14 June 2011
The next exhibition at FACT, Worlds in the Making, will be the first major UK exhibition of Semiconductor so we wanted to find out a bit more about the duo….\r\n
Semiconductor are Brighton based artist duo, Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt and have earned critical acclaim for their short films, including Magnetic Movie as well as exhibitions as the Venice Biennale, and The Royal Academy, London. They primarily work with moving image, sound and multimedia to make installations that challenge our understanding of the natural world.\r\n
The roots of Semiconductor’s artistic practise exist in the sound works that Ruth and Joe created after leaving art school in the early 1990’s where they released music on the English label, Hot Air. It wasn’t long before their interest in visual arts came into play and they began to explore the relationship between sound and image through the use of new media. They say that the origins of the name Semiconductor came from the tension that arose when they were utilising computer software to create visual work. Initially, it seems that the computer almost had it’s own role in creating the work as the duo translated the data language into visuals and sound. Ruth says that “we liked the suggestion of half conducting the operation, thereby acknowledging the computer’s impact on our work”.\r\n
The work that Semiconductor now creates explore the limits of human perception and experience in the context of familiar constructed and natural environments. Influenced by the laws that usually hold the world in place (process, motion and time), Semiconductor’s work explores the fact that these elements exist outside the realms of possible human perception. By creating work that allows viewers to experience these phenomena through an alternate reality, Semiconductor facilitate the revaluation of learnt ideas about the natural world. Here lies the debate behind Semiconductors work, if the phenomena that is being presented to the viewer actually does exists but outside human perception, then is the work of Semiconductor science fact or science fiction?\r\n
Take a look at the Semiconductor website for some more information about the duo and keep your eyes open for upcoming FACT blogs focusing on different aspects on their work.\r\n
Semiconductor: Worlds in the Making, opens at FACT on 01 July and runs until 11 September.