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A Space to Think Outside the Body

2 April 08 words: Amanda Young
The walls of the Artspace Gallery have been crammed like a technological car-boot sale in this exhibition

“Running Stitch” by Hamilton, Southern & St Amand (2006)

The usually calm and calculated walls of the Artspace Gallery have been crammed like a technological car-boot sale for this exhibition, and whilst the front part of the gallery resembles a gaming arcade, the rest of the gallery remains deserted.

Artist-curator, Frank Abbott’s apparent techno-fan-ism manifests itself not only through the exploration of drawing using various technologies, but also in the collection of generations of TVs, VCRs, DVDs and other electrical delights that this exhibition contains.

Exploring drawing in a playful and performative way, the exhibition kicked off with two live events; Ayling and Conroy’s A la Pencil which saw the show’s curator dressing as a human pencil creating a wall drawing and Zoom Quartet and Wacom 2 (Glyn Brewerton and Andrew Spackman) who created spontaneous music and responsive drawing projections.

The exhibition opens with an intimate yet frequently loud and raucous video work, a fifty minute movie of mobile phone sketches sent between two artists recording sights, sounds smells and even textures. Whilst alongside, Heath Bunting’s data drawings depict an organised chaos from an online database delineating both man and woman.

         “A la Pencil” by Ayling and Conroy

Draw-O-Matic an interactive drawing programme designed by Nottingham based artists Active Ingredient rests precariously on cardboard boxes, once containing newly purchased electrical equipment, but now contributing to the junkroom aesthetic in which Abbott chooses to situate his digital world.

Michael Shaw’s computer based drawing sequences’ twists and turns, shapes and spirals exhibit the workings of a beautiful mind whilst reflecting the high quality of work in the exhibition.

Running Stitch a documentary dvd shows the creation of the five by five meter GPS tapestry, an artwork created by Southern, Hamilton and St Armand explores the lives and footfalls of Brighton people. On display in Southwell Minster, the piece links new drawing technologies with traditional art techniques and its situation and size amongst the Norman naves alludes to the greatness of religious art.


So what does A Space to Think Outside the Body, mean? With this exhibition Frank Abbott pays homage to the ideas of artist John Maeda. Selecting artworks created by the human mind but which are reliant upon technology for their interpretation and display, Abbott argues that physical actions such as drawing float free from the mind that created them.

And that’s what this exhibition allows the viewer to do, to float free from physical constraints into the technological and virtual realms of drawing.

A Space to Think Outside the Body is open 15 March to 26 April at Southwell Artspace

Southwell Artspace

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