Exhibited as part of Awfully Wonderful: Science Fiction in Contemporary Art, curated by Lizzie Muller and Bec Dean Performance Space
14 April to 13 May 2011
Ten historical objects on loan from The Power Museum, Sydney, arranged in the exhibition space. The work is accompanied by a printed annotated map. Dimensions variable.
I was approached to work with ten objects, on loan from The Powerhouse Museum, to create a piece for the exhibition. My immediate response was to place them amongst the other artworks. The disjuncture between the artworks and the objects left a gap for the visitors to project their own imagination, perhaps to ponder the connections between them, perhaps to wonder about different possibilities. By providing an annotated map, the visitors were invited play an active role in making their own discoveries.
These ten objects were ‘devices of wonder’. Some mapped our place in the universe, some measured the space and time that we inhabit, some used technology to entertain, whilst others used science to deceive; but they were all crafted objects that spoke of the enchantment objects can still hold in the world in which we live.
When confronted with these, now obsolete things, our curiosity is aroused by the sense of mystery that enshrouds them. They appear mysterious because we have lost the context within which they once existed. To us they are like objects from elsewhere, perhaps from the past, but also from some possible future. In attempting to fathom their possible meaning, we are compelled to experience these devices directly; we study their physicality: size, weight, appearance, and features. In doing so, our minds are filled with possibilities, we imagine the place they once held in the world, or perhaps we may even imagine a place for them in our world or in some future world.