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Artworks that explore the boundaries between physical public space and the virtual space
For this proposal Thomson researched, developed, built and tested a mechanical means by which a random selection of web searches being made by people around the world can be intercepted then broadcast live as an endless 'poetry' for a viewing public. It was realised through collaborating with Eddie Berg who is the Artistic Director at The British Film Institute (BFI Southbank). Thomson looked particularly at flap sign technology, which was commonly used in the twentieth century as a way of displaying travel information in stations and airports. His aim was to repurpose this kind of analogue technology to display the live virtual data -to offer up a persistent snapshot of humanity, and its needs and wants as played out at every moment on internet search engines. The resulting monumental artwork is a silent witness but something, which a passing audience can engage with in an immediate and meaningful way either fleetingly or for longer periods. It has been staged for extended periods of time at two of Britain's premiere cultural institutions; first at the BFI Southbank in London and then at The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool (etc) offering two exciting contexts within which this semi-permanent artwork was tested and evaluated.
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