Standing Reserve

 

Pine, Sisal Rope, Paraffin Wax, Salt, Audio

 

Standing Reserve concerns a vital and omnipresent feature of the landscape, seen and unseen, a hum we get used to.

 

The power grid is the foundation which enables contemporary society. This seemingly endless source of energy exists on the periphery of our consciousness, only flickering into sight when it cuts out. Martin Heidegger describes such sources of energy as 'standing-reserve' ('Bestand'). This term is used when the technological/instrumental characteristics of an object become its defining characteristics. He states that in such cases "the object disappears into the objectlessness of standing-reserve".

 

I seek to fracture the object which I see as the figurehead of the power grid, a 21st century crucifix which denotes the presence of power. Disrupting its form allows us to see it anew and to reflect upon its function and significance. I invite a reappraisal of our relationship to it, to illuminate both what it does for us and how it influences us.

 

Ubiquitous access to seemingly limitless information and the power to communicate worldwide allows us to surpass bodily limitations - what Marshall McLuhan refers to as 'Media Extensions'. However, as information from countless sources meshes into a haze of white noise, we risk a new Tower of Babel rising in the maelstrom; as the volume increases we may buckle - overextended and overloaded.

 

This structure wilts, isolated from its brethren, suddenly vulnerable.

An Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducer was used to convert electromagnetic activity into audible sound. The unheard voices of everyday technologies, including smart phones, laptops, cash machines and electricity pylons, were edited and composed using computer software. Babel was broadcast into the installation space via concealed speakers or headphones.


RSA: New Contemporaries, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 2016

 

New Scottish Artists, The Fleming-Wyfold Foundation & David Roberts Art Foundation: DRAF, London 2016

Ones to Watch DJCAD Degree Show, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee 2015

New Scottish Artists, D.R.A.F Studio, London 2016