Chinese whispers

29 May

Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth’s work for Assembly is essentially an expanded version of their blog ( On their blog they’ve posted a number of video clips capturing expanded notions of avant-garde and cinematic movement for the Youtube/Vimeo generation. They’ve done so as a sort of Chinese whispers conversation, responding to each other’s themes in order to generate content full of interesting slippages.

Watching them, I think of the sense of journeying in William Raban’s films and all those other experimental filmmakers who have focussed on chance and incidence, abstraction and urban and pastoral naturalism. These are separated into categories (advance, aeroplane, bridge, car, down, escalators, fan, fire, fountain, glare, grass) with the repeated motif of the camera scanning surfaces from pavements to skylines, service pipes in architectural settings, and incidental sounds. I guess the genesis of these sounds – Kim chatting to taxi driver in New York, Kim falling over in Paris (“ça va? Oi, oi…”), and the sound of wind buffeting in the microphone.

The encounter with the work offline – in the Jerwood Space in London – is rather different. It recalls interactive art works from the late 1980s and ’90s – think of Gary Hill’s Tall Ships (1992) or Jeffrey Shaw’s earlier geek-fest bike trips into cyberspace. The difference, in many ways is to do with absence – in Coleman and Hogarth’s work, we are always removed from the original, always seem to arrive after the event.

Here’s Jeffrey Shaw in the late ’80s:



And here’s an image of someone using the touch-pad mouse in Hogarth and Coleman’s installation (the differences are what’s interesting):

Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth at the Jerwood Space

Kim Coleman & Jenny Hogarth, (installation view), Mixed media installation, 2012. Photo: Madeleine Botet de Lacaze. Courtesy the artists

One Response to “Chinese whispers”

  1. Fiona May 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I think that Coleman and Hogarth’s installation makes you feel like you’re IN the event. The videos are focused on the hanging screens but the projections of the whole screen shoot into all corners of the gallery and make you feel like you’re inside or a part of the computer monitor. I felt very aware that I was watching the videos but felt very much inside the installation itself as it occured.