The newly opened, purpose-designed Castlefield Gallery presents the
conclusion of five recent commissions of the Variable-D Gallery: the
poster and magazine virtual gallery space. The work includes
digitally generated images from artists Dean Hughes, Padraig Timoney,
Chris Speed, Stewart Home, plus Suki Chan and Dinu Li.
Responding to the growing interest in the forms of exhibition spaces
for new and emerging technologies, director Roger McKinley used the
hi-tech meets lo-fi approach, buying advertising space in established
print publications. The 5 commissioned images have featured on the
pages of specialist art and youth lifestyle magazines
(including BLUEPRINT, Dazed And Confused, Flux, and i-D) throughout 2001/02.
For artist Dean Hughes, his 'Flat Staples' image suggests a template
for a page that would usually not have such geometry (i.e. being much
like the flat shape of a cardboard box before it is made into its
functional shape). So what is seen are images of staples in various
positions or 'states of flatness': some are opening, others closing.
Artist Padraig Timoney responded to the virtual space with
'Livingstone in Deadwood', in which a series of symbolic objects
including a corn dolly, lizard, drinking straw and lid, take on a
relationship to the axes of 3-Dimensions: up, down, and across plus
'back': the illusion of depth within the 2-D form of a flat page.
As researcher for the Centre for Science, Technology and Art Research
part of the University of Plymouth, Chris Speed created 'Production
Room', to expose the VRML code that is used in the construction of
computer 3D modelling. His work consists of a text (or code) version
of information that allows the VRML software to create recognisable
Writer/artist/critic Stewart Home stages an intimate moment with
himself and a male blow-up doll in 'Trip: High Modernism with
Lysergic Emanations'. The image of the doll is purposely manipulated
to raise its profile above the surface of the picture plane as a
subtle look at image and space transgression -central themes to the
Variable-D Gallery's investigation.
Finally, artist and performer Suki Chan teams up with photographer
Dinu Li to create an image combining 3-D graphics, photography, and
drawing that depicts a scene from the fable of 'Princess Jin'. The
image is an evocative and ambiguous way to conclude this series of
commissions that seems to unravel the aims and ambitions of the
project and the future of image technology.