THE STILL ROOM
MULTI-SCREEN VIDEO INSTALLATION
Developed for Exeter Memorial Museum and screened The State of the Image as part of Eldorado for the cultural capital of Europe festival, Koninklijk Paleis, Antwerp, Belgium
The Art and History of Lacemaking
Based on the art and history of lacemaking linking post industrial and pre industrial technology and labour. The work suggests analogies between aesthetically seductive lace pattern and visual computation. The work has a sound composition by Stephen Warbeck.
A Jacquard loom in which a succession of punched cards controlled as many as 1200 needles and wove patterns of silk inspired the Babbage engine. The Jacquardtronic lace machine developed in Germany and first introduced into lace manufacture in 1983, brought lace making into the computer age. A pattern manufactured at rapid speed has the insidious effect of erasing from memory and colonising as data, important aspects of labour and industry that dominated the lives of women and children in the 19th century.
Across many screens the knots, loops, twists and turns involved in pattern making are translated into high contrast black and white imagery and rolling text. The soundtrack of a whispering female voice draws the viewer into the momentum and repetition of work.
In the video a female actor is depicted like a set of mechanical forces. Her limbs and joints reduced to senseless action and long scrolls of words recall the lace tells that children vocalised.
Publications and Presentations
The State of the Image, Antwerp, as part of the cultural capital of Europe
Eldorado, Koninklijk Paleis, Antwerp, Belgium.
The Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada
Womens Art Journal (Make) 43 (Nov/Dec 91) and Womens Art Library
FACT - Liverpool
Ars Electronica, Linz
A.S.T.A.R.T.I. , Mutations de l'image, Deuxièmes Rencontres Internationales Art cinéma, Paris
European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck
The British Film and Video Directory
Femme Totalle, Dortmund