Shotgun 2010 was the first edition of the project. Three early-career artists were selected for the program that involved commissioned texts on each artists practice - Scot Cotterell by Craig Judd, Sara Maher Breathing Infinity by Biljana Jancic and Cath Robinson by Seán Kelly.
We are all acted upon by the media. Our bodies are constantly assaulted by photographic imagery. We learn to love and indeed desire the chaotic intersections of High and Low culture forms. An extraordinary statistic is that on May 18 2010 some 24 hours per minute of video material was uploaded onto the website You Tube. This piece of minor arcana is a perfect way to illustrate the almost pathological obsession to document every aspect of contemporary life. It also demands questions about who is the audience for this material and how do they make sense of this vast mountain of unmediated visual data. Can we make sense? Information overload is de rigueur this century. In this virtual world there is no such thing as a unitary engagement, everything is polyvalent mutable. Network theory, spurred by the growth of the World Wide Web is now the Queen of Science, unlocking new knowledge across an array of disciplines. Miniaturization while intriguing continues to distance us from new technologies. This is a small glimpse of the rich vein of material, the terrain that Scot Cotterell mines.
Craig Judd - excerpt
IMAGES: Scot Cotterell, 20 Deaths that are(nt) mine, install documentation 2010. Photos Jan Dallas and Chris Wilson
Sara Maher Breathing Infinity
Our consciousness sets us the task of contemplating the immensity both around and inside ourselves. Sara Maher collapses these disparate spaces within her practice, both the agoraphobia induced by the vastness of uninhibited, ancient landscapes as well as the claustrophobia incurred by the build up of memories, emotions and ideas within. These dual spaces come to coexist in her art where they ultimately serve as shadows of her experiences. Maher does not seek to represent the sources of anxieties but rather filters them through one another in order to produce a complex set of relations between the self and the world which the French phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard termed ‘intimate immensity’. (1)
There are incalculable ways to attempt to locate our consciousness within the vastness of experience. One approach, the one most commonly taken, is via processes that aim to demystify the infinity of these spaces by documenting, measuring and framing. Another is to challenge oneself to dwell in immensity and revel in the unbounded possibility it offers the dreamer. Maher confronts immensity through her practice both by seeking out the affect of mysterious, remote places in which she undertakes residency programs and through confronting her inner world within the shelter of her studio/ house/ cave.
Biljana Jancic - excerpt
(1) Gaston Bachelard (Trans. by Maria Jolas), Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, Boston, Massachusettes, 1994, p183-210
IMAGES: Sara Maher, Whiteout (Lake St Clair), 2010, Infrasound (Lake St Clair), 2010 and exhibition install views. Photos Peter Angus Robinson.
A significant amount of Cath Robinson's work involves the interaction between the development and the delivery of (articulated) thoughts - in fact it focuses specifically on the ‘spaces’ between verbal expressions and maps the traces of sound which glue spoken thoughts together. The sounds made when pausing to generate or refine a thought prior to expression are in themselves expressive. She denotes this as 'Um' - a common sound expression indicating that thinking is in process, (in Ireland this sound is 'Em').
A prolonged exposure to Robinson’s work heightens awareness of the significance of the unconscious cues which we constantly project and receive in conversation, akin in some ways to the enormous significance of body language, both of which are sent and responded to at the instinctual level, but are no less significant for that.
Seán Kelly - excerpt
IMAGES: Cath Robinson, Thought Noise Resonator, 2010. Photos Peter Angus Robinson.