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Sites of Construction

Erika Tan
1998
Variable Duration, looped VHS 3 Channel,
3 channel video installation with slide projection

Sites of Construction

Interactive installation in association with a series of interactive or participatory works (series called Sites of Construction) exploring the iconography and cultural meanings attributed to the 'grid'.

Sites of Construction used a multiplicity of media to explore the iconography of the grid and its usage throughout the last two centuries as a tool for measurement, mapping and the construction of difference. The work consisted of 3 'sites', the cultural body; the audience in relation to their agency through games and the spatial location of work within the gallery. Sites of construction consists of 3 video works with a fourth image projected onto the floor. In each the structure of the grid is perceivable, whilst also being disrupted or corrupted through the insertion of a body into the projected frame of the grid. The resulting images transform the power of the grid as a tool of control to a seemingly abstract series of moving gestures, shapes and lines.

Artist quote: "Forms of interactivity and the incorporation of responses from an audience have been a strong continuum in my work. The audience as a force for change; the questioning of hierarchies of sight over experience, in the 'reading' and interpretation of work; the transformation of sites into mechanisms for examining layers of socialisation, constitute the basic underlying motivations in my work."

"Sites of Construction actively sought responses from its audience. The incorporation of physical interaction within the pieces allowed for elements of change and the creation of a space through which the participant/viewer was able to master their own narrative. The work also attempted to undermine the monopoly of sight in the interpretation and experience of 'reading' art works. Interactive installation offered the possibility of non-linear narratives that included and recorded the dialogue between myself, the work, and those who actively or passively became part of the work. It also attempted to reference the viewer as an agency for change and raised the question of how people wittingly or unwittingly perpetuate ideologies." Artist quote from Sites of Construction catalogue, 1995.

Sites of Construction: Floor game: rubic cube, body.

Commissioned and first shown by Towner Art Gallery and Local Museum, Eastbourne.

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