INDEPENDENT NEWS

And Nothing Stirred

Published: Tue 9 Feb 2010 12:21 PM
Sounds like a good show
And Nothing Stirred is a mixture of weird installations, simple ideas that get your brain whirring. They've all come from the head of ex-physicist Tom Murphy from London, who moved to Wellington for its friendly arts community. "It's the perfect place to develop ideas" say Tom. "It's really open, and there are spaces and people ready to help without being painfully cool".
The show is running between 25th February until the 5th of March at Arlo Edward's new gallery in the basement of 39 Dixon street. "It's the perfect space, really." says Tom "strangely enough I've been looking for just the right concrete box for a particular installation for a some time now, so I'm really excited about getting to do it this year. It also has lots of different spaces, so you can wander around and experience different installations."
so what's on offer? There are four different parts to the show. First, the main attraction, a room with sound beams that cancel each other in a specially constructed space. "it's quite finely balanced," say Tom "so if someone steps into the room they actually change how it behaves. Your body is literally becoming part of the installation". So how does it work? Two giant speaker arrays are pumping out a mixture of frequencies which have wavelengths around about the same size as a human body, so putting a person in the way "really messes with the equilibrium" and creates new sounds.
But there's more! A room with video from different times in the room's past projected onto the walls, so that you can see your own reactions and conversations from a few seconds to a few minutes ago. And why? "I've always thought that when people appreciate art, it doesn't matter what it is, it's just that it puts you into a different place where you're appreciating something as art." muses Tom, "I wanted to break that divide, the art and the person appreciating it as art, so I thought I'd make a piece where the only thing the viewer is appreciating is their own act of appreciation." too complicated? Tom's not fussed "Either it's art or a cheap laugh!".
And more? "There's also Fan-o-tron, which was in my 2008 show. It's a synthesiser made of fans and lights, no electronics. I could explain, but just go watch a video on my website." You can see Fan-o-Tron and find out about the rest of the show at www.headchip.net.
And Nothing Stirred is open from 8pm until 10pm and you don't have to be there the whole time, you can just stop by and make a donation. "But the more you're there the more you'll see" says Tom. "We'll be messing with the exhibits as we go, and you never know what magic you'll miss out on. There's also some, what would you say, hosts? Hosts, running around in character, because one thing I learned from my 2008 show is that no matter how interesting your installations are, people still want that human interaction."
Tom clearly has too many ideas in his head, but it's nice to see him getting them out for a change. "Years ago I put all my energy into being an artist and it chewed me up. This time I've made sure I've had the money and the people around to do it properly, it's been great fun!"
And Nothing Stirred is running from 25 of February until the 5th of March as part of the Wellington Fringe Festival.
ENDS

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