Luminaries & Visionaries 2007
Rob & Nick Carter
Dianne Harris / FSOL
Curated by Dianne Harris
Exhibition essay by Jasia Reichardt.
18th Januray - 11th March 2007
Kinetica Museum, Spitalfields market, London, UK
The title of this exhibition is Kinetica's acknowledgment of the contribution that artists make to speculations about the world we live in, on its possibilities and its futures. It is also a reminder that before Kinetica opened its doors in Spitalfields in October 2006, there was a gallery in West London called ‘The Luminaries’ which, under the direction of Dianne Harris, attempted to launch a programme of exhibitions and events relating the arts and technology. To exhibit at Kinetica Museum implies a commitment to experiment and exploration. It involves questioning the role of art, its means and function. In this third Kinetica exhibition, there are several interwoven themes. Light is the leading player, but at times shadows and less clearly defined images come to centre stage. Elsewhere, we confront and succumb to illusions.
In art involving technology, a single theme can produce enormously different results. Every work is based on a dialogue between artist, idea, and experimental techniques whose properties cannot always be controlled, or even anticipated. The viewers are exposed to a stream of communication between them and the work on an unfamiliar scale. It can never be clear whether the work has been seen in its totality, whether it has been wholly understood, or even what the visitor should expect. Chance plays a constant role in most of the art that engages with technology. In this it resembles the world at large. The works are real enough, we experience them with our senses, and yet it is a reality that cannot easily be grasped. Their luminous effects reveal themselves in front of us and then move on. Explanations about the construction of the works cannot reveal what they are about, any more than examining the brain explains thought, but this is exactly what needles our curiosity.
The Focus of this whole exhibition is light. Even so, we no longer feel the need to subdivide art engaged with technology into chapters, or to separate into various categories the effects which make up our perception of what we see, hear, feel and think. Media art is this century’s global home and a label for all art that despite its enormous variety, depends on throwing a switch to engage the electric current. But this exhibition is closer to a theatre performance than most. Before even understanding what any of the works mean, how they function, or how they came about, the exhibition seduces us like a light theatre with its electric magic.
Catalogue Essay Luminaries & Visionaries 2007