Wednesday, 19 July 2017


A new exhibition of work created as part of the residency - there are a number of images hanging in the shared area on level 3 of the Maxwell Centre. The images have been made during a residency within NanoTechDTC and start to explore a number of issues; the question of what science looks like, how scientific concepts and lab processes are communicated through subconscious hand gestures whilst in the lab, and mapping the seemingly disregarded by making the unseen visible. The process of working within the labs and engaging with research students has generated a body of new artwork which has been informed by the engagement with nanotechnology. A series of ongoing interventions within the space has generated discussion, presented new possibilities and ways of thinking. The project has recognised similarities, explored possible confluence and developed connections by researching and deconstructing the physical and theoretical concerns of scientists working in the nanotechnology field within the framework of a fine artist practice.
When working within science one is confronted by the phenomena that is the laboratory, it is a completely controlled, managed environment. Every aspect including light levels, moisture content and dust particulates is monitored. Entering through an air shower, wearing head to toe specialist clothes one becomes conscious of one's body; every action is considered and in some way constricted. But the mind is free to wander. Within the laboratory there is the glove box, we have all encountered them in the media. They reference fear and science in the same sentence. Arms are forced into rubber gloves within a sealed box that enables the operator to work with  samples. The space attempts to be a 'non space' that is neutral and repeatable, in which the controlled factors enable the focus of activity to be on the samples, the actual science worked on.  
The artist studio is traditionally a space of making and the gallery of displaying conclusions, so the laboratory/gallery correlation is not an exact match, but I started to think about the parallels that these spaces have.

The white box of the gallery is a physical and conceptual space that attempts to enable viewers to see art without restrictions or connections. It's function is to neutralise the materiality of the space, to enable the focus to be on the work, to place art at the centre. For outsiders entering a gallery it must be a similar experience to gallery goers entering a laboratory. The rituals seem obscure and indecipherable and the space unfamiliar, what do you do in here? How do you perform? Is there a right way to do this?

No comments:

Post a Comment