Frenchgate Centre, installed in Doncaster, UK, 2004, Digital Video Installation



Frenchgate Centre from Jonathan Shaw on Vimeo.

Shaw’s commissioned piece explores our understanding of spectatorship reflecting something that occurred in the same space in the past – a self-imaging: something more akin to surveillance. A video camera was mounted on a pedestal and installed in the Shopping Centre, giving it the appearance of an exhibit in itself – like a sculptural intervention which allows visitors to interact with directly. Revolving independently, without the presence of the artist, the camera was simultaneously unobtrusive and intriguing, inviting visitors to come and investigate it. As it revolved, the camera recorded continuous moving images of the space at 3 frames per second. This slow shutter speed meant that the static background of the centre was recorded blurred and distorted, while the visitors circling the camera, watching themselves on the monitor, remained in focus. The viewer is drawn into a shuffling dance of capture and evasion in which the participants seem to drive the process. The second part of the installation using the same location, is the projection of the edited film onto a video wall. Since control over the digital film lies with the spectator, the piece allows each viewer to become part casual observer, part voyeur, and part director, deciding what aspects of the work are projected and seen. Potentially, with every new ‘controller’ infinite variations and visions are revealed.
Commissioned by D-Frost festival of Ice, Fire and Light, Doncaster, England.

It was also shown as part of the ‘Unspeaking Engagements’ exhibition, in Bangkok Thailand. Curated by Professor Steve Dutton and Dr Brian Curtin. The work was presented as a linear piece together with a newly re-engineered surround sound audio track. Huge thanks to sound engineer Paul Adkins for his hard work, dedication and most of all patience.