Video Arcadia



Video Arcadia

In 1998 the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, England commissioned the Joyriding in the Land Time Forgot project from KIT for an outdoor area of the park. As conversations developed, the works became larger and eventually split into two distinct projects. The second project named Video Arcadia is formatted as a multi-site installation piece, with one work existing in a gallery space and the other on the Internet.

Video Arcadia is commissioned for a large-scale group show called ‘New Art from Britain’ which is curated by the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Tate Gallery in London. The exhibition takes place in the latter half of 1998 at an Austrian gallery called ‘Kunstraum’ in Innsbruck. A large portion of the work is developed in England but there are still many sculptural elements in the work that will need to be constructed on-site at the gallery.

In the UK, a single tent is fabricated based on the same design as the tents produced for Joyriding in the Land Time Forgot. The new collapsible architecture is 50% larger in height and width and also has an image from the Jurassic Park videogame cleared of players and scores, leaving only a landscape printed onto the canvas that makes up the form of the tent. It is also going to be finally presented on wheels, which will be done at the gallery in Austria.

A videogame which will exist on the Internet is developed prior to the exhibition over a 3-month period. The game refers back to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and uses the park as the environment that the digital action takes place in. At the time of this work, the tents from the Joyriding in the Land Time Forgot project already exist in the sculpture park. The idea for the videogame consists of breaking into a car and joyriding it around the sculpture park trying to find ruins of former buildings, walls and fountains built in the 18th and 19th centuries and which are now half hidden by plants, bushes and grass.

Once these two portions of the project are completed, members of KIT travel to Austria to install the rest of the project. Once in the gallery space, a structure approximately four metres long and one and a half metres wide is fabricated from wood. Covered in tarmac and grit and with cats eyes placed down the side of it, the sculptural structure appears to be a road that comes to an abrupt end, essentially rendering it as a ramp.

The narratives pertaining to the search for innocent landscapes and the development of escape architectures are again alluded to via the placement of a ramp (a structure which aids eschatological velocity) in the futile position in front of a wall. A data projector is built into the end of the ramp meaning that a digital space is projected onto the facing wall, replacing the physical void that would necessitate the need for a tarmac incline. The projected digital landscape is the videogame constructed in the UK. It is an interactive piece activated and manipulated via a trackball (a navigation device for a computer used instead of a mouse) which has been built into one of the cats eyes at the end of the ramp The tent on wheels, meanwhile, appears to have crashed into the side of the ramp causing a cartoon style hole to appear and the front end of the canvas to be lodged within it. Suggesting an accident has happened before take off, the physical tent has not made it to the ramp to make the leap into the digital world of the videogame. The super-naturalised utopian space (portrayed on the side of the tent) has once again alluded our site/ sight, and with it the chance of capturing innocence, is lost.

Video Arcadia exhibits at the following galleries –

2004   The Sam Francis Gallery (Los Angeles, USA)
1998   Kunstraum (Innsbruck, Austria)