The next talk of the week was by artist Alia Pathan. Alia is a London based artist who studied her BA at Nottingham Trent and her MA at Goldsmiths.
She started off her presentation by showing us the installation piece she completed for her MA. The installation piece was made up of two steel screens hanging from the ceiling and three steel boxes on the floor. She is using materials commonly found in film making but interpreting them in her own way. On two of the boxes she uses lighting gel to create an underwater feel and upon the screens and one of the steel boxes her video she was showing the video Marine Spirit Attack Reprise. The video Marine Spirit Attack Reprise looks at the idea of the life of data and the moments we collect as humans, in particular she focuses on the banal information such as birthdays or the kind of things you would use as security questions on a website. She looks in detail about the way in which we relate to technology and how technology relates to us.
Her second piece was completed in her residency in Moscow where she discovered the museum of Intra Ocular Lens Surgery. This surgery gives contact lenses to people who cannot have laser surgery. Whilst at the museum she found out about the travelling eye clinic which took form of a boat which travelled around the Mediterranean enabling those who could afford it to have this surgery to have it done. In one part of the museum there was television screens that would show the doctors the process as the operation was taking place. She was intrigued that technology could enable us to see in such a macro way. This inspired her sculpture Peter Pixel and I which incorporated a selfie stick with an iPhone on the end showing the surgery, a bulb which represented the eye itself and a flag which acts at a homage to the surgery and uses images taken from the book Errors and Complications in eye surgery.
The last piece she showed us is an unfinished piece of her work on her residency in China. She spent a month in Beijing and then spent time travelling around. She wanted to explore the technology and excess technology in China. The LED light store in one of the biggest technology markets in the world based in Shenzhen gave her her starting point. She then moved on to the remote city of Guiyuzen where the only building on the map was the Debao Leisure Restaurant.Alia knew that in this poor and deprived area there were lots of waste technology dumping sites and she wanted to explore these, she found a lot of dumped computers and in particular electric bikes. Her video response to this is in four parts, the first part looks at the market in Shenzhen where a women is replacing an iPhone screen, the second part is in the same location looking at a young boy opening up his friends iPhone to fix the camera inside. The third and fourth parts are located in Guiyuzen from the electronic waste site and then a short footage of a man melting plastic and mixing it with chemicals to collect precious metals from the dumped technology.
I found Aria talk really interesting as she takes a broad range of sources and conducts research in a way that is shown in her work. Her sculptures and installations are minimalist but work well in each setting they are placed. The video Marine Spirit Attack Reprise caught my attention and its futuristic theme interested me a lot, I admired the high quality of the film and the way it was shot and produced as a journey . It was also a very frightening theme because the content of the video in several decades time could be entirely possible and we could have our memories taken from us and replaced. It was a moment to think about. Even though her overall theme is technology she has interpreted this in several ways each way thought provoking and well thought through. Overall a positive and intriguing talk!
Marine Spirit Attack Reprise :https://vimeo.com/122833981
Peter Pixel and I : https://vimeo.com/134679988