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Indepth Arts News:

"Variable Dimensions in Working Practice"
2002-06-07 until 2002-06-16
Castlefield Gallery
Manchester, M15 4GB, , GB Great Britain (UK)

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 shapes.

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.

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