Friday, 22 October 2010


Robin Thomson - By the Light of the Moon
Generator Projects, Dundee

Duncan of Jordanstone graduate Robin Thomson recently returned to Dundee for a two-week gallery residency at Generator Projects, putting together an epic and immersive video and sculptural installation. This multi-screen project contemplates the very beginnings of recorded sound and is based on an 1860 ‘phonautograph’ recording to conjure up a few of the ghosts lurking hidden within this particular machine. In the first gallery we see slides of desolate urban landscapes and expanses of parkland, a disconcerting backdrop for a loudspeaker suspended from the centre of the ceiling. Suitably primed, we step into the principle display for what the artist describes as “a kind of spontaneous wiretap or short-circuiting of sequential talk”. Invoking the spirits of scientific
luminaries Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, these dusty precursors are channelled into a vivid phantasmagoria. On a big screen in the main room, Thomson’s 25-minute film By the Light of the Moon is playing. Against a backdrop of retina-scorching computer graphics and backed by a soundtrack of cut-up and reconfigured voices, an eclectic cast of characters acts out a multi-sensory carnival. A scientist wearing a rubber monster mask, American Indians, ghosts and monsters all parade through a lysergic landscape that reimagines the source’s crackly recording as a shamanistic tech-fair. Given that his present job is acting as social media maestro for the electroclash act Peaches, it comes as little shock to see that Thomson is adept at producing savvy imagery. Of interest to us is that he’s created an environment that fizzes with energy, a ghost story for our web-2.0 fireside.

Robin Thomson @ _Black_Acrylic

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