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Above: Images from Tate Exchange on 8th and 22 March 2017

In the the year 2016-17 we were part of a wider CCW digital maker project with Tate Exchange. The project allowed us to work in staff-student collaborative groups to evolve a public-facing installation and workshop at Tate for two days in the Spring. Our project at Tate was titled ‘Imagining Technologies’ and involved the creation of notional, analogue viewfinders through which to distort and re-imagine works from Tate’s collection. We were interested in testing handmade forms of virtuality and led up to the project by experimenting with painterly VR software. 

The project began as a response to the educational projects of Roy Ascott. 

We were interested in creating new machines through which to re-collect, distribute and examine works from Tate’s collection - using Ascott's educational projects as a model. Ascott talked of concepts formed and developed via visual means – reinventing syntax to navigate the inadequacies of verbal and numerate systems. We looked at how artists can connect with conceptual digital research via analogue experiments – developing practical analogues of conceptual, behavioural and environmental issues brought up by artworks within the collection.


Practically, our two days at Tate Exchange involved engaging the public in the production and function of viewfinders  we produced through which to examine four specific works in the collection. We also invited material production in response to some direct questions posed by the lead group, following the methodology of Ascott’s Groundcourse but actively articulating issues arising within fine art as it continues to respond to and become activated by digital interfaces and modes of capture.


When we first came up with our ideas for the project we considered the following example interpretive questions in relation to works on display at Tate:


1/ Imagine you wake up one morning to find you are Colin Self’s Leopardskin Nuclear Bomber No. 2 (1963) Visually restructure the parts to form a new identity.

2/ Imagining that Beatriz Gonzalez’ Interior Decoration (1981) is an analogue for an event that included sound, construct an analogue for the sound in (substitute name of artwork here).


3/ Analyse and dissect Louise Bourgeois’ Cell (Eyes and Mirrors) (1989–93) Visually discuss its cellular structure.


Tate Exchange collaborators from BA Fine Art, Painting at Wimbledon:

Christina Andrews, India Gabb, Zoë Mendelson, Joanna Sluman, Ted Targett,Laura Tillotson, Alex Veness, Megan Visser, Jaime Welsh, Zoe Wheeler, Lucy Wheeler, Lois Williams, Yang Xu, Siqing (Ash) Zhang

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