Today we got a guided tour of Manchester Art Gallery's current exhibition The Imitation Game by Clare Gannaway, the contemporary art curator. It was a great to get all the inside information that you don't get when you walk round the show by yourself. It was full of a real range of sci-art instillations with a particular focus on technology, I think my favourite piece was Velonaki's Fish-Bird - two wheelchairs who roam freely inside the gallery communicating with movement and text from notes that are printed. They have a very human characteristic to how they interact with both each other and gallery visitors, they are inquisitive and curious in their movements which is a fundamentally animalistic approach. That is why it works so well for me, there is an obvious presence of people even though there clearly isn't any body.
I also really enjoyed the robotic machines of James Capper's, especially how he actually builds them too, playing a hand in all areas from design to the finished piece. It would have been great to see the big one in action although it looked impressive standing still in the gallery, another great touch, for me, was the plinths that the smaller grabbers and cutting machines were sitting on had been shaped by the tool that was lay on it.
Tove Kjellmark's work featured to robots deep in discussion until you got too close and interrupted their conversation upon which they would stop and look at you or tell you off for making them stop. Working in collaboration with the School of Computer Science at Manchester University along with Furhat Robotics, Tove will continue to create new robotic artwork.
After our guided tour we met with some of the curators and all pitched our ideas for the thursday late. My idea is to have a 3D exhibition so that people can walk around the work and view it as a whole but also as it's separate elements. I want the Squid on a plinth on one side, to signify the Science aspect and show where we have collected our bioluminescent bacteria, the vase of glowing flowers will be on the other plinth, signifying the Art aspect, hinting at classic paintings like Van Gough's Sunflowers (and possibly Starry Night if they actually glow!) The collaboration element for me is accentuated by the introduction of the two ornate frames that will be attached together and suspended in-between the plinths. It will be just the frames with no glass or picture, they will act as a mirror, being able to see the obvious physical similarities of the bioluminescent bacteria present in both but also the similarities between science and art. There is also the resembling notion of two natural things being plucked from their normal surroundings and brought into the gallery for the name of Art and Science, it is a ridiculous journey these bacteria will have been on and all for no, immediately apparent, valuable or useful reason. This concept is meant to gently nod towards the conversation of how ethical Art and Science really are and look at how pragmatic their practices can be. Below is a rough sketch of my initial idea.
We were told that our idea was quite ambitious and we would have some problems with light and hanging the frames, but I am really keen on this idea and will endeavour to do my best to pull it off!