of perception and perhaps reality.