The aPANOPTICON is a sculptural artwork which functions as a ,viewer operated, remotely controlled, miniature art gallery. It enables the viewer to explore its hidden contents and to view the results in the form of a projected live video on an adjacent wall. The aPANOPTICON took nine months to design and construct and had its debut in the "Anti Gallery Gallery Show" at the Espacio Gallery in January 2015.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jane: installation

On installation day, I brought as many objects as I could fit into my wheeled suitcase and hand luggage. It would have been expensive on EasyJet, but luckily I only had one change of train and a short walk at either end of my journey.

I aimed to choose as much variety of texture as I could, but I didn't have a definite plan on how I would curate my objects. The whole project is experiemental, and I wanted to enter into it in that spirit - to see what happened.

In fact, the wider curation of objects near to each other becomes largely irrelevant. While the operator can move the view in any direction they choose, the aPanopticon restricts this view to one that is totally blinkered. Objects that are on a single shelf will be seen together, but there is no need to set objects on separate shelves so that they are in visual balance or opposition to one another in the way you would in a gallery setting because they cannot be seen simultaneously.
Objects in place, covers hung
Closer view of objects in place (with lighting on)
The aPanopticon controls the quantity of what you see at any one point. You can have single, isolated objects on one shelf and multiple, instense objects on another shelf. In a normal setting, this could be uncomfortable, but the aPanopticon means that this contrast can be made without the consideration of a wider, peripheral view which might mean neither looks good.

I had brought prints on tissue paper with me that I thought I might hang in the background. However, the focus of the camera is fixed on the midpoint of the shelves. Hanging the prints in the background would have put them out of focus which I felt would not have suited the images.
Rejected print on tissue paper
Instead, I chose to hang a screenprint on a very openweave muslin. The muslin is crinkled, and the image is larger and bolder. This meant the lack of focus was less of an issue, while it added a further layer of texture and translucency. Also, the muslin was very easy to pin to the canvas hangings of the aPanopticon.
aPanopticon view of screenprint on muslin
The only difficulty in installing the work was that the shelves are quite wobbly when being handled. Some objects fell over while other shelves were being fixed or arranged. I don't think there is any movement when all is set up, but as I was not there during the exhibition hours, I decided that I would secure some of the pieces. I was able to clip the perspex stencils and labels to the metal cables with bulldog clips. 

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