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Arie Hellendoorn and Daniel Shaw - Thank you

Arie Hellendoorn and Daniel Shaw

Thank you
11 – 29 March
High Street Project

Piles of dried dog biscuits, the mascot for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a Youtube reinterpretation of Alvin Lucier’s classic 1970 audio work ‘I am sitting in a room’, are but some of the elements of Arie Hellendoorn’s and Daniel Shaw’s exhibition Thank you at High Street Project (HSP).

The first show in HSP’s 2008 gallery programme, Thank you aims to pose simple yet reasonable questions around the wholesale adoption of re-mix/re-use cultures as contemporary business models.

Thank you has been an ongoing collaborative experiment between Hellendoorn and Shaw since June 2007. The artists, from the beginning, were interested in a slightly antagonistic collaboration; individually they conceptualise artmaking very differently and a large part of this project has been simply finding ways to negotiate and realise ideas between them. At this stage, they claim, the success of the project is questionable.

Thank you was kicked off by a self-conscious trip to the recycling centre. There, Hellendoorn and Shaw found a box of plastic bone-shaped molds that begged further attention. All subsequent discussions were based around the promise of an endlessly reproducible object in the form of a tasty dog treat.

In conjunction with a number of performative and sculptural elements in the gallery, dog biscuits, wall drawings and white overalls, Thank you will incorporate an online component:

The website presents a version of Alvin Lucier's audio work, "I am sitting in a room" (1970), in digest form, spoken by a manipulated photo of a Dalmatian, its voice is a computer model of speech synthesis. Multiple Youtube streams are embedded on the website page to form the word 'Thank you!'. A link to a 'representative' leads to a synthesised dog portrait.

The intention here was to take this classic avant-garde strategy and consider it in terms of contemporary media. The streaming Youtube video, combined with the ability to call multiple streams at once, allows the user to create their own (albeit stunted) version of Lucier's track whenever they want. Youtube is the epitome of the re-centring of consumers as the focus of a product's desirability and usefulness.

It's intended for there to be some frustration as the amount of media on the page short-circuits the promise of instant availability.

Ironically, page lag reintroduces Lucier's stutter, an artefact that is alluded to in the final sentence of the spoken paragraph – “I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.”

Thank you has an opening preview on Tuesday March 11 at 5:30pm and runs until Saturday 29 March. HSP is open 11am – 5pm Tues – Fri, and 11am – 2pm on Saturday.


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