As a science fiction enthusiast and collector of junk and everyday curiousities I thougholy recomend a trip to the Museum of Contemporary Art an exhibition titled New Romance is currently showing and it is off the hook…and into a vat of Stelarc and Nina Sellars body fat.
MEDA Exhibition Excursion Blog Post
Onto the description of a work that stood out to me, Ian Burns’ Scroll (2016). Constructed from over fifty interconnected digital alarm clocks, Scroll appears to be a black grid of clocks which display ’12:00′ and make a ‘Click’ sound as they blip on and off at varying times. The work work’s physical ‘look’; a partly reflective black plastic grid of time, the centre of this grid hangs just slightly higher than an average persons eye level. Scroll makes no attempt at hiding its working power cables, hung from under the alarm clocks into a black makeshift wood box that feeds into the wall powerpoints.
This presents additional importants to the iner-workings of the clock; the cables and black wooden box. The installation and placement of Scroll, Its lighting, sound and relationship to its surrounding works would require consultation with the MCA curator and Burns himself and/or his representative before the exhibition. Although Burns’ adjacent work, Circle(2016), apears to be constructed more hapazardly it compliments Scroll‘s rectangular shape and its black and white color scheme. A neat contrasting featured installation are the vibrantly ‘neon lit book’ installations seen in the background.
Although the curator will not be responsible directly for all tasks related to the installation and opening of an exhibition, she/he is responsible for ensuring that the work, and the exhibition itself, is presented to the best of everyone’s abilities and in a manner that is beneficial for the artists and for each work of art. Careful planning and attention to detail will help achieve this goal.
– Legacy Curatoral Toolkit, Chapter 11.0, p.84
In Ian Burns’ art practice he uses everyday consumer electronics and household items, The ideas Burns explores with this work are reimaginings of these openly accessable items. Burns does this by preparing and arranging the items into a comentary; the work represents an alternative key in understanding of world discourses. Consumer devices such as the alarm clock often define a human activity, as in Circle fans are used to blow latex goves around continually in response to both the “Australian news about the treatment of asylum seekers(New Romance Page, MCA website.)“ Burns’ alam clock (Scroll) defines waking. “Burns was inspired to make this work while thinking about how ‘morning talk shows on the radio are pervading our thinking with noise’(New Romance Page, MCA website.)” Scroll, a key in understanding an attack of unpervaded free thought.
The first physical/emotional response I had to this work was a compulsion, a kind of curiousity to investigate, I read the work is by Ian Burns and my mind concludes that the work stands out. this is because to me this work is unlike any of the Burns works i’ve seen. It wasn’t deconstructed and appropriated like Ode to Lady Jane (2007) or Circle.
This was a purposeful decision, Burns had decided to show the clocks as a smbol defining our paranoia: “When I posted a picture online of a busted open digital alarm clock I was surprised at how many people came to the idea that I was building a bomb, which only went to prove the level at which tabloid driven paranoias are seeping into our thinking and attitudes…IMPULSIVE RESPONSES ARE REVEALING OUR FEARS AND THEIR SOURCES. SO THESE CLOCKS HAVE ALL HAD THEIR SOUND CAPABILITY ALTERED TO MAKE A KIND OF ‘TICKING’ WHEN THEY COME ON. Ian Burns (MCA Discover New Romance page)”.
Burn’s decision to keep the objects’ generic alarm clock visage brings a corralative fear response in line with its cultural imprint, one of the iconic hollywood movie Bomb. Film & television turn a red glow into a source of impulsive fear.