Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada
Installation Date: June 1 to September 3rd, 2001
Fly sets up a “double blind” - both participant and viewer are unaware of each other except through the mindless blinking of LEDs. “It” is indeed alive- but what manner of life is pure speculation? Do the blinking LEDs indicate a transformation of perception; are we somehow made “larger” by our inhabitation of the fly’s body? Tele-theory seeks to dissolve time, space, and scale to create a feeling of “equidistance of everyone from everyone else, and from each of us to any world event.”
Our approximation and abstraction of reality becomes indiscernible as technology continues to mediate our everyday experience. Tele-presence art, however, attempts to be less concerned with the technological feat than with the breaking down of unidirectional communication structures distinguishing both visual arts and mass media. Within the installation, Fly, the utopian rhetoric invested within the notion of telepresence is ultimately usurped by the ultra-trite, supra-insignificant act of possession.
Ironically, Hertz critiques techno-messianism by offering us tantalising techno-gimmerickery - leaving our engagement with the fly a sour residue of triviality.
Garnet Hertz is a Fulbright Scholar, Research Fellow at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, and is also… more...