Manageing to hold the attention of the general public
The new fibre glass casts of the conch shells replace the wing mirrors and hold the speakers.
In 2018 'Home Live Art'' commissioned 'Washed Up Car-Go' for the 'Coastal Currents Festival' in Hastings. On this occasion I used only one car and incorporated several elements of the three previous films for Hull city of Culture 2017 as well as other completely new elements.
Naturally I learnt a lot from the previous year, mainly about the balance between integrity and engaging with the public. A public audience as opposed to an audience in a gallery doesn’t have the stamina or convention to stand and watch a slow arty film (And I’m not sure I have either). The film for this single car therefore tried to keep a faster pace more in keeping with that of a TV advert. The elements in the film were ever changing to keep somebody engaged to the end. In some ways I learnt this lesson the hard way. After the installation of the cars in Hull I went around and watched over the shoulders of the public. On more than one occasion I found myself saying “ keep watching’! You’ll miss the good bit !” ...and more than once I found myself trying to generally stop people drifting away.
Still struggling with the purpose of public art, there are a lot of books in this film. A lot of them are books from ground breaking television documentaries like ‘Life on Earth’ ; ‘Civilisation’; ‘Cosmos’; ‘The Ascent of Man’. I was trying to reference that time in television history when there was a real effort to make TV ‘good for you’. The conch shells were also changed. I had originally intended the shells to replace the wing mirrors on the outside of the car but late in the day found out we didn’t have the security we thought we going to have. Putting the shells inside on the beach was the solution I came up with. Although it was interesting it was also quite complicated. The car door windows had to be replaced with Perspex so they could be drilled to allow the sound to escape. Having the shape of the shell naturally amplify the sound was clever but I’m not sure it was appreciated.
I found one person on line that even complained because it ‘sounded a bit tiny’! For the new car, fibre glass casts were made and fixed outside the car in place of the wing mirrors. They were not a spiral conical horn that naturally amplified they were just hollow with a loud speaker inside to give plenty of volume. This also meant there were fewer components on the beach inside the car which made it visually more simple
The music used is Mozart's Lacrimosa. The film is projected onto the back of the circular frame and in the fame is a print of a detail from the famous 'Sistine Chapel' ceiling ‘by Michelangelo – ‘God separates the land from the water’. Another image from the Sistine Chapel is also used as the screensaver image. (This image is seen as a still on the screen until the movement sensor- that starts the film- is triggered by somebody walking round the back of the car). It's a slightly less well known image; it shows God, bent over whilst travelling through the heavens away from the viewer. It is effectively ‘Gods arse’!
Another detail from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling.-'God separates the land from the sea'
The car switiched on after dark.
Photo: Peter Jones
In order to mask off the image in a circle I cut a hole in the parking ticket and attached it to the end of palstic bottle I found on the beach.
A lot of seagulls at the 'Rock on Nore' car park Hastings.
I actually used two model Citroen C3 's. One slightly bigger than the other
Screen inside the car showing the screen saver 'Gods Arse'
The unedited film footage shown inside the car. Obviously this version is square, the one in the car had the edges masked off to produce a circle for the circular screen.