Remote Control - Wood, plastic sheeting, tarpaulin, steel and bicycle wheels
Remote Control was produced while on a residency at Columbus State University in Georgia, USA.
This piece consists of Portable Air Traffic Control Tower, similar to the ones used by the US Military in the Korean War in the 1950s. It is mounted onto a trailer that can be attached to a bicycle. The Tower is constructed from wood, plastic sheeting and tarpaulin. These materials can often be seen used as a temporary material in buildings and homes as a temporary solution to a construction problem.
Columbus is home to Fort Benning, now the largest military post in the USA. It is a self-sustaining military community, which supports more than 120,000 active-duty military, family members, reserve component soldiers, retirees, and civilian employees on a daily basis and is a major source of income for the local community. While Remote Control functions as an architectural structure with a use value it also relates to the process in which cities are initiated. Its design relates to the concept of the Panopticon, which has been described as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example". While there is a comical aspect to the piece within its potential use and the materials used in its production, it is also rooted in the darker aspects of authority and its desire for control within society.
Remote Control Technologies
Remote Control Technologies - Single Channel Video 4mins
Remote Control Technologies is a video work relating to the sculpture Remote Control. The video was shot around the City of Columbus, which looks like any ordinary city in the US. The video records Remote Control in different locations throughout the city backed to a sound track of air raid sirens. Every Saturday at 12pm these air raid sirens can be heard throughout the City of Columbus as part of testing an early warning system. While the system on one hand purports to offering security to a community it could also be seen as a form of control through terror, the sound of the siren instilling the fear of attack from an unknown source. The title Remote Control Technologies relates to the US Militaries use of outsourcing, which is the process of contracting out to private companies tasks that used to be performed by members of the uniformed military. The assignments range from mundane jobs like cooking and cleaning to specialised ones like maintaining and repairing sophisticated weapons systems, translating and transcribing, and interrogating prisoners. Many of these Private Companies use the word Technologies in their titles in an attempt to reflect an image of superiority. Again this becomes comical in relation to a structure made from plastic sheeting and wood.