curated by Patrick Cremin
“All this momentum is doing me in”.
Before an astronaut can voyage into space they must pass certain physical and psychological tests. One of the more physically straining of these tests is the human centrifuge. The centrifuge consists of a capsule connected to a central console by an outstretched rotating extension, it spins around clockwise always anchored to the centre of the room. This test pushes the astronauts ability to withstand extreme acceleration and speed, greater than that experienced in the Earth’s gravity, and similar to the forces inside a rocket travelling to space.
Moving at rapidly increasing speeds expels a large amount of energy inside the human body, forcing blood towards vital organs to counteract sudden unconsciousness. This change in blood flow and pressure pulls blood from the eyes and towards the brain, resulting in loss of colour vision. An astronaut will then only see in shades of monochrome and tunnel vision sets in. Soon after, the astronaut will go completely blind and the brain will lose consciousness. This test is repeated until the astronaut can withstand the accelerated time and speed experienced when travelling to and through space.
Speed > Loss of Vision > Loss of Consciousness
The acceleration and rapid development of imaging technologies has lead to an over saturation of imagery. The artists in Burnout explore the expansion and affect of photography’s rapid technological and visual growth. Whether it is through manipulation of imaging conventions or an analysis of how we document through the lens, a questioning of where excessive photography has left us is at the forefront. The artists attempt to overcome visual fatigue through a persistent drive for reinvention through artistic experimentation.
The work of David Manley, through referencing Brutal Architecture of the mid 20th century, constructs a dystopic world of blank high-rise buildings, empty streets and quiet highways. A reactionary representation of our overpopulated landscapes of advertising and text, scaling back the image to a more minimal form and composition. Are these images a prediction of our future physical landscape or a poetic longing for a past without excess?
A harsh contrast can be seen in the sculptural work of Lucas Davidson with his towering obelisk of LCD screens, each depicting a skin like texture pulsating amongst the harsh black frame of the television screen. In using the screens alongside their bare cables, stands and power points, Davidson has highlighted the divide between our technological bindings and our biological ones. Are they one in the same and will this divide become less apparent? Davidson brings this point to the gallery with both reverence and chaos.
As we continue to visually catalogue and archive every corner of the globe, it seems hardly a far stretch to imagine a future in which travel could take place from the comfort and security of ones living room. Chris Hoopmann’s imagery relates to travel photography, highlighting the mapping of our lived experience. His presentation uses framing and conventional hanging methods to convey a mythological domestic space. Hoopmann references collage and mixes between both digital and analogue photographic aesthetics. His salon style hang is reminiscent of an online image-viewing platform, a cluster of informally placed images positioned side by side.
Together the artists present an array of representations of how photography has adapted, to explore what the medium itself has become.
- Patrick Cremin, 2013
Burnout was exhibited at Archive Space, Sydney May 21-31 as part of Head On Festival.