Week 2: Museum of English Rural Life

For Thursday’s seminar we went to the Reading Museum of English Rural Life to browse and have an idea of where our exhibition on the 27th would be taking place.

Working in groups of 4 we are creating an immersive experience as a dinner party, with each group creating two plates. Once we toured round the museum we discussed our ideas for the immersive dinner party.

Our group plans to create plates which presents the natural alongside the industrial, which I believe is a good representation of farm life in particular, as it is generally seen as being natural and rural but is a kind of controlled state of nature, with industrial materials being a large part of  this control.

We plan to have one plate made of plaster, with sticks, branches etc coming out of it, and perhaps having some toy construction toys coming out of it to present the industrial. For the immersive sound that we will have with that plate, we will “natural” sounds like wind, twigs cracking, birds etc. The contrasting plate will be natural with soil, flowers in a less structured form than the other plate. In contrast the immersive sound here should include more mechanical industrial sounds like drills, heavy machinery etc. We plan on starting the experimentation for this during the week before our next seminar.

In our afternoon sessions we had a discussion about immersive experiences:

Some main points taken away from this are:

  • Immersive using the space, environment for sound and visuals
  • It aims to break down the barrier between the art and the viewer: the viewer activates and completes the work
  • Museum experience is like looking in from the inside and is like looking in from the outside – they’re inclusion of more immersive experience is an attempt to get over the physical barrier

Works/Artists which were mentioned in relation to this were:

  • Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
  • Erasurehead – Who cut the chicken? (Not much dialogue, everyday sounds of e.g lights, door creaking are picked up on)
  • Me you bumbum train
  • Meditation  – Doug Wheeler
  • Laura Owens – links paintings to sound tracks
  • Fluxes movement – “happenings”
  • Baudrillard – contrapositive experience
  • Sol Witt, Yoko Ono – instructions to create the artwork
  • Brian Catling – no longer creates the art but writes about it
  • Andy Warhol – creating advertising – factory audience participation = construction of artwork by the viewer

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