Swarm II (2016)   Nine carousel slide projectors on custom-built plinths (various heights: 104cm, 115cm and 130cm, painted dark grey) in a 6m x 4m room (dark grey painted walls, dark grey carpet, subdued lighting). Each projector is loaded with a different single slide featuring a text or still photograph from the 1957 sci-fi movie, The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. All projector beams are focused at approximately 70cm and face the entrance to the space confronting and challenging the visitor.

A lone projector/plinth faces away from the group – an interval timer triggers the rotation of a carousel of 81 35mm slides casting a flickering circle of light on the wall. An active PA speaker and media player plays the amplified recorded sound of the continuous operation of the projector.

A huddled crowd projects its paranoia, insecurities and neuroses. Do all governments and regimes, democratic or otherwise, need to kindle a fear of the other in their populace to justify their retention of power?

Cinema fragmented, the apparatus of illusion and the conventional dominance of the screen is subverted. Investigation, play or chance encounter reveals the projected images as the visitor becomes the screen.

Swarm II (2016)    Installation view: No Laughing, No Barking, UWE Fine Art Degree Show, Spike Island, Bristol

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© 2020 John Steed.