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Tina Keane
The mise-en-scène of the Diver installation is one of expansion, the image making an almost unlimited interpenetration with its environment.

Materials included 30 TV monitors, blue flourescent tubes, videotape showing shots of water, divers, synchro-swimmers, the frolics of Esther Williams, sequences from Busby Berkeley films and the life-size neon figure of a woman diving. Jeremy Welsh, writing in Art Monthly, has given a fine description:

"The television sets are arranged on the floor with their screens facing upwards, in a spiral formation that is evocative of ripple patterns on water or the shape of a cockle shell. Scattered among the TV sets are the blue florescent tubes, and then suspended in the air about fifteen feet above the screens is the Neon Diver."

Welsh goes on to compare the blue striplights sticking up among the screens to "images from an electron microscope", and all around "the sculpture is reflected, extending itself out through the windows and glass walls".

By contrast the single-screen Neon Diver concentrates its images into a densely-wrought overlay. A very fine tension is established between above and underwater worlds, and between tight order and free-floating ease, as the synchro-swimmers maintain their patters by small gestures and shifts of the body in the fluid medium. At the same time the comforts of lyricism and a conventional beauty are repeatedly punctured by a punk violinist floating in an inflated polythene chair, and the artist herself in evening dress and dark glasses taking a final plunge and rising to the surface like a corpse.

Flashed on every four minutes over a period of a month, the Spectacolour Circus Diver high above Piccadilly Circus appeared to last no longer than a dive itself. You had to be quick to catch it. Rather than dragoon the pixels into a conventional representation of a solid body, Tina Keane exploited their abstract schematism to create monumental figures reminiscent of the smallest and cheapest game-screen, ciphers of a sort of electronic life.

Still from Neon Diver by Tina Keane, 1990
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