Blitz, by artist Tom Estes, a large scale digital projection on the front of the magnificent neo-classical facade of The Weston Park Museum in Sheffield. The projection took place on June 16th 2016 for the opening night of the Yorkshire Festival.
Installation work Watchers: Multiverse by Tom Estes- Digital images that seems to glow on the screen, drawing on real science, Biblical narrative and science fiction all at once.
I’ve been thinking about SF and new technologies. In recent years science and technology have begun to catch up with many of the fantasies of Science Fiction. Many of the fantasies and illusions of the past are no longer contradictions of reality, but instead an integral part of our everyday lives. So while it may seem as though philosophy and science are taking the place of religion and that our culture is becoming more logical, if you look at what has been happening religious ideas are coming back strongly. And the internet has played an active role in the dissemination of religious ideas. And so my 'installation' work introduces a new kind of artwork that functions more as an art proposal for a partially realized exhibition; a document of visual and spatial modes of presentation that theorizes a different approach.
I often feel like I experience more and more of life 'online' rather than in 'real time'. So my work reflects this as the exhibition and on-line proliferation of my photographic images allow the 'proposed installation' to spill out from it's initial structure into an expanded field of activity. The state of being unrealized often implies the potential for realization. But creating an art-world-as-fiction by intentionally leaving the initial project unrealized, raises the question of whether this project should be understood as an online representation – using fictional space to comment on the ‘real’ world - or as intervention- actually reordering the real world.
I begin the process of creating an installation in which a video is projected onto a three dimensional object- in this instance a book. I then document the installation by photographing it. However this 'real time and space installation' project is never intended to be carried out but instead only set up in order to be depicted by a secondary means- through photographic documentation. This has the effect of flattening the three-dimensional object back into a two dimensional image while paralyzing the time based sequence into a single image. This closed circuit of illusion is intended to mimic and merge with the mass media desire for immediate novelty. By reducing of the 'installation' to a single image the work references and anticipates the widespread practice of sourcing images found on the web.
I. Title: Watchers: Multiverse
ecent scientific theory points to the possibility of a multiverse, in which many different histories play out simultaneously.
In his practice Estes has focused on conditions that shape both production and reception of art.
II. Title: Overlords
Medium: Digital Projection, photographed and re-projected
III. Title: Watchers: The Crystal Skull
Medium: Digital projection, photographed and re-presented as a digital display
In his practice Estes has focused on conditions that shape both production and reception of art. At the core of Estes' work is an attention to the paradox of using intervention and history as meta-narrative devices. In 'Watchers' Estes has appropriated the Sci-fi image of ancient and highly advanced alien civilizations- and literally projected it directly onto a Bible open at 'Genesis'. By merging these two existing narratives and their related ideological fictions (alien super-beings alongside our own cultural beliefs in an all-powerful creator) the artist transforms both narratives, giving rise to a host of new associations.
By merging the common and the absurd, Estes alters not only our perception of Christianity, but also highlights our obsession with tabloid sensation and web fuelled social activity. So putting aside the question of whether abduction reports are literally and objectively “real”, their popularity and their intriguing appeal are easily understood. Conspiracy Theory is compelling and fascinating- but it is also as old as the world itself.