PRISM

2014

PRISM (2014)
Mixed media including projection of ‘prism-reworked’

Digital circulation is “about an embodied, dynamic continuum of bodies, sounds, images, actions, an audiovisual politics of intensity… now it is more about how to be immersed without drowning…” Hito Steyerl

This installation at ArtLacuna, November 2014 is an expanded version of ‘working table II’, which consists of a flat screen TV with a purpose built frame, so the screen acts as the surface of a table. On the screen, a moving image work shows underwater footage of headless bodies moving, bodies awash in a sea of information. Atop the screen an arrangement of perspex shapes and glass prisms and lenses interact with fluctuating light from the moving image work. For ‘Prism’ I represented detailed video documentation of ‘working table II’, supersaturated and deliberately distorted, projected onto thin sheets of polythene. A fan moves the polythene in a rhythmic pattern… a digital tide… the constant flow of images…

The reflective qualities of the screen act as a surface of constant interruption – superimposing our own surroundings, bodies, faces onto the information displayed within. I am fascinated by the space of the reflected image as another type of interplay between physical and virtual. In prisms, light is not just reflected but also refracted – altering the state of the information passing through it. A McLuhanite, I pose the screen as an active agent mediating the flow, as opposed to a merely impartial vessel.

In line with my preoccupation with Sean Cubitt’s notion of a Digital Baroque, ‘Prism’ is accompanied by underwater recordings with samples of a Bach Fugue. During the Baroque period, Bach devised a new system of composition in which the parts of the musical notation were formed of the mirrored passages of previous bars. ‘Prism’ consists of a layering of mirrors – physical, visual and audio.