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)