channel video installation. 6:00 loop.
Glen Dimplex Artists’ Award 2000.
Carbon 12 is a six channel video installation piece in which hexagonal
patterns travelling from one screen to the next reveal footage of people
beginning and terminating telephone conversations in stuttering slow
motion. The patterns and hexagonal arrangement of the monitors echo
the molecular structure of the Carbon molecule, while the title refers
to the atomic weight which is used to determine all other weights in
the periodic table of elements. This pointing to a process of standardization
is mimiced in the images, which documents the introduction of telecommunication
technologies into daily life. Archival elements from early telephone
company industrial films and Cold War era US Department of Defense propaganda
pieces are combined with bluescreen recreations filmed by the artists
to present a critical view of the mythos surrounding technological progress.
“Carbon-12, the most coherent work in terms of its installation
design, features footage of telephone and computer operation shown on
six linked monitors. These monitors face out from the center of a darkened
room, suggesting either a surveillance control room or a ‘futuristic’
mainframe computer. Through their incorporation into this oppressive
system these banal images are transformed from emblems of efficiency
and progress into signifiers of alienation and dislocation”
Maeve Connolly. Circa. June 2000.