Radiogram

Dimensions: Original 1960s radiogram, oak veneer, wood, sound track: Dimensions: h.77 x w.106 x d.56 cms.

Part archival cabinet, part sound-work, this interactive sculpture stands freely in the exhibition space. Sophisticated but unobtrusive technology allows this artwork to be animated in unusual ways. For example as viewers approach, motion sensors cause a loop of conversations to spring to life, as visitors move on the sound stops. The audio track is an interwoven text exploring issues that touch on personal and national identity, by employing an interplay of archival footage from historical Irish moments, family and fictional narrative accounts, contextualised by 1950 – 1960s era. On each side of the cabinet are stored archival filing units with accessible, customised, long-playing records catagorised with fictional labels relating to social, political and romantic ideas of the time.

Detail: Radiogram (in order of appearance)
Six pull-out files in perspex, vinyl, and wood files. Individual file dims: h.30 x w.30 x d.4 cms.

Detail: Radiogram
Home Movie still that appears in artist's short film titled “Remembering is a Form of Forgetting”

Detail: Radiogram
Film still from experimental film ("Remembering is a form of forgetting") shows the original radiogram in situ in the family home circa 1960 - home movie footage

Detail: Radiogram Records: Individual dims: h.30 x w.30 x d.4 cms.

Six individual pull-out files are neatly contained on either side of the Radiogram's turn-table. They contain newly, reconfigured, vinyl records that detail aspects of the artist's family emigration experience that also includes the artist's own birth in England (to Irish parents). These new 1950s and 1960s record labels represent a material or cultural memory, for example, by erasing the original song list and replacing it with a new typology. A process of 'addition and erasure' is used to create twelve, unique record labels (both A and B side) that are near-replicas of the originals but now chronicle one family on the move and living in many different locations. However, unlike forgery, this kind of artistic appropriation allows the visitor to have a transformative experience by putting the viewer in the position where they have dual experience, that is, of both recognising the original provenance of the image while also placing it into a new context. By bringing together the interior, private world of the family with the public site of the archive, I wanted to re-evaluate, re-imagine and re-encounter aspects of family and social memory through reconfiguring these ordinary, consumer, artefacts into cultural artefacts and material memories embedded in a specific time-frame.