The social meaning of things (2008)
installation with video and live network/ Google earth feed, furniture, hurricane fencing, environmental sound + headphones
In et al.’s the social meaning of things obsolescence and paranoia dominate. The installation constructs a wired system, partially blocked off with security fencing. Inside the space are grey wooden chairs, multiple headphones and a modified projection of Google Earth, looping and skipping. It is not immediately clear if the viewer is allowed in. Monotonous voices fill the space intoning political, social and religions platitudes; multiple messages unintelligible to the receiver. The work is redolent of surveillance gone wrong, of information divorced from meaning. It is a desperate attempt to control a territory. It is a nightmare of omniscience.
Et al. Creators of grey, enveloping installations that whisper, hum, chant and drone, the et al collective’s works integrate multi-media and network techniques with sculptural elements. Video manipulation and programmed temporal and spatial sequencing of audio animates environments redolent of obsolescence, surveillance and anxiety.Robert Storr (Dean of the Yale School of Art and director of the 2007 Venice Biennale) awarded et al. the 2004 Walter’s Prize for their installation restricted access. In 2005 et al. represented New Zealand at the 51st Venice Biennale with the fundamental practice. Other exhibitions include: 4. Invalidity of hermeneutic: Methods of Investigation at the Museum de Pavlijeons, Almere, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2004; the seventeen practices at ProKab, Frankfurt, 2004; the second of the ordinary practices at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane Australia, 2006 and in New Zealand arguments for immortality at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth in 2003; restricted access at the Auckland Art Gallery in 2004, maintenance of social solidarity – instance 5 at SCAPE 2006 in Christchurch and et al. the fundamental practice_ regroup, reorder, restore at Artspace Auckland in 2007.