Alannah Gunter - 'Travelling Light' exhibition at Photospace Gallery, Welington, 11 August to 9 September, 2023
Travelling Light - artist's statement
The digital interconnection of the world has effectively erased geographical barriers, as a virtual map of webcams allows us to connect in real-time with remote, yet carefully framed, landscapes. For over a decade, my art practice has delved into the spatial and temporal poetics of remote, networked cameras, primarily through photomedia and live-streaming video installations. These artworks reflect upon the transportive capabilities of outdoor cameras, not only in regard to vicarious travel but also in the manner that spaces of the imagination and the virtual can overlap and interweave. Travelling Light brings together three bodies of work that employ these devices in different ways.
The Proliferation of Nows (2014–18) is comprised of circles created from simultaneous screenshots of skies that I captured from webcams worldwide. The rings that compose the circle all align to a particular moment in time. Each circle is temporarily static–yet spatially stratified–despite depicting the immaterial sky, a symbol long associated with the dreamlike, ephemeral and boundless. They allude to portholes and explore the aesthetic experiences a viewer undergoes as their consciousness shifts between physical, virtual and psychological spaces.
The Line of Concurrence (2014–15) features collages constructed from images captured simultaneously on webcams at multiple locations (varying capacities to capture resolution, light and colour). These works reflect not only on the fragmentation of our world and its digital connectivity but also on the human longing to see beyond the horizon. While the physical horizon always remains beyond our reach, webcams extend it in a virtual sense, enabling our eyes to traverse cyberspace and discover new vistas. This series, created from snapshots of virtual journeys, examines the impact that technology has on our perception of space and time.
Luminous Forest (2020–2023) was created using wildlife cam-trap photographs from the Czech Republic. Mainly taken at night, these images offer a glimpse into a world often hidden from view. When a wild animal wandered into the camera’s view, motion sensors would trigger its shutter and the captured image would instantly be emailed to the forest ranger monitoring them, who very generously cc’d me into this system. I have reinterpreted these images by rephotographing them on an LCD screen and then further enhancing them with digital techniques that emulate traditional darkroom processing. Luminous Forest seeks to highlight the ways in which technology mediates our experience and shapes our understanding of the natural world.
Alannah Gunter - Bio
Alannah Gunter is a New Zealand artist based in Brisbane, Australia. She holds a BA(Hons) Photography from Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom; a Master of Fine Art, Massey University; and a PhD Visual Arts, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Alannah has lectured in photography and photomedia at Massey University, Victoria University, and Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.
'Travelling Light' opens in Room 1 of Photospace Gallery on Friday 11 August, 5pm-7pm, and runs until 9 September, 2023.
Alannah Gunter has exhibited at Photospace Gallery in 1999 and 2001 (solo exhibitions), and in various group exhibitions since then.
Photography Matters II