Filed under: artists, contemporary art, exhibition, installation, media coverage, performance, photos, updates | Tags: artists, exhibition, media coverage
This great review was published in The Times on Tuesday, July 22, 2008.
Visit the link above to view this article online; the text is re-posted below in case the article is only available temporarily.
A hammock, but not enough me-time for artist
Mike Wade, The Times, July 22, 2008
A man lies sleeping in a hammock alongside a vast block of ice, whose meltwater is slowly draining into empty whisky bottles. By night, he awakes and spends all his time making labels for the bottles, using images which have been generated on a computer by signals from his brain.
For enthusiasts, Tobaron Waxman’s creation at the Peacock Visual Arts gallery in Aberdeen is an eloquent protest against the dominance of work in our lives, as it encroaches remorsely into our “me-time”. For those of a more sceptical bent, it is just another example of what happens when you let a conceptual artist off the leash.
Mr Waxman, an “inter-disciplinary time-based artist” from Toronto in Canada, appeared modest about his creation, refusing to pose in his hammock for photographers who had arrived to record his latest work. However, no one could dispute that he has applied the full force of his mind to Block of Ice + 1/60.
Seeking to demonstrate how the tyranny of labour intrudes into every second of our lives, over the next four days Mr Waxman will attach electrodes to his head before he drifts off to sleep. These will measure his alpha wave activity – electromagnetic oscillations inside his head – while he is unconscious, creating a form of biofeedback.
The data in turn will be transformed by specialised software package and will be used to power a pre-set internet search for pictures of labouring people on a computer located near by. Finally, the images that are collected will be projected on to the 80cm³ ice block, creating a “dynamically changing collage animated by my brainwaves,” said the artist.
Paradoxically, although visitors to the gallery will only see Mr Waxman asleep, he said his work sends a message of support for workers in Aberdeen and the world over.
“This is very much a gesture in empathy with the exploited, whether the labourer is an office worker, or someone sifting through garbage in a landfill, it is meant to remind us here about the privilege which we enjoy – and to connect us with workers across the world as part of a global ecology of labour,” he said.
Over the four days of the show, the block of ice is expected to melt away. During that time its meltwater will
be filtered, and drained into empty whisky bottles, donated by the Glenfiddich distillery. Mr Waxman’s own waking activities begin after dark, when he will make labels from the image of labour, to stick on the bottles, forming an edition of 500 of “unique sculptural pieces” for sale. All proceeds will be sent to a drinking water charity which operates in the Middle East.
Mr Waxman, who is in his thirties, studied at the Art Instiute of Chicago and produced an early version of his latest work ten years ago. That first installation had been a response to the disabling impact of a sleeping disorder, he revealed. Suffering from extreme exhaustion, inflammation of the joints and unable to walk without the support of sticks, the artist found that the problems of disability were not recognised by any aspect of society.
“In trying to describe how I was feeling I said I felt like a block of ice, to help people outside of my body understand that feeling of stasis of being frozen in place and not being able to produce, in the way that people are expected to be productive,” he said.
Mr Waxman added that though he was now physically fit, the experience had become “a palette for my artmaking.”
Block of Ice + 1/60 is at the Peacock Visual Arts, 21 Castle Street, Aberdeen, until Saturday. Admission free.
Filed under: artists, contemporary art, exhibition, installation, media coverage, performance, planning, publication, updates | Tags: exhibition, media coverage, overwork, publication, update
It’s ironic, to say the least, that I’d find myself facing the same ol’ overwork “traps” so shortly after presenting an exhibition about work/life balance. Old habits die hard and my habit of taking on too much, and not finding sufficient balance between the things I have to do, the things I need to do, and the things I really want to do, is still firmly in place. That being said, I don’t want to give the impression that it’s been all work and no play… I have indeed managed to find time to spend traveling and to gather with amazing friends. Still, balance is a tough thing to achieve and, as much as multi-tasking promises efficiency, the truth is that we can only really do one thing at a time, and we can only really be in one place at a time.
This might explain why I haven’t had much time to work on this blog. I’d still really like to comment on the last phase of the exhibition, Tobaron Waxman’s new media installation and performance, “Block of Ice +1/60”, and I will definitely do that as soon as possible. In short, I am delighted to report that his project was very well received. In a few minutes, I’ll repost the article that appeared in The Times and, in a few days, I hope to share some of the documentation that was collected during the performance.
Although No Time to Lose at PVA is now in the past, related activity is still underway. I am still chatting with other possible venues, and I am working with PVA to produce a follow-up publication. These are all very exciting things for us, and you can be sure I’ll keep you posted on these and other developments!!
All the best,
Filed under: Aberdeen, artists, contemporary art, exhibition, intervention, media coverage, performance, photos | Tags: Aberdeen, artists, intervention, media, performance
I wish I got to see Amy’s performance, as well!! Here is a newspaper article from yesterday’s issue of The Press and Journal
Artist attacks all work and no play culture
new performance questions why new technology makes us work harder
A VISUAL artist who questions why modern technology is making us all work harder performed a new work on the streets of Aberdeen yesterday.
Amy Alexander, aka VJ Ubergeek, was in the city presenting her CyberSpaceLand project to unsuspecting passers-by. The audiovisual performance, a criticism of people who are endlessly working without leisure time, is part of Peacock Visual Arts’ No Time to Lose exhibition.
The American artist performed the project yesterday in locations across Aberdeen using music, video, office furniture and technological devices adapted to suit the purposes of the project.
The work is usually performed in nightclubs and art galleries and was brought to the streets for the first time yesterday. The No Time to Lose exhibition, which will be at Peacock Visual Arts in Castle Street, Aberdeen until July 26, brings together artists from around the world with their interpretations of the theme “overwork”.
Filed under: Aberdeen, artists, contemporary art, exhibition, installation, interactive, intervention, performance, planning, publication, Uncategorized, updates, videos | Tags: art, artists, events, intervenions, performance, planning, publication, screening, upcoming, videos
Hello everyone! Milena here =-)
This past month a I did a great deal more traveling than usual, but it has come to an end and I’m now back in Winnipeg. Being in Aberdeen was wonderful thanks to the amazing staff at Peacock Visual Arts, and the wonderful artists involved with No Time to Lose.
I spent my last day in Aberdeen wandering around downtown, exploring parts that I’d not had a chance to see earlier. Before embarking on that little expedition, I stopped into the gallery to say “good bye” to the show. In some ways, owing to my geographical distance, it feels like it’s over. The reality, however, is that things are just beginning!!
On Friday, June 20, Amy Alexander will perform CyberSpaceLand at various locations in Aberdeen — The Green at 5 p.m., Schoolhill at 6 p.m., and Beach Boulevard at 7 p.m. For more information, click here: http://www.peacockvisualarts.com/archive/157/get-away-from-your-laptop-and-dance
On Tuesday, July 8, cineclub at Peacock Visual Arts will present four short videos…
- Work [Kika Thorne, 1999]
- The Measure of Success [Coleen Finlayson & Cherie Moses, 1987]
- A Cure for Being Ordinary [Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2005]
- Dreams of the Night Cleaners [Leila Sujir, 1996]
From July 22 – 26, Tobaron Waxman will perform his sculptural installation, Block of Ice + 1/60 … more details about that coming soon!
And of course, we have a publication in the works! It’ll be something a little different than a conventional exhibition catalogue because we’re not as keen on having a straight forward document as we are in capturing the effect of the exhibition, including the response and dialogue it helped to generate.
I would love to post photos from the opening reception and panel discussion right now, but unfortunately I have “no time to lose” on a few other obligations. I’m hoping to share images this weekend. And on that note, if you have any that you would like to share, please do! You can email them to the gallery, or post them on Flickr and provide links via the comments section of this blog! We’re all looking forward to sharing a great conversation about the art works included in the exhibition, and the overarching theme of work/life balance.