Glass Museum


16.05.09 - 24.05.09

A central element in the installation Glass Museum and at the core of Patrick Jameson’s practice is the deconstruction of objects and their reassembly as models. These models- technologically mediated copies of sourced originals- work to examine the inter-relation of technology and belief, and the inseparability of our beliefs from our cultural products. Recently Jameson has focused his attention on objects beyond that of a conventional narrative of mass production to deepen this investigation. The construction of an object using a digital 3-dimensional modelling program, the rendering of an original to its constituent parts and its reconstruction as a model, is an exercise in empirical understanding. This empiricism extends to the use of sculptural elements in Glass Museum, where the eight microphone stands displayed are in fact one to one facsimiles of stands.

Developed at the end of the 18th century the Fresnel lens employed a complex system of overlapping panes of glass to powerfully magnify the effect of a light. Its first practical application was in lighthouses: a product of Newtonian rationalism providing a guiding light for nascent waves of capitalist exchange. Bereft of its utilitarian function the lens stands as a relic of progressive scientific thought, an obsolete component in the operation of an ever-advancing cultural machine. Hygrometers are devices that measure the relative humidity of a room, the silent sentinel in every museum. They complete an act of translation, visually mapping a characteristic of the air which otherwise cannot be seen. 

Assuming the role of the cinematic Foley artist Jameson has scored this work using an array of props, the exhibited remnants of which work to reinforce the disconnection between sound and image. The synchronicity of the aural and visual is thrown into doubt: what is seen cannot be not what is heard. While the arc that the hygrometer slowly graphs is a pictorial translation of the same sine wave that acts as a soundtrack for the installation but this too is a model: a hollow symbol of a sound. In Glass Museum we are continually confronted by this theatricality, a set that brings in to question the inescapability of mediated information.