Thomson & Craighead - BEACON

BEACON continuously transmits randomly selected, live web searches as they are being made around the world, presenting them at brief regular intervals on a bespoke railway flap sign. BEACON acts as a silent witness: a feedback loop providing a global snapshot of ourselves to ourselves in real-time. The sound of the board's shuffling invades the surrounding space, creating an interesting dichotomy between the digital content gathered from web searches, symbolising contemporary information highways, and old, mechanical railway technology. An online version of the work has been active since 2005, communicating a new search every minute; in 2006 a projected version was created for presentation in galleries.

Thomson & Craighead are at the forefront of artists using technology; their work includes video, sound, electronic networked environments and communications systems in gallery installations and web-based artworks. Using traditional appropriation and manipulation techniques, much of their work presents a reflection on how technology is altering the way we perceive our surrounding reality. Their work has been exhibited in real and virtual galleries across the planet. Thomson & Craighead's interactive narrative piece Thalamus was included in the Toybox CD-Rom of artists' work produced for Video Positive 95 under the direction of Clive Gillman.

Built by Solari of Udine, Italy, BEACON was commissioned by Eddie Berg for FACT and BFI Southbank (London) with funds granted by Arts Council England, North West's Art05 Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. Additional funding was provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Networked installation; new commission, 2007.