The Salon - Poole Study Gallery of Modern Art
'How is the viewer positioned?' Seems to be one of the issues addressed by several artists from The Salon at Bournemouth Media School, Arts Institute and Winchester University.
Lizzie Sykes' Ball Camera, a camera embedded in a ball, captures spatial relationships in its fluid rotations. Olu Taiwo, who collaborates with Sykes, did a performance piece, dancing with the Ball Camera and repositioning it in relation to his moves. The images from the Ball Cam were fed live into a monitor capturing something of Taiwo's dance. One viewer said that she felt the performance opened up a space, which was more inclusive of the audience.
Taiwo is concerned with the body, and an awareness of its position in space. His piece "The Fifth Cardinal Point" encourages the viewer to experience the space in the gallery by assuming poses in different locations.
Neil White's work looks at subliminal responses. He likes to encourage the viewer to participate in experiments. In one piece he documents participants answering questions, true or false, in a truth test. He addresses fear in his work, which is almost Tarantino like in its use of Randy The Clown, video footage of a figure wearing a black wig on his face with spectacles and a clowns spongey nose.
Stephen Bell's work "Beesworld" is an interactive program which allows the participant to 'plant' flowers and then watch the trails left by the 'bees' as they gather nectar. This is generative work, as is the work of Boredom Research. Their creatures or automata, as they explained in a talk at the gallery, run like clockwork, in cycles and oscillations. Like Bell, they program their 'creatures' to interact. Unlike Bell, they are interested in artificial life. Bell's work is interactive, while Boredom Research tend to put their interactive work on the net. Pieces like "The Wishing Tree" and "Skyrail" are online. In their piece in the show, you watch their creatures moving across a small screen. They like to make interesting automata.
Susan Sloan extends the potentiality of portraiture in two exhibits of herself and her mother. Using motion capture technology, Sloan is interested in the complexity of the data captured, in 'idle stances' and uncleaned up motion captured information. This data captures more of a record of the person, indexically, and then this is combined with iconic portrayal in 3-D software. She collaborates with Adam Vanner who is expert in motion capture.
Peter Hardie makes work using 3-D software. In this exhibition he shows a sequence of works exploring the simulation of leaves on water. He then abstracts from this process.
There are also photographs by Stephen Harper and Phil Allen. Allen's photographs document Thai fighters, and suggest an interest in the body in space. The fighters stretch their limbs, and the shots are reminiscent of computer games. Meanwhile Harper's photographs embody a personal angle on seemingly commonplace events.
There is a sense with all of this work, of a digital artisan quality. The use of this technology by artists leads them to develop particular technical skills, like programming and using software. This could be said to lead to a technical elitism, while at the same time, using the technology to develop an inclusiveness. Claudia Viera's web site, documenting the exhibition, demonstrates this very well. There is a hypercontinuity and connectedness facillitated by the creation of a technologically responsive environment.