[ISEA2002] Artists Statement: Anneke Pettican & Spencer Roberts – The Trespass of Her Gesture

Artists Statement

‘The trespass of her gesture’ revolves around comings and goings of various kinds. Reciprocal relationships between artist, audience, chance and text converge in a loosely choreographed dance. The key protagonists in this dance are a virtual graffiti artist and her evolving text. Their partnership is complex and it is unclear which of them takes the lead. Embodied by multiple networked projections, the virtual graffiti artist sprays a series of messages onto a large-scale public surface. The messages are presented in a random order and the duration of the performance is open-ended. The message content is site specific and the writing decays subtly over time. Though it begins as a tabula-rasa, the space is slowly transformed into a complex electronic palimpsest. Eventually, as if through a process of forgetting, it returns to its original state. Linguistic tensions are created throughout by chance collisions in the layering of the text and the fragmentation of each messages structure. Both the projected artist and her writing can vary in size. Manipulations of scale in terms of pattern and gesture are key factors in relation to her performance. The graffiti artist attempts to keep her practise covert. If approached she vanishes, only to reappear elsewhere within the networked space. The medium of projection may sit uncomfortably with many conceptions of graffiti. In spite of this the messages both disrupt and can be disrupted by the flow of people within the space.
Approaching the work one finds various graffiti writings spread over the pavement and a hissing aerosol sound is hanging in the air? As a constantly generating text in one time frame, The Trespass of her Gesture renews itself permanently, forming new shapes and constellations, to create an elusive textual choreography, similar to an improvised dance. The sprayer herself is a mature, yet fragile and very feminine figure, (in her outlook and vintage clothing far more Emily Pankhurst than Hip Hop) to finally extend the work into a more space and timeless realm.” _Andrea Zapp

  • Anneke Pettican‘s installations have been shown wide at international festivals and exhibitions. They focus on public use of space and reveal how our identities and experiences are mediated and subtlety controlled using technology. She is a co-director of Brass Art (UK).
  • Spencer Roberts‘ philosophical interests include the writings of Henri Bergson and the later Wittgenstein. His focus is upon issues relating to time, agency and personal identity. He favours processes that blur our concepts of the physical and virtual, whilst utilising fairly simple forms of technology. Both are Senior Lecturers in Multimedia and Virtual Reality at the University of Huddersfield.