British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet
A Thursdays@One talk for the British Art Show (BAS7)
24 November 2011, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth
1pm - 2pm
Composition for Flutter Screen, Luke Fowler and Toshiya Tsunoda. Installation with 16mm colour film and projector, homemade screen, timer, wire, fans, lights; at the Yokohama Triennial, Japan (2008). Photo: Veno Norihiro

My lunchtime gallery talk looks at Luke Fowler's collaborative audiovisual installation Composition for Flutter Screen, made with Japanese composer Toshiya Tsunoda for the 2008 Yokohama Triennial, and re-presented for the British Art Show in Plymouth. Composition for Flutter Screen is the artwork that has generated by far the most heated comments from visitors to BAS7 in Plymouth - as reported to me by the exhibition invigilators. In my talk I explore aspects of the artwork in relation to the evolution of Luke Fowler's practice and the examination of cinematic apparatus in materialist film... and suggest reasons why people are getting so irate about such an elegant and intelligent audiovisual installation that creates a place for contemplation and reflection.
Kayla's photo of installation interior with light, projected image on fluttering screen and fanFull-on projector, light, fan and flutter action, Plymouth (2011). Photo: Kayla Parker.
Kayla's photo of Luke Fowler's Flutter Screen installation in Peninsula Arts Gallery, view of 16mm projector and projected image on glass window in projection boothView of the 16mm projection booth, Plymouth (2011). Photo: Kayla Parker.
I visited the exhibition for the last time on its final afternoon, Sunday 4 December 2011. It was very quiet in the gallery, I was the only one there and Tsunoda’s audio wasn’t working. I filmed the installation both ways on my iPhone: That morning a 2.2-magnitude earthquake hit Bodmin at 2.40am, lasting just a few seconds. The tremor was also felt in Liskeard, St Austell, Padstow, Camborne, Wadebridge and Callington. Sue Dibble (67) from St Tudy, said: “It was very loud, like a whooshing and the house and bed were shaking. I thought I’d imagined it.” Mrs Dibble reported: “I was woken up just before a quarter to three and heard this noise, and the bed shook and the house shook, and well it frightened me, I must admit. I woke my husband, it hadn't actually disturbed him, and we had a quick check around and nothing seemed to be damaged and we went back to bed. After a while I was beginning to wonder whether I'd imagined it, but then I went around to our village shop this morning and everyone was talking about it. Everybody was saying: ‘What was it? Was it an explosion, or what?’ and no-body knew.”