Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mariko Mori at ARoS and Thorbjorn Lausten

I have been thinking about the legibility of my work, and how strongly the connection to the scientific researchers work will be made in the final outcome of the project. Is it ok to leave all the interpretation to the catalogue and accompanying wall texts to show where the data comes from. This seems to be the approach taken by veteran visualiser of scientific data, the Danish artist Thorbjorn Lausten who I met for coffee yesterday. His work always has a catalogue to go with it which explains the correlation between his quite abstract paintings and digital projections and their scientific source material. He objects to the words 'digital' and 'interactive' when describing his work - he says - everything is digital, everything we sense is interactive (ie all material things in the world.)

At the beautiful new gallery AROS in the city of Arhus where I gave a presentation about my work , there was a great exhibition called the 9 spaces. The gallery had substantial sound,video and light installations by Bill Viola, James Turell, Olufur Eliasson, Pippilotti Rist, Tony Oursler and Olaf Breuning. But the most interesting for my project was Mariko Mori's work which was a large organic shaped plexiglas totem which glowed in different lights and colours and seemingly random moments. On reading the wall text the abstract lights are explained by a live link to a telescope in Tokyo which is trained on the outer reaches of space. Every time a star dies a light flares and fades in Mori's light sculpture called' Tom Na H-iu', the name for a memorial standing stone. And none of this would be apparent without reading the supporting wall text...

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