Catalogue > At random

Jon Thomson, Craighead, Alison

A short film about war

Installation vidéo | hdcam | couleur | 9:39 | Royaume-Uni | 2010

A Short film about War is a narrative documentary artwork made entirely from information found on the worldwide web. In ten minutes this two-screen gallery installation takes viewers around the world to a variety of war zones as seen through the collective eyes of the online photo sharing community Flickr, and as witnessed by a variety of existing military and civilian bloggers. As the ostensibly documentary `film` plays itself out, a second screen logs the provenance of images, blog fragments and gps locations of each element comprising the work, so that the same information is simultaneously communicated to the viewer in two parallel formats -on one hand as a dramatised reportage and on the other hand as a text log. In offering this tautology, we are attempting to explore and highlight the way in which information changes as it is gathered, edited and then mediated through networked communications technologies or broadcast media, and how that changes and distorts meaning -especially for (the generally wealthy minority of) the world`s users of high speed broadband networks, who have become used to the treacherously persuasive panoptic view that google earth (and the worldwide web) appears to give us.

Jon Thomson (b. London) and Alison Craighead (b. Aberdeen) are fascinated how globalisation and networked global communications have been re-shaping the way we all perceive and understand the world around us. They live and work in London and Kingussie in the highlands of Scotland making artworks and installations for galleries, museums and site-specific locations that include the worldwide web. Recent exhibitions include; Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn; Berkeley Art Museum, California; Highland Institute of Contemporary Art, Scotland; Artists Space, New York; Tang Contemporary, Beijing; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Dundee Contemporary Arts. Jon is Reader in Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, while Alison is Reader in contemporary art and visual culture at University of Westminster and lectures in fine art at Goldsmiths University, London. For information on forthcoming, current and previous work, you can follow their blogat and explore their archive website at