Saturday, October 27
Currently showing at MIC, this exhibition by renowned new media artists D-Fuse tackles globalisation and it's impact - both in terms of architecture/environments, and in business. The first room is an ambitious, multi-channel installation centreing around the viral growth of fast-food giant McDonalds. World maps chronicle the time and position of every franchise, from local California eatery in the 50s through to global domination towards the turn of the millenium. As usual, the curatorial staff at the Moving Image Centre 'hung' the show impeccably, even adding multiple translucent screens to create a triplicate projected effect (see images).
But what's problematic about the work is it's over the top slickness. The data could actually be displayed in any web browser - via Google Maps or Google Earth - but dfuse instead use a barrage of electronic looking tickers and LED interfaces. What could be a dynamic, intelligently networked piece hooked up to data sources worldwide is turned into static video because of a perceived need to seduce the viewer. Adding another layer of irony, this piece about globalisation is fundamentally localised due to it's media, although d-fuse plan to add more video content as the show makes it's way around the world.
Next door, the superficially simple, "Never been to Tehran" is a case in point. The ambitious worldwide photography project challenged artists to "take photographs (from their home base) of what they imagine Tehran to look like." Participants upload their shots to a Picasa Web Album, allowing a single hub for coordinating, as well as built in features like 'geotagging' to show origin of each image, and RSS feeds allowing blogs to incorporate it into their sites. This open framework means that curators worldwide can re-present the show in a variety of formats.