|Creators||Thomson, J. and Craighead, A.|
Artwork using Internet search engine technology to make people’s online desires, interests and orientations visible, presenting random search term enquiries in a variety of forms including a railway information sign, an art gallery installation and an online website. activity, curiosity and desire. The project sampled and analysed how ‘search terms’ were used by the public as live data. It then
re-presented them on a website, in a gallery and latterly on a bespoke mechanical railway flap-sign, thus creating a snapshot of
online enquiry at any give time.
Beacon’s originality lies in the manner in which it has taken abstract digital data and found different expressions for it. Thus the
work extends debates in media arts that focus on purely virtual and online expressions of data, by developing online information
into new non-digital material forms and contexts such as railway signs.
This research has been developed over a three year period. Initially with software only and then on receipt of AHRC small grant
(£5000) with the lauded Italian manufacturer Solari of Udine, Italy and BFI Southbank. It represents the culmination of a body of
research that asks whether live data can be used as material to make artworks.
Beacon was specially developed for the Tate Britain programme 40 artists 40 days, produced in conjunction with the UK
Olympic Games bid and intended to “create a unique countdown calendar that will focus attention on Britain’s exceptional
creative talent”. The project is exhibited by the Tate website ‘Tate Online’ presently in perpetuity. The gallery version of this work
is currently held in five private collections in the USA and is shown regularly in galleries around the world. The railway flap-sign
is owned by BFI Southbank and will eventually be sited there permanently.
All work is developed jointly and equally between Craighead and her collaborator, Jon Thomson, (Slade).
|Web address (URL)||http://www.tate.org.uk/40artists40days/thomson_craighead.html|