United Visual Artists: Momentum


At the Barbican, there is an installation by United Visual Artists in which you wander through a dark corridor underneath swinging pendulums each of which bears a light source. Because the pendulums are not true, freely swinging pendulums (being somehow motorized), they do not have the period that they should and your expectations for their movement is subverted to create an altered sense of time and motion.

On exiting Momentum, you are immediately solicited for your thoughts on the installation, invited to tumble your response, write poetry about it, an so on. It is an artwork that is intended to have an internet presence. It is what Mark Poster calls underdetermined:

In a museum one contemplates a paining or even enters into an installation. In the former case one is moved by the sublime, the unpresentable in the work of art. In the latter case one forms the work of art while observing it, since by moving within it one may instigate changes in lighting or sound that are part of the installation...The image on the Internet is virtual in the sense that it only becomes actual through the countless transformations it undergoes as people copy and change it. A type of object thus emerges into social space that is overdetermined in the sense of being structured through multiple contradictory practices but is also underdetermined in the sense that it remains an invitation to a new imaginary. (Poster 2001:18)

Even though Momentum is installed at the Barbican, one gets the sense that the curators are more interested in the way in which it can be extended rather than the work itself. This serves as an example of the way in which the internet restructures somatic experience.

Momentum showing until the 1st of June, 2014.

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