Hold is a breathtakingly accomplished installation work. It is immersive, engaging, wondrous, yet almost mystically ‘simple’ in its interface and unfolding dramas.
The audience is invited to carry glass bowls into a darkened space. Images of underwater life in radiant colour are projected from above; small fish, a seahorse, coral, flurries of light that suggest the night sky fill the empty bowls to their rim. Visitors are encouraged to ‘catch’ the falling images. With nothing in the room except light and sound, directional speakers attached to each projector provide intimate moments of synchronised sound for each loop of wondrous vision. Hold offers a sensation akin to holding life in your hands – it is simply wondrous.
This is a work that celebrates minutiae - the microscopic forms of life, rather than grand spectacle. It is an uplifting work that creates a sense of communal participation in the space as visitors pass the bowl to each other, being careful not to ‘drop’ the small fragile worlds. There is intense hope in Hold.
‘Already Hold is a ‘new media classic’. But unlike many examples of the genre, it features no obvious battery of high-tech machinery. And participation with it requires zero technical expertise. Its interface is not much more than curiosity hinged to compassion for our floating world and for everyone adrift in its delicate biosphere…. Many fans of Hold tell how they love the way you can hang back from grabbing a bowl so that you can observe the kindness of strangers as they offer the specimen worlds to each other and chat about how best to garner full wonder.’ – Ross Gibson, PolOxygen.
17 Mar – 17 Jun 07 | National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK
Commissioned by and courtesy of Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, AU
Touring produced by Forma
Supported by the New Media Arts Board, Australian Council for the Arts
Photos: Colin Davison, courtesy of the National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK (L) | Diana Panuccio, courtesy ACMI, Melbourne, AU (R)
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