Saturday, February 12, 2011
Recorders was an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Although a small exhibit, it is one of the best I have been to.
It was a solo exhibition by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who created a set of electronic interactive artworks. The pieces had to receive human interaction in order for them to work. There was a set of microphones that when shouted into, would play back a previous recording of someone else. The imprint of personal items could be printed onto a conveyor belt. A large set of small devices asked question after question on a small digital screen, never repeating themselves: there was a keyboard where a question could be inputed, which was then displayed only once and then new questions were formed from the words; you never knew what questions were made by human or computer. The final room had a display of light bulbs hanging from the ceiling which pulsed light in different speeds, displaying the heart rates of guests.
I find interactive exhibitions like these, that get you involved and make you a part of it, really exciting. I found it very engaging: it was amazing how many memories could be recorded; and it made me really admire the skill of the artist and the amazing technology. It was fun and playful, like almost playing a game. It felt like it was as much about you as about the artist, rather than perhaps a contemporary fine art exhibition that features a bag of rubbish, that purely says: look at the crap I can get away with. Anyway... thats a rant for another occasion.