conceptual photography, contemporary art, digital art, music, sound art

Trainofthoughts @ The Horse Hospital

May 14, 2012

You might think it’s a first world problem or a high class issue, but just how does a human being get through a seven hour traffic jam?

Such was the predicament of Micheál O’Connell, aka Mocksim, snarled up on the M25 in what it soon emerged would be a history-making tailback.

But while his phone ran out of battery, his digital SLR had enough charge for him to shoot apocalyptic scenes of stranded traffic through his windshield.

On his car stereo was a sound piece by Stace Constantinou, with which he was planning to work. So Mocksim timed shutter clicks to coincide with moments in the composition.

Constantinou’s piece was already a response to a nightmare journey: a once daily and claustrophobia-inducing commute from North Lambeth to Morden.

But this had been displaced in his imagination by what sounds like a raid on the BBC radiophonic workshop. Field recordings from the tube mix with scripted actors.

His protagonist does eventually reach the far side of a river thanks to a ferryperson and we learn that this place is called, with grim inevitability, Mord.

Mocksim meanwhile cut holes in each of his shots, animated and stacked them to make a virtual tunnel which the viewer can finally fly through to freedom.

The two works combine in a dryly amusing way at the Horse Hospital, itself once a pit stop for London cabbies. A place for breakdowns and delays.

So the travel issues just pile up. The UK road and rail infrastructure is not one of the great themes of western culture, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Why not make art about it?

Trainsofthought ran last weekend in London. Visit www.mocksim.org or www.myspace.com/staceconstantinou to find out more about the artists’ work. 

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