artefacts in absentia

June 7, 2013

Thursday

Most of the day is taken up by a visit to Technium OpTIC (Opto-electronics Technology and Incubation Centre) a specialist innovation centre based at St Asaph Business Park in North Wales. It supports young science and technology businesses involved in the development of optical and electronic technologies, in partnership with Glyn Dwr University.

We are meeting View Holographics, a world leading provider of 3d imaging holographic solutions, based in North Wales ! We speak in depth with their technical wizard Peter Crosby who¬†straight away simplifies what a hologram actually is. Its a recording not a picture; like a vinyl record which has encoded sound wave information that requires a stylus to read and amplify it, a hologram is similar, not with sound waves but light waves and in order to ‘read’ it you need a replay lamp. I quiz him on all aspects , all creative possibilities. Since the gestation of the project’s concept I have been very keen on incorporating holograms.

In most of my recent site responsive works, archive and artefact are the catalysts, En Residencia, in Gijon, Asturias, Spain began with the gathering of objects/ furniture that were strewn around the abandoned wings, hallways, corridors and classrooms of a former orphanage.

For For Mountain, Sand & Sea, in Barmouth for NTW it was the pictorial archive of the town collated by the community that formed the foundation of the experience . And for my most recent piece Tir Sir Gar for Theatre Genedlaethol I selected 12 artefacts from the collection at Abergwili Museum that related to the project’s principal themes.

These projects invite the audience to engage and interact with spaces and their multi-layered histories in new and memorable ways that are are deeply connected, each deriving from the careful selection of archive, artefact and architectural idiosyncrasies.

I’m hoping that there’s an inventory of the belongings, the possessions that the original settlers took with them on board The Mimosa. I would like to record replicas of these objects via holograms and incorporate them into the scenographic structure of PATAGONIA150 , creating a virtual museum that the audience can discover, a ghostly presence of artefacts in absentia.

I’ve actually seen and touched one authentic artefact, John D Evans’s bible that came from Mountain Ash on The Mimosa which is now in Trefelyn in the Andes. Creating an analog holographic representation of it would of course mean documenting the real thing, therefore bringing the bible back to Wales….. 150 years after it was removed and transported 8000 miles….dychwelyd y Gair i’w grwyddau….returning The Word to its roots.

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