[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Alan Koeninger – The House

Artist Statement

A screen book; a traditional book format that has been transferred to a televised screen format with limited interactivity and non-linearity. It is comprised of text, image and sound exploring notions of domesticity in and around the House. The book is displayed on a flat touch screen (via back-projection) attached to a false wall at standard eye height. There are several domestic elements that are incorporated into the work; photographic and video images of decor, helpful homely tips for the merry homemaker and acoustical reference to domestic activities and events (such as dinner parties, household appliances, etc.). It is through the interpretation of-andbetween each domestic element that meaning can be”determined” by the”reader” from the book. A lot can be understood about this so-called”reading” or deconstruction of domestic spaces and activities within the Home, readings that subtly affect how we understand and relate to others in and around the environment of the House. I am also interested in the shifting meaning and references of decor over time. I have attempted to shift my gaze to the insignificant, banal surfaces of the House, like wallpaper, carpet and the such. What can be understood from surfaces like these? Over time, the intended signification of the design can change. Indeed, if the occupants change (come from different social backgrounds), meaning and context shifts again.The collection of various fashions, decor and domestic activities within the artwork are an attempt to try to understand and visualize the bizarre relationship we have with our Place and its affect on us, on our social behaviour. The relationship of images of decor, sounds of appliances and dinner parties, and helpful how-to tips attempt to answer the question “to what extent has social engineering through design, image and how-to-live-tips affected domestic life?”.

  • Alan Koeninger (Australia) Currently a full-time Masters candidate at RMIT, Melbourne, Austraila, Koeninger completed his Bachelor of Visual Art in 1990 at the Australian National University in Photomedia. He has previously lectured in computer aided art at the Australian National University, Canberra School of Art. Selected group exhibitions include: 1996: Homocentric landscapes, photographic exhibition; A Matter of Making, CSA Gallery, Canberra Australia; The House, computer installation: Digital Arts Festival, CSA Gallery, Canberra Australia. 1995: Megalopolis CD Rom, International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA95), Montreal Canada. 1994: Megalopolis CD Rom, Video Art Festival, National Art Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 1993: Ministry of Culture, photographic exhibition, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Canberra Australia. 1990: Perception and Construction of the Environment, photographic exhibition; Stand By, CSA Gallery, Canberra Australia. 1989:50 Works from the Photomedia Workshop, touring South East Asia; Capital Art, Canberra Contemporary Art Space Gallery, Canberra Australia; Excursions into the Landscape, Photo space Gallery, Canberra Australia.1988: Art for the South East forests, Bondi Pavillion, Sydney Australia.

Special thanks to sponsors Apple Australia and RMIT University, Melbourne.