Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lighten up

One of the big challenges in collecting contemporary art is maintaining and replacing obsolete technology. A lot of artists want to use the nostalgia and sense of authenticity that often comes with out of date equipment. In New Zealand et al is an obvious example and so too is Simon Denny. If you purchased one of Ronnie van Hout’s green screen monitor works of the late 1990s, better start looking for replacements as they are already very difficult to source. And don't even talk about works that include the incandescent bulbs that are already banned in Europe.

Then there are the neon tubes that American Dan Flavin favoured for most of his work. Already there are intellectual and legal arguments over whether or not old tubes can be replaced by new ones with slightly different colour temperatures. You can read a fascinating account of the Flavin problem here.

However, as interesting as all this is, it is just a thinly-veiled excuse to show you a Japanese guy running through 70 neon tubes.