The problem with ideas ís, the idea is often simply a way to focus your interest in making a work. The work isn’t necessarily, I think – a function of the work is not to express the idea…. The idea focuses your attention in a certain way that helps you to do the work.
It’s deceptively simple but powerful – lights and speakers on pendulums swing and illuminate, emitting building, swooping, harmonies of operatic chorus notes. You walk around and underneath it, but all the time it surround you.
The darkness of the old boiler house that The Wapping Project calls home becomes something like the engine room of a massive brick starship, or the sanctum sanctorum of a neo-Victorian occult engineering cult.
There are further echoes of scifi.
The chorus is aurally-reminiscent of the Ligeti-soaked startup sequences of Kubrick’s stargates.
“beware of the professional or specialist who when confronted with a problem having to do with design — seems suddenly to abandon the disciplines of his own profession and put on his art hat — this can happen to those who are otherwise most rational — doctors, engineers, politicians, philosophers.”
“October 13th, 1967. Brian laid his radio-lightwave machine out along the studio. Everyone who walked in front of it interrupted transmission. Philip became interested, helped him fiddle about with the equipment. It reminded me of boys playing with electric trains.”
And, this one made me smile:
“February 15th, 1968. Watson, Dyer and Brian had a long discussion about Brian’s electronic machine. Watson had got Brian a grant of £17 towards building the machine. Brian had come up with some snags and intended to present his work in the form of a written report. Watson argued that this was not good enough; he would learn something by not only producing the machine, but in assessing the effects of its operation. Dyer said now that Brian had proved that the machine was operational there was no point in actually making it. Watson said to me afterwards that Dyer was basically an engineer and that Brian had to decide if he was an engineer or an “artist”. Brian had finally accepted his point of view that the machine would have to be finished and operated.”
Been asked to work on the nominations for designs of the year again at the Design Museum, which is very nice.
But it leads me back to this hoary old question – how should interactive work best be shown in a museum or gallery context? Should it be shown at all?
“Doodling for success – regardless of how good your drawing skills everyone can doodle, learn how to harness your inner doodler to illustrate any idea that might be lurking in your brain so that people immediately get your point.”
Wandering home from Spitalfields this evening I found this banner… looks like just the sort of thing he’s looking for… It’s part of the wonderfully-named “Campaign for Drawing” which runs for the month of October.