“How forward thinking”, is what best springs to mind, upon a visit to this small but nonetheless engaging exhibition. An intimate gallery is perhaps what partly turns the key here, unlocking our perceptions of objects and the secret life that they may hold. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the high street in Liverpool’s arty Gostins Arcade; A Small View Gallery renders the perfect vibe to open up your mind… along with the wonderful art of course!
What exists when a laptop or mobile has served its purpose for us humans? Will a computer sit dumb without our click-tap? Or have we somehow overlooked that a system so advanced may be functioning without us, in an endless wandering web search? These are the questions the artist who make up The Object Liberation Front have set out to address.
Wandering Wondering by Edgar Zanella and Radamés Ajna ponders this, as you potter clockwise round the intriguing space. More chillingly perhaps, it questions if we have become perhaps too comfortable following our daily patterns, or algorithms… just like the computer presented. “What is it like to be browsing like a machine?” asks the writing on the wall. This statement though, from such avant-garde thinkers, seems to suggest that we may already know.
Next up, Ajna and Thiago Hersan’s memememe project and sculpture features two phones supposedly interacting with one another; have they been set up by our artists or are they communicating in their own language? The everyday object is seemingly transformed, as we see a manmade creation with a possible life of its own. The little movements and squeaky noises that these devices make cannot be understood by us, nor the artists who created them; but is it possible that these devices have forged their own such communication?
Alex Pearl’s Simple Machines simplifies objects, right down to their raw state… after we dispose of them! Provocatively, he’s clubbed old items together to try and make sense of their new state, and asking; are they still serving a function? At first glance perhaps they are not, but put your ear a little closer to Machine 14 and an old battery powered ear wax remover may be humming a new, nostalgic tune. Old objects get rusty, but they’re not yet dead. Perhaps what we come to consider superfluous may be useful… just these few objects probe a multitude of questions, and ambiguity makes simplicity quite remarkable.
Tying in with wastefulness, Sam Skinner's wonderfully visual project asks us to consider the old Liverpool Observatory; once the centre of Maritime intelligence, and ponder what would a contemporary observatory look like, and what would it "observe"? It’s up to you to decide what such an institution should be like in today’s world.
Ob_ject and Ob_serve is on display at A Small View, Gostins Arcade until Monday 14 March.