The Infra explores facets of our everyday electrical infrastructures through remnants and artefacts both large and small.
Electric Fossil Record, installation view, Firstdraft, 2015. Photo: Zan Wimberley.
Viewed as if from a position just slightly into the future than the present day, these works have been approached not with the precision or scientific rigour characteristic of archaeology, but through the more fanciful and interpretive techniques of its cousin – antiquarianism. As much concerned with aesthetics as it was with a sense of history, antiquarianism seemed more an attempt to revivify the past in the present through strategies that recontextualised objects and their attendant meanings – as exemplified through ‘inaccurate’ but indexical processes such as rubbing – by emphasising the significance of impression over function. In doing so antiquarianism yielded a history of imagination, of a fascination with history, as much as it did historical data per se.
Most of the materials in this exhibition are or were derived from technological artefacts considered to have reached the end of their usefulness and subsequently illegally dumped. As such, these works are simply one of many possibilities arrived at during what is an ongoing process of salvage and reappraisal. To some degree doing this recasts their recent designation as garbage (or as merely non-functional), and invests them with the sense of fascination that accompanies many processes of excavation and recovery – their previously overlooked material characteristics are now reprioritised, their prospects reappraised. After all, the future is other people’s garbage, just like the past.
Digital Antiquarianism, card #1-6, crayon on A4 paper, installation view, Firstdraft, 2015. Photo: Zan Wimberley.
Digital Antiquarianism, card #1–6, detail.
Electric Fossil Record, excavated ceramic, found objects, photographs, installation view, Firstdraft, 2015. Photos: Zan Wimberley.
Digital Antiquarianism, motherboard #1–6, crayon on A3 paper, installation view, Firstdraft, 2015. Photo: Zan Wimberley.
Digital Antiquarianism, motherboard #1–6, detail.
Parochial Energy, found objects, installation view, Firstdraft, 2015. Photo: Zan Wimberley.