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Communion    2003

Mild Steel, Copper, Perspex, Water, Lights, Pump, Car Battery, Latex, etc.    Approx 180cm high, approx 200kg.

This piece started out with me just playing with some plastic doll's limbs and a rozor blade, and it just grew and grew and grew. I was thinking about mass-media, and the way that it's participants feed of the garbage in the intellectual ether around them, and then generate more garbage and excrete it back into the same ether. Television, movies, sporting events. Cross promotion. Buy the t-shirt of the movie of the book based on the t-shirt of the same name. Media seems to contain so many pop-culture references, it now contains nothing else.

I've always felt alienated from popular culture. I choose not to read magazines or watch television, which the late great Bill Hicks described as 'taking black paint to your third eye'. I'm rarely exposed to advertising, and so I'm genuinely puzzled by a lot of what I see around me. I don't get why people would choose to watch Friends instead of making them, or why insecure 18 year old girls exchange pictures of each other on social networking sites to reassure themselves that they're pretty enough, instead of going out and living their lives. maybe I've got a skewed view, but I can't help but think it's all a little crazy.

So this is my take on it all. People sucking down whatever they're fed by those they percieve as being superior to them in social heirachies, and thoughtlessly dumping on those below them. Everyone feeds off everyone else for spiritual and emotional sustainence, while they're all trapped in the same tank of bubbling excrement.

This monstrosity was one of the largest, heaviest and most expensive things I've ever built. The tank was a perspex cylinder that created some cool lensing effects as you walked around it. It's a shameless reference to Sci-fi horror, which I love, particularly the 'Alien' films. (Ok, so I sometimes indulge in mass-media.) The copper element came from the copper garden sculptures that I was making around the same time, and references another one of my favorite things, the look and feel of nineteenth century industrial age machinery, all shiny brass and steam pistons and whistles. The top houses a light and pump setup running off a timer so that when you reached up to wack a button on top, the whole thing lit up and bubbles started boiling through the tank to make its contents jiggle. Once a tutor at the Art School arranged for a bunch of us to walk up the road to the medical school's specimen library. The sign said not to touch, but I couldn't resist picking up a bottled featus and gently shaking it. Sure enough it jiggled in exactly the way I'd hoped. Why don't they make sno-globes like that?

The thing was a considerable effort to assemble and install, and leaked just enough to stain the floor of the gallery during my third year exhibition. He he.

Alas the piece is now destroyed. Nothing lasts for ever.

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