From the 2nd July until 30th July 2018, Gore will be located in the foyer of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith, Sydney. Curated by Dr Anika Mostaert and Christine Ghali, Gore is the last of four exhibitions as part of the Art/Science series called Curious.
Detail of Blood on Silk ; Bleeding Out as Imaged, 2018 rice paper, ink and revolving lights.
Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there were twenty-three units of blood
2018, ribbon, canvas and paint. Two panels each 96.4 x 176.5 (h) cm Photo Alex Gooding
In this work twenty-three squat square crosses are arranged in a grid of six by four, with one missing. The dimensions of the cross and its alignment mimic those of the red cross symbol that identifies the emblem associated with the supply of blood and blood products within Australia.
However, here, the red cross has been decolourised. This is a chemical process used to remove unwanted staining material in the preparation of microscope slides or to remove coloured impurities from water such as dye waste. Decolourising the red cross shifts the focus to the more formal aspects of the symbol without the often-overriding associations of the colour red.
The reflectivity of both the satin weave of the ribbon and the modified sateen weave of the work amplifies the movements of the viewer appearing to alter the colour of the ribbons and thus its relationship with the viewer.
A tension remains, as it is the red colour of blood that signifies its usefulness to the body. The depth and shade of red shows the amount of haemoglobin per litre and/or the percentage of oxygenated haemoglobin in the blood. So, the process of decolourising strips away this signifier of purpose and effectiveness.
In two weeks an exhibition called Colour Run will open at the Braemar Gallery in Springwood. The exhibition is curated by Beata Geyer and one of my works Once upon a time , long ago and far away there were twenty three units of blood has been selected. In the run up I’ve been thinking of the other times I’ve focused on the narrative of Twenty three units of blood.
This work, was one of the first of these works I made, Memorial/ One shift Nov 30, 2000 was exhibited in St Marks Anglican Church,Aberdeen NSW in 2006 as part of Memorial/Double Pump Laplace I
Recently I presented at the 2018 Annual Association for Art History conference in London as part of a day long panel on Aural Affects and Effects: Explicit and Implicit sounds and rhythms in contemporary visual media put together by Olga Nikolaeva, Christine Sjöberg and Johnny Wingstedt.
Not only did several aspects of my research fall into place more clearly for me after my presentation (initially disrupted by the fire alarm!) and the follow up questions but also the other presentations in the thread provoked valuable insights that will also feed into the ongoing development of my thinking.
I have been working with the idea of sonnifying the predominantly wave form data visualisation of a bedside medical monitor display for nearly two years and have tested some of my early ideas out at two previous conferences. To confirm the value of my current position and at the same time expose aspects for future exploration was so reassuring.
Then to finish the conference there was an amazing and blunt keynote by Griselda Pollock.
Because of the incidence of hallucination in ICU wards and hospitals in general I’ve always been interested in its influence on memory. This is an amazing body of work piecing together a large number of separate memories about a place from the occupants some of whom you would have to expect would be hallucinating through lack of water/trauma etc etc..
In the card game Racing Patience ICU there are two players. One draws a central card that describes the patient’s stats when entering ICU. Starting at the same time, one player represents the ICU team trying to bring the patient back into the normal or survivable ranges for blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygenation and rate of respiration. The other player sometimes called Death, attempts to take the patient out of those survivable ranges. Each player attempts to track the four parameters, keeping a rough tally in their head of the changes in the patient stats as each card is added to one of the four stacks. The players turn over their cards in groups of three, being able to play the top card only. It is not a social or fair game. It is extremely competitive and can be rough and physical as each player tries to get their card onto the stacks in the centre. Importantly there is no concept of taking turns. It requires an ability to focus on many things which are changing, all at the same time. At the end of five minutes an alarm sounds. The game is over. On a count-back the winner is decided. The winner is who determined whether the patient during that particular five minutes was in or out of the survivable range for the four vital signs. Who knows what happened in the next five minutes and if the ethics of particular interventions that drove the often widely swinging changes of the parameters were ever able to be considered.
The title of the article on the quartz website is Google is using 46 billion data points to predict the medical outcomes of hospital patients’. This includes the claim by Google that they have …. ‘the ability to predict patient deaths 24-48 hours before current methods… ‘
The research paper from Google apparently hasn’t been peer reviewed yet and it will be very interesting to see how this all plays out.