[NetBehaviour] Turbulence Commission: "Monolith[s]" by Michael Takeo Magruder

Turbulence turbulence at turbulence.org
Thu Jun 8 02:02:16 CEST 2006

June 7, 2006
Turbulence Commission: "Monolith[s]" by Michael Takeo Magruder
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"Monolith[s]" juxtaposes two icons of British culture: stone circles
(Stonehenge in particular) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
"We are in a gravitational pull of past and future." (1)

Lacking declarative evidence of its original purpose, Stonehenge is a site
of contested meaning. "It suffers from polysemia, in that it signifies a
range of meanings, discursively contested through image and text." (2)
Visitors are kept at a distance, no longer permitted to walk among the
stones and physically experience their immense scale.

In "Monolith[s]," Magruder has appropriated the perspective that many images
of the monument give: that of the majestic site at a distance, the glow of
the sunset or moonrise radiating from the horizon, its backdrop. But
Magruder's virtual world IS approachable-indeed, the user may immerse
herself in it or fly above it. As she does, the temporal and spatial
dimensions of her own immediate environment are absorbed and rearranged into
a constantly evolving virtual realm in which the history of the Information
Age materializes.

Formulated according to motifs and proportions of ancient architecture,
infused with fundamental mathematics of modern digital communication
systems, each genesis of the artwork's geometry is unique. Variables such as
the time of day, the viewer's location on the Earth, and the position of the
Earth around the sun are incorporated into the artwork, thus instilling into
the realm functions of a rudimentary clock, global positioning system, and
solar calendar.

"Monolith[s]" is a 2006 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.,
(aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with
funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Michael Takeo Magruder is an American artist based in the UK who received
his formal education at the University of Virginia, USA, graduating with a
degree in biological science. His artistic production has been exhibited
worldwide and encompasses an eclectic mix of forms ranging from futuristic
stained-glass windows, digital light-screens and modular sculptures, to
architectural manipulations, ephemeral video projections and interactive
net-installations. His work seeks to reflect upon the dualistic nature of
media as both information source and cultural stimulant.

(1) Jeanette Winterson, "Weight"
(2) Andy Letcher, Jenny Blain, & Robert J. Wallis, "Re-viewing the Past:
Discourse and Power in Images of Prehistory."

For more information about Turbulence, please visit http://turbulence.org.

Jo-Anne Green, Co-Director
New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.: http://new-radio.org
New York: 917.548.7780 . Boston: 617.522.3856
Turbulence: http://turbulence.org
New American Radio: http://somewhere.org
Networked_Performance Blog: http://turbulence.org/blog
Upgrade! Boston: http://turbulence.org/upgrade 

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