This paper initiates an exploration into how modes of exhibition influence the experience, understanding and cultural representation of media artworks under emerging contemporary conditions. Viewing conditions establish new meanings and uses of virtual images, as well as offering alternative constructions of the social space of their exposition. By turning attention away from concerns operating at the formal or ‘local’ level of the artwork itself towards the construction of exhibition conditions, the increasingly complex interactions between art, technology and society taking place today become more clearly pronounced.
Proceeding from a design research perspective, this paper plays its part within an extended critical examination that will centre principally on the curatorial design process leading up to the realisation of the Len Lye exhibition premiering at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in July 2009. Arguably the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s career previously resulted in the exhibition, Len Lye: Experimental Filmmaker, Sculptor, Photographer. Touring to the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne in 2002, this exhibition coincided with the establishment of ACMI as a cinemedia centre dedicated to promoting the moving image in all its forms. By retrospectively casting attention back to the staging of this iteration of the exhibition and comparing it with the recent exhibition developed specifically for ACMI’s Screen Gallery, this cumulative investigation provides an opportunity to review their respective installation strategies, exhibition design techniques and technological infrastructure. It is hoped that by focusing on such issues associated with exhibiting the work of Len Lye, a greater understanding of how the translation of filmic and interactive works in exhibition space has evolved in the intervening formative period.
- Vince Dziekan FACT Associates, Liverpool, UK and Monash University, Australia
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