Batty & Me

2019
Modified LED laptop screens, solar powered 12V battery, found bone, Egyptian cotton, webbing, rivets, cables
duration approx. 1 hour+
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From 28 August to 3 September 2019 the exhibition space of the Ethnographic Museum in Vall D'Alba, Spain was used by three invited artists and one curator in residence to build up an exhibition. Themes that connect the three artistic practices include the social nature of sculpture, slow by design, and life cycles.

Katrin has collected now-defunct LED laptop screens from computer repair shops around London and stripped them to their bare essentials. Disconnected from their function of computer processing visualisation, they become a raw material that fuses light and optics. These panels will be modified and connected to a solar-powered portable battery and be carried and worn together as crafted garments in public contexts. This meshing of everyday devices and clothing comments on utility and function as much as the long parallel trajectory of sculpture and technology. Much of what we see and experience today is through screens on our portable devices. This “immaterial” image is therefore turned around into artist’s materials in order to enhance its proximity to the human body. In their second-life as an outfit, the screens enact the prosthetic function of devices but this time with their own agency. As it moves around, the screens catch and reflect sunlight through their material properties. The work itself becomes site-responsive, catching rays of light and dispersing them through the landscape.
Other sculptural productions will be produced with local natural and discarded materials found in the environment of Vall d'Alba. A collection of found sticks lies somewhere in the space, part of it has transformed into the clothes hanger that displays Hanusch’s work in progress, chosen for its ideal natural shape fitting to the size of the human body. These gnarled organic formations appear strange, but connect to objects such as natural forked branches which were traditionally used in agriculture like tools visible on the first floor of the museum. These found parts as well as the ephemeral or performative nature of the garment combine notions of value with the essence of time - that art can be a fleeting moment of the meeting of materials and elements that combine and disintegrate in endless cycles.

An artist’s residency can have multiple purposes, among them, to give artists a new setting to research and test existing and developing projects, to inform about a new context in regard to its history, culture and different localities, and to meet new audiences. In Vall d’Alba, the artists offered to bring a new perspective into the town, to investigate local phenomenon and create artworks that respond to the regional context. This project had been organised by Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre - an initiative started in London to support, nurture and develop artists working with sculpture through mentoring, fabrication, education, commissioning opportunities and public events. In partnership with town halls of Vall d’Alba and Atzeneta del Maestrat, the residency took place during the Vall d’Alba August festival.

Text: Àngels Miralda