The exhibition utilised both rooms of the Substation Gallery. The first room contained three large floor projections through which the audience was encouraged to walk. The first projection consisted of a loop of digital static, the second a loop of drawn/animated static and the third was of analog static. When you tune an analog television ‘between’ stations where there is no broadcast signal, the television receiver picks up other, random signals that are present in the environment. This random signal appears to us on our screens as ‘noise’, ‘snow’ or ‘static’. These signals are made up mostly of thermal noise from the device itself as well as stray electromagnetic fields from other electronic household devices but at least one third to one quarter of the signal consists of the residual radiation from the Big Bang. These waves were discovered by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson in 1964 and they both received Nobel Prizes for the discovery.
This un-designed signal ‘between’ channels is, for me, like the primal, metastable protoplasm, not yet possessing any stable form but with the potential to assume all forms. The randomly flickering pixels represent nothing and absolutely everything at the same time. On the walls around the perimeter of the floor projections I mounted six small DVD screens on which were looped video studies of my father. Also mounted at a forty five degree angle on the wall were two drawings with their own light source. In the second room the drawings were contained in museum display cabinets with their own movable light sources. The specific display of the drawings was to encourage the audience to get close to the work and to ‘peer’ into them as this kind of looking is central to the ideas embodied in the work.
- ORIGIN | MA SHOW
- Substation Gallery, University of the Witwatersrand
- 17 – 28 March 2009