Contemporary Art Tasmania, 4 September – 4 October 2015
underground resulted from a collaboration between the artist and the Department of Seismology, Earth Sciences, UTAS; The Institute of Mine Seismology; and Unique Earth. underground presented a simple arc wall comprised of rammed, re-cycled crushed concrete. The architectonic form contained two earthmover inner tubes, carefully embedded in the friable mass, and connected via hoses to an air compressor. Underground sourced global seismic data from live web-based monitoring streams, as well as local ‘vibrations’ pertaining to human activity collected within the gallery administration and public spaces. The two streams of vibrational data were translated to electronic impulses, triggering the air compressor to release air and inflate the corresponding inner tube. Contingent on the intensity and duration of the local or global live seismic events, the inner tubes distorted within their rammed material constraints, shifting and destabilising the overall form, triggering a process of destruction over the course of the exhibition.
As an immense contradictory object, underground’s material mass charged the neutral gallery space with a silent, ominous presence, countered by the comical (if not rude) engorgement of the protruding, inflating rubber. The form’s protracted collapse and unpredictable transformation elicited a state of suspended anticipation.
underground suggested a synthesis of body, architecture and earth; the live events and artefacts indexing a volatility and terror that consumes, compels and drives us – our imagination, our sense of mortality and our deep connection to the unstable shifting earth.
Dimensions: 6m long x 2.4m high x 40cm deep
Materials: crushed concrete, rubber inner tubes, hosing, mobile seismic unit, motion-sensors
Photo credits: Peter Mathew