John Gerrard: Watchful Portrat (Caroline)

  • ©2005, John Gerrard



    Watchful Portrat (Caroline)


Creation Year:



    2 PCs, 2 LCD screens, custom Corian plastic frame and support, 2 turn sensors, custom electronics


Artist Statement:

    John Gerrard’s varied works investigate the emotional possibilities of digital technologies. He creates pieces that question our identities, our relationships with each other, and how we interact with our physical environment. His sculptures and images frequently focus on the new temporal and experiential possibilities of real-time 30, gaming engines, and photo-type virtual objects that he characterizes as sculptural photographs. These works hinge on a number of key possibilities. Foremost among these are the new temporal and experiential parameters surrounding self-generating artworks containing virtual objects to which instructions in the form of code can be sent. The artist is interested in the possibility that these pieces need never end nor ever be the same. This interest in new temporal possibilities surfaces in works such as Saddening Portrait (Florian), in which a young man saddens in real time as he completes an action in 100 years time. This piece specifically sets out to exist outside of the parameters of most of our life spans. In removing the ability of the audience to possess the work completely, the artist attempts to create an echo of a tragic loss in his own life. Watchful Portrait (Caroline), the work presented at SIGGRAPH 2005, exists as a benign digital sentry that tracks the position of the sun at all times. In this relationship to the sun, which is the source of energy for our existence, the piece attempts to contextualise the human presence on earth in a broad manner: we are but a tiny part of the universal picture, both physically and in time .

Technical Information:

    To facilitate the new experiential and temporal aspects of these works, the artist is developing custom “sealed system” devices containing a PC and screen in Corian plastic frames. It is important that these devices be seamlessly installed with a particular emphasis on the domestic sphere. This strategy opens new possibilities for digital artworks to exist outside the institutional and academic environments in which they have been developed.

All Works by the Artist(s) in This Archive: