VESA, an open container
Series of sculptures & texts written by Calum Bowden, Susannah Eloise Haslam, Martha McGuinn & Jelena Viskovic.
“VESA, an open container”, ArtEZ, Arnhem (NL), 2017
Dimensions: ‘VESA 100/200’: w.75 x h.61 x d.42 cm; ‘VESA 50/75’: w.65 x h.43 x d.23 cm; VESA 100/200: w.63 x h.79 x d.35 cm; ‘VESA 75/100’: w.47 x h.40 x d.19 cm
Materials: clear epoxy, PLA prints, MDF, nylon, stainless steel
An installation showcasing a series of monitor stands decorated with ornamentation derived from found 3D models of flowers. The stands are exhibited on tall plinths and left bare – without any screens – the ornamental decoration becoming the only function of the objects. Pieces of fabric covered with encyclopedic, manual, and narrated texts hang in the background, forcing correlations with the objects’ newly given purpose.
Developed and produced during a residency at ArtEz in the Netherlands, the work results from research on bas-relief, an ornamental sculptural technique that reduces matter from an object to allow smaller details to appear. It explores the use of bas-relief as a tool to challenge ontological interpretation, favouring a ‘visual voyage’ through its materiality – similarly to Medici vases empty of flowers. In this project, the monitor stand becomes symbolic of an era of digitisation, forcing attention back onto the physical realm.
© Photo credits Juuke Schoorl
"The TV stand is an adjustable Frame with metal plates on to which a screen can be bolted. It is a complicated and technical piece of Furniture that must be respected and approached with an understanding of the user’s limitations and capabilities. The TV stand can be moved and adjusted to different heights and angles depending on the user’s mood, purpose and aesthetic style. We will begin by learning the first steps of how this can be achieved. Allen keys, screwdrivers and hands are all appropriate and necessary tools to use when adjusting a TV stand. It is essential to have free and ready access to all three when interacting with one. There are many bolts on a TV stand which can be wound in by making sure that the hand is on the correct sized allen key or appropriate screwdriver to fit the end of the bolt, and then by locating the head of the tool on the end of the bolt. (Please note that there are many different types of bolt which may demand a different tool). If the tool will not locate to the end of the bolt, it must be replaced and another tool chosen. This process can be repeated until the correct tool is found. Once the hand, the tool and the bolt are all locked into one another, the hand can be turned, which then turns the tool, which then turns the bolt. A clockwise movement is necessary to complete this move. Keep an even and constant pressure on the tool whilst undertaking this task, but remember to loosen the grip slightly when the wrist is unable to turn further, then relocate the tool and continue. If the bolt is wound in too far it will feel tight and become impossible to move. Do not force it to move once this resistance begins. An over tight bolt may cause the TV stand to crack or warp, making it impossible to adjust. Once you understand how to tighten the bolt, the reverse process is straightforward. The hand must begin the movement by twisting now to the left in an anti-clockwise motion. Different bolts on the TV stand will produce different results, so make sure that you familiarise yourself with each one and take the time to practice and understand the way that each behaves. There are many holes in the metal of the TV stand which must be lined up in order to screw in a bolt. This may prove confusing at first, but patience and practice are key here. The benefits of getting to know your TV stand will far outweigh the time spent to do so. Once you become acquainted with these processes, you may move on to Stage Two on which we will discuss possible movements and adjustments to the Frame itself."
Text by Martha McGuinn
'Bob felt slightly uneasy as he sat down in the sun at the side of the public swimming pool next to a fake socialist bas relief of some old national swimming champion, made out of coal. The philosopher was on the stand again, telling his story about the fire to a small crowd of a few people willing to listen. Today he started his speech with explicitly describing an intimate moment between a couple of bathers twenty years ago in the sauna. He said this was one of the most important moments of the days of freedom. Bob agreed. If he would have met Alice at the swimming pool instead of swiping through Tinder, everything would have been easier between them. But this was before the fire of course. Just as any other public space, the swimming pool also contained a relic from the fire. The philosophers role was to inform the public about the myth of this particular relic. Bob seemed uninterested to hear the story, he didn’t believe in the power of relics.'
Text by Jelena Viskovic