Monday 17 June 2013

Katie Paterson, In Another Time

In Another Time, by Katie Paterson,

at the Mead Gallery, University of Warwick.

Investigating deep distance and time, and engaging with present researches in astronomy and astrophysics, Paterson's work can be seen as a metaphor, transferring meaning from one object to another, from one image to another, moving through the trajectory of space and time. In this process she makes distant things seem close and intimate, while at the same time making us consider the beauty of the universe.

This kind of investigation has been at the core of all of her work. Streetlight Storm in 2009 turned distant flashes of lightning into flickers of ordinary street illuminations.  For Campo del Cielo, Field of the Sky, in 2012, she melted down a substantial meteorite and had it recast, as, in effect, a model of itself.

For Second Moon she plans to Fedex a small piece of the moon around the world for a full year, so that it is continually travelling and orbiting the earth once every three days. In this work, the circulation of heavenly bodies turns into mundane, everyday logistics while at the same time the astrophysical fact is brought succintly down to earth.  The work is ambitiously metaphorical and at the same time oddly literal.

Vatnajokull, 2007 (neon light, book, sound recording)

An underwater microphone lead into Jokulsarlon lagoon - an outlet glacial lagoon of Vatnajokull, filled with icebergs - connected to an amplifier and a mobile phone, which creates a live phone line to the glacier. The number +44(0)7757 001122 can be called from any telephone in the world and the listener is put through to Vatnajokull. (In other versions of the work, the creaking of the ice as it melted and retreated was recorded and mastered onto three LPs made of frozen water from the glacier itself, and the records were filmed playing before they liquified).

History of Darkness, 2010 (ongoing, 2200 handwritten slides)

A slide archive which is a life-long project, which eventually will contain hundreds upon thousands of images of darkness from different times and places in the history of the Universe, spanning billions of years. Each image is handwritten with its distance from Earth in light years, and arranged from one to infinity.

looking closer.

All the Dead Stars, 2009, (laser etched anodised aluminium)
A map documenting the locations of just under 27,000 dead stars - all that have been recorded and observed by humankind.

looking closer

looking closer

The Dying Star Letters, 2011 - ongoing (ink on paper)

Upon hearing the news that a star has died, the artist writes and posts a letter announcing its death.

a letter.

As the World Turns, 2010 (prepared record player)

A turntable that rotates in time with the Earth playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons. If performed from beginning to end, the record would play for four years. The movement is so slow it isn't visible to the naked eye, yet the player is turning, imperceptibly.

Light Bulb to Similate Moonlight, 2008

Light bulb with incandescent filament.  Also, part of the installation,  a series of  'lifetimes', each set contains a sufficient quantity of light bulbs to provide a person with a lifetime supply of moonlight, based on the current average life-span for a human being alive in 2008 (each bulb burns for 2000 hours, a lifetime contains 289 bulbs).

In the same darkened  room there was also a self-playing grand piano, as part of the installation Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon), 2007.

This is a form of radio transmission whereby messages are sent in Morse code from Earth, reflected from the surface of the moon, and then received back on earth. For this work Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata was translated into Morse code and sent to the moon via E.M.E. Returning to earth fragmented by the moon's surface, it has been re-translated into a new score, the gaps and absences becoming intervals and rests. This new 'moon-altered' score plays on the self-playing grand piano.

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