#10. MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SERIES_ sleep patterns

Artist: Bruce Gilchrist.

Condensed Biography: studied Fine Arts in the early 1980’s after studying science in Glasgow, subsequently working as a Research Assistant for Unilever Research Laboratories and later as a Marine Seismic Technician for the Western Geophysical Company of America. He based himself in London in the late 1980’s

Location: London, UK

Artwork#1: Divided by Resistance (1996)

Genre: participatory performance installation

Description: In collaboration with the computer software programmer, Jonny Bradley from Automatic Television, Bruce Gilchrist created a performance work whereby members of the public attempted to communicate with the sleeping performer by inputting codified messages by way of mild electric stimuli during periods of REM sleep. The consequences of these ‘input actions’ were experienced by members of the audience via a large vibrating chair -‘The Seat of Consciousness’.

divided by resistance

Bio (neuroscience, computer science) • art (installation) • ira 


Artist: London Fieldworks (LFW)

Condensed Biography: LFW is based in east London (nr. London Fields, Hackney) and was formed in 2000 by artists Bruce Gilchrist and Jo Joelson to promote their interdisciplinary and collaborative arts practice that works across social engagement, installation, and moving image to situate works both in the gallery and in the landscape. 

Location: London, UK 

Artwork#2: SpaceBaby (2006)

Genre: performance installation


Description: SpaceBaby was the first in a trilogy of works by London Fieldworks exploring the theme of hibernation and suspended animation. The artists inverted their sleeping patterns and slept within the installation during exhibition opening hours. In the context of SpaceBaby, a parallel was drawn between shiftworkers and astronauts on long haul space missions. The lab-in-action was manned by a team of geneticists who examined the effects of disrupted sleep upon whole genome, gene expression, with a particular interest in individuals undertaking shiftwork. Blood samples were periodically extracted from the sleep inverted artists and processed within the installation using Affymetrix gene chip Technology.

Website: www.londonfieldworks.com/projects/spacebaby/index.php


Bio (genetics) • art (installation) • ira 


Artwork#3: Polaria (2002)

Genre: An interactive light installation for an audience of one

Description: In August 2001 artists Bruce Gilchrist, Jo Joelson and photographer Anthony Oliver traveled to remote North East Greenland to record the transition from 24-hour daylight to the twilight onset of winter. They used a spectroradiometer to periodically measure and record light, and using a range of biomonitors, the body’s physiological responses.

The Polaria fieldwork generated an interactive virtual daylight chamber (a self illuminating machine) inspired by post-industrial concerns over the quality of the working environment and recent medical research into the beneficial effects of polarised, full spectrum light.

Website: www.londonfieldworks.com/projects/polaria/index.php


Photography: Andy Paradise, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, 2002

Bio (physiology) • art (light installation) • ira 

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