Joyride In Land Time Forgot



Joyriding in the Land Time Forgot

A project commissioned by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, England in 1998 focusing on the problematic search to locate a lost or innocent utopian space.

4 images from the Jurassic Park videogame are manipulated in ‘Photoshop.’ The landscapes are cleared of players, scores and any sign of video gaming interaction so that they become idealistic landscapes of lost worlds. The images are printed onto 4 large pieces of tent canvas. They are subsequently sewn into tent form and placed on wheels, transient soft architectures ready to set off in search of the lands they have inscribed on their skins. In a gallery installation, the lights are turned off and the light in the tents illuminate the canvas so they glow like videogame screens again. Inside the tents are speakers with seductively hushed voices whispering intimately to each other, suggesting people are inside. The sentences being spoken are anything but intimate and instead reiterate video gaming language and lines delivered by characters from 'quest' style games in video-arcades; lines such as "you have to kill the guards to reach the next level.”

Joyriding references the film Jurassic Park as the lost island paradise that has its virtues inverted and reconstructed via technological means in an attempt to produce the mythical innocence of a lost beast - the Dinosaur. The film appears to refute this notion with its Hollywood driven ethics of humanities loss of control over nature in the face of man’s interfering with the natural order. But it is precisely the impending loss of technological control over nature that fuels the narrative and not the ecologically respectful system that it proposes we should adhere to.

The nature of trying to locate innocence with ideologically loaded technologies instantly renders the search a corrupted one. The perceptions rendered through these technologies are loaded with expectations, judgements and manifest ideas of destination, which ultimately render the process of the search for the 'lost' as a futile one.

The attempt to chart and control all known space is a prerequisite for what it means to be civilized. But what happens when there is no more space on earth to chart? The 20th century is what Hakim Bey calls 'terra incognita' - without a physical frontier. This in turn raises the question asked by Simon Penny "when there is no more space to conquer via technology, is the only space left to colonize, the technology itself?"

Joyriding in the Land Time Forgot exhibits at the following galleries –

2000   The Physics Room (Christchurch, New Zealand)
1999   YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto, Canada)
1998   Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Wakefield, England)