Chinese whispers

279 words

Colin Perry

This page was made some time ago and may contain information which is now out of date

Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth’s work for Assembly is essentially an expanded version of their blog. On their blog they’ve posted a number of video clips capturing expanded notions of avant-garde and cinematic movement for the Youtube/Vimeo generation. They’ve done so as a sort of Chinese whispers conversation, responding to each other’s themes in order to generate content full of interesting slippages.

Watching them, I think of the sense of journeying in William Raban’s films and all those other experimental filmmakers who have focussed on chance and incidence, abstraction and urban and pastoral naturalism. These are separated into categories (advance, aeroplane, bridge, car, down, escalators, fan, fire, fountain, glare, grass) with the repeated motif of the camera scanning surfaces from pavements to skylines, service pipes in architectural settings, and incidental sounds. I guess the genesis of these sounds – Kim chatting to taxi driver in New York, Kim falling over in Paris (“ça va? Oi, oi…”), and the sound of wind buffeting in the microphone.

The encounter with the work offline – in the Jerwood Space in London – is rather different. It recalls interactive art works from the late 1980s and ’90s – think of Gary Hill’s Tall Ships (1992) or Jeffrey Shaw’s earlier geek-fest bike trips into cyberspace. The difference, in many ways is to do with absence – in Coleman and Hogarth’s work, we are always removed from the original, always seem to arrive after the event.

Here’s Jeffrey Shaw in the late ’80s:



And here’s an image of someone using the touch-pad mouse in Hogarth and Coleman’s installation (the differences are what’s interesting):

Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth at the Jerwood Space
Kim Coleman & Jenny Hogarth, (installation view), Mixed media installation, 2012. Photo: Madeleine Botet de Lacaze. Courtesy the artists