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Paul B Davis, Tom Badley, Giles Bailey, Chris Collins, Neil Montier, Sean Raspet, Conrad Ventur, Laura White
The Earth Not a Globe takes as its starting point the phenomena of flat earth theorem whose belief system of 'flatness' diverges from the earth as a globe. Thinking about scales of perception, their limitations and how we deal with this on a tangible level the exhibition brings together a selection of artists who employ cartographic systems of resisting one point of view for another potential combination.
As the title of the show suggests the slippage between what we experience as an earth and what we experience as a globe is subject to scaling; an expansive or reductive series of idioms, events or knowledges. Knowledge is not a given.
Each contributors approach can be read as a flattening out of the contradictions of a multiple existence. There is a tension between universal languages versus personal understanding and although we are still grappling with itís complexities the acknowledgment that we are embedded within the proliferation of the visual, that makes up contemporary life.
Playing with the notions of an expanded and reductive field of vision flattening becomes an alternative way to reproduce new potential outcomes in the larger processes of consumption and controlling of information. The artists in the exhibition disrupt the terms global and local and refute certain established routes of communication finding ways to counter the production of certain perspectives. Whether this is about a re-deployment of information by a user-generation, a researcher of knowledge manifested through differing disciplines, or as masters of the levels of appropriation.
The Earth Not a Globe is composed of a multifaceted series of materialisations, each highlighting a specific aspect of the program. In the end the project resolved itself into an evening of performances, two back-to-back exhibitions, a publication, and a website.
For its second incarnation The Earth Not a Globe exhibition focuses upon the ruptures and circulations of images. The imaging processes available to us in the contemporary world are at once both radical and yet highly direct. The apparent seamlessness of streamed images and montaged narratives evoke rhythms, which, in their intensity, speak out in schizophrenic banter against seamlessness itself.
For the publication we asked each of the artists involved in the exhibitions to create a commissioned piece that would work as a singular flat image. We also approached a small range of other practitioners and curators, including a member of the Flat Earth Society, to contribute texts or images. The publication is a limited print edition, which will be available at both exhibitions. Each page will be stacked individually and visitors are asked to assemble their own version of The Earth Not a Globe publication, with as many or as few pages as they desire.
The publication is available free online. Please see editions then publications on the home page of the rokeby website.
The exhibition is curated by Dani Admiss and Dave Charlesworth.
Tom Badley's video installations and sculptures take online content and splice them into constructed scores. By inhabiting other discourses of interest to the artist such as classical music, physics or mathematics Badley introduces them into his own narratives questioning the very foundations of epistemology and communication. This desire to reconstitute what is to hand is seen in Chris Collins' Create Your Own and My Great Movie. Each of the works manipulate formatting programs that encourage a user to post themselves online by using a readymade template provided by the computer. Collins manipulates this mediated (and seemingly dated) form of self-representation online in the form of wily and satirical sketches. In a similar vein, Paul B Davis' incarnation of No Operating System 3, 2009 uses a computer monitor that has been stripped of all interfaceable operating systems; hijacked one reads a text written by the artist in the style of conceptual 70's verse detailing the works and opinions of the show.
Conrad Ventur's arresting installations, humour-filled ink drawings and appropriated imagery more often than not work on the notion of expansion. This takes the form of cinematic installations that play with seminal and emotive performances by iconic figures, or his own personal archive of experiences, documented as abstract and punchy slogans. Ventur enquires into the depth of the human condition in the characters he utilizes whilst Giles Bailey is concerned with the modern self's complex subjectivity, something that is seen in proximity to the transparent ideologies that surround us. Taking the form of personal fractured narratives that have undergone a series of dis-junctures, Bailey draws from a myriad of sources to present lectures that address autobiography, genealogy and the interruption/mechanics of data.
Sean Raspet's collages take on the appearance of explosions, crystallised and hung in a state of suspension. Each separate image becomes part of a larger landscape of staggered repetitions and multiple points of view. These refracted scenes - assemblages in their own right - index totalising systems and ideologies. Similarly Laura White's practice manipulates images taken from a wide range of sources. Considering the circulation of imagery her sources become elements that are literally folded or embedded into her haptic installations. The artist often uses images as solely sculptural devices to create a sea of relative points in installations that spill out into the spaces they inhabit.