Lure

Hanmi Gallery, 2014

two LED projectors, glass gobos, RGB led light bars, aluminium, digital control

 

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To allure is to bind, to attract and enchant, to persuade and fascinate. A lure is the object through which we can be tempted. A lure conceals its other purposes; to trap, capture and sometimes to kill. The lure that repels us pushes us into a safe place, the place where we are supposed to be. A lure that is not a lure is a warning. So here we have a possible double movement, the movement of the lure and its target. Recognising that the lure is operating is not an escape. The lure positions you, orders space, even defines it.

Kamikaze is a text imposition in the scene of the work. "If the space of the city is under threat, and if my death will mitigate that threat, then the city is my kin and I am ready and willing." The text breaks the perceptual space of the work, it imposes a secondary disruptive movement. The projected anamorphosis of text through an architectural space positions the viewer in relationship to it and the trajectory of the light. It is a form of projection that creates an anamorphic screen from the plastic in architecture. The act of reading is also an act of spatial flattening, a form of distortion.

The artwork: a nomadic technological structure that is completed by its site. It is dependent on half light and darkness with no simple means of egress. Imagine a basement, or even a simple average sized room, which has no window allowing a view of open space. Not hermetic, simply that the outside is concealed from the inside. A strobing light is composed of regular flashes, the light is controlled to create abrupt transitions from light to dark, on to off. Strobe from the Greek strobos, an 'act of whirling', points us towards a perceptual and bodily imbalance created by the effect of this switching light. This switching is regulated, rhythmic and predictable.

Not tick tock, that is a rhythm. Not on then off, for that is a switch. Not strobe, as that is simply a metronomic switch. This light is ordered by regulated pulses with cyclical rotations and dissonant flickers, that do not amount to a harmonic or a counterpoint. There is no darkness here as there is always a source of light. The three cycles of light disrupt each other and work against any natural rhythm, they are anti-circadian.

A clear slow pulse of blue light saturates the space. It is both visible and alters physiology. The projection effect is the result of both physiological and psychological affects. The walls pulse and your body is reset. There are two movements. Firstly the intense green/red cycle that carves the space in half. This cycle shifts the visible register of the space and the walls appear to move. Overlaid are two words in light: Lure and Kamikaze. Lure appears slowly and disappears abruptly. Kamikaze is regulated in a complex flicker that is both harmonic, it has a cyclical beat, and disrupted by a random routine that either makes it pause or turns it off.

Leave No Marks (Physicians for Human Rights) argues that enhanced interrogation techniques cause "severe and long lasting mental harm." In the methods section it lists ten techniques including "stress position", "temperature manipulation" and "water boarding". It is curious that the modes of "sensory bombardment" are given no specific qualities or forms of delivery. However, it is clear both through public record and reportage that "sensory bombardment", bright light and highly amplified sound, were deployed by overt and covert elements of the western forces in the second Iraq conflict. The process through which sensory bombardments are realised are so similar to the methods of viewing cinema that one could call them the same. After all, what is amplified sound and projected light if it is not the basic physical structure of a normal cinematic viewing experience?

Warren Montag's reading of Louis Althusser summarises that oppressive state apparatus dominate us through aligning our free will to the choice to be dominated. Ideology always already includes our beliefs, in a sense consent is inscribed into the 'state apparatus' of capitalist domination. The consequence of this is that our absorption into a system of domination can be one of persuasion, a voluntary action, rather than as a product of state force or as a last resort to the action of violent persuasion on the body by the state.

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