[ISEA2011] Panel: David Cot­ter­rell – Other Read­ings

Panel Statement

Panel: Data Disinformation

After a res­i­dency in Hel­mand Province, Afghanistan, artist David Cot­ter­rell ex­per­i­mented in sub­vert­ing the hi­er­ar­chy of doc­u­men­tary ma­te­ri­als as ex­em­pli­fied in im­agery of the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of war.  His par­tic­u­lar con­cern was around the way in which im­ages and ideas about com­mu­ni­ties, land­scape and his­tory have been me­di­ated in the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of con­flct.  More re­cently, Cot­ter­rell has been in­cor­po­rat­ing a con­cern for the com­plex­ity of the is­sues pre­sented by war that are often ab­sent in media rep­re­sen­ta­tion.  This paper will ex­plore mech­a­nisms to chal­lenge the most ap­pro­pri­ated for­mats of nar­ra­tive vi­su­al­i­sa­tion in order to ques­tion the va­lid­ity of au­thor­i­ta­tive views. He will dis­cuss how his work be­gins to tran­scend the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of war to ex­plore in con­structed con­texts the process of me­di­a­tion and our com­plicit re­la­tion­ship with the screen. Through an in­ter­est in para­noia and dis­lo­ca­tion he ex­trap­o­lates ex­ist­ing com­mon­place con­ven­tions in doc­u­men­tary/jour­nal­is­tic pho­tog­ra­phy and mov­ing image, paint­ing, cin­e­matic, lit­er­ary, sim­u­la­tion and gam­ing con­structs. By shift­ing the con­text, ques­tion­ing the au­thor­ity of the con­tent and by test­ing the lim­i­ta­tions of the tech­nol­ogy, Cot­ter­rell seeks to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment that chal­lenges our con­fi­dent be­lief in our un­der­stand­ing of the ex­tent of nar­ra­tive vo­cab­u­lar­ies in doc­u­men­tary. By ex­per­i­men­tally ex­plor­ing the lim­i­ta­tions and points of fail­ure of modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and data vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, Cot­ter­rell seeks to shift crit­i­cal focus from the me­di­ated spec­ta­cle to the medium of com­mu­ni­ca­tion it­self.

  • David Cot­ter­rell is an in­stal­la­tion artist work­ing across var­ied media in­clud­ing video, audio, in­ter­ac­tive media, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, de­vice con­trol and hy­brid tech­nol­ogy. His work ex­hibits po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and be­hav­ioural analy­ses of the en­vi­ron­ments and con­texts, which he and his work in­habit. Over the last ten years, his work has been ex­ten­sively com­mis­sioned and ex­hib­ited in North Amer­ica, Eu­rope and the Far East, in gallery spaces, mu­se­ums and within the pub­lic realm. Re­cent ex­hi­bi­tions in­clude: East­ern Stan­dard: West­ern Artists in China at MASS MoCA, Mass­a­chu­setts, War and Med­i­cine at the Well­come Col­lec­tion, Lon­don and Map Games at the Today Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art, Bei­jing and Birm­ing­ham City Art Gallery. He is Pro­fes­sor of Fine Art at Sheffield Hal­lam Uni­ver­sity and has been a con­sul­tant to strate­gic mas­ter­plans, cul­tural and pub­lic art pol­icy for urban re­gen­er­a­tion, health­care and growth areas. He is rep­re­sented by Danielle Ar­naud con­tem­po­rary art and is cur­rently re­search­ing and de­vel­op­ing new work with ad­vanced sim­u­la­tion com­pany Rock­well Collins, with the sup­port of an Arts Coun­cil Eng­land fel­low­ship.

Full text (PDF) p.  544-549  [different title!]