SpeakersDr Deborah Robinson, Egenis Artist in Residence
VenueUniversity of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJRoom no: GF7, Byrne House
Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PMMolecular Laboratory:Re-Presenting Time
I will discuss ideas and processes behind 4 bodies of artwork made whilst artist in residence with Egenis between 2004 – 6. These are mostly photographic works using long exposure times that attempt to tap into what might be imagined as the ‘optical unconscious’ of laboratory spaces. This term, originally coined by Walter Bejamin and later developed by art historian Rosalind Krauss, refers to the revelations of slow motion photography that make visible aspects of the visual world of which we can have no consciousness. Additionally, images produced in this way may act as a site for the emergence of the ‘instinctual unconscious’ - a charged space that acts as a repository of the repressed. My practice as an artist uses methods derived from surrealism, i.e. the abdication of control over the visual field, image making in darkness, long exposure times and an interest in ambiguity as a catalyst. I shall explain how methods I developed whilst an abstract painter were transferred to scientific laboratories where the emphasis is on control and repeatability. I will use the work to discuss the difficulties of tracking, or even recognizing, a ‘scientific underside’ within which traces of the repressed emerge.