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Collars

About

Artists: Alexandra Gillespie and Somaya Langley

Collars is a mixed media installation combining audio, electronics and fabric in order to address notions of notions of power and control, social stratification and status through the object of the collar and its role in society. The collar is also employed as a means of describing emotional states, such as being "hot under the collar", other events like "getting collared" (marriage) or "being collared" for a crime.

Collar Weights

Collars, Canberra, Australia (2008).

UPCOMING: March 2009 - Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman House, Canberra.

Collar Weights - A Security Blanket

A Security Blanket - Collars, Canberra, Australia (2008).

Each collar takes a phrase from an oral history recording with the owner of the collar. This short phrase is then printed onto electroluminescent panel inserted into the collar. The phrases include:

  • VIVACIOUS, CAREFREE, CARELESS
  • PALM TREES, SUN, IN L.A.
  • ADOPTING THE SAME AESTHETIC
  • FRIENDSHIP AND TRAVEL
  • FREAKING OUT ABOUT THE COLDNESS
  • DAY-IN, DAY-OUT
  • THE TOP BUTTON'S UNDONE
  • SELF INFLICTED RESTRAINT
  • IMMEDIATE ATTRACTION
  • THE MOST INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
  • FULLY ADULT FOR THE FIRST TIME
  • THAT'S STILL ME
  • BECOMING SOMEONE ELSE
  • I WORE IT THAT YEAR
  • SWAPPING CLOTHES
  • PARTIES AND DRINKING
  • A SECURITY BLANKET
  • SOME SORT OF PICK ME UP
  • IN MY TWILIGHT YEARS I RESIST
  • HOW I'VE CHANGED
  • BLACK AND WHITE SUITS
  • A CHINESE RESTAURANT

The collars have been grouped together based on a series of themes that arose during the interview process. The current phase of this project is to link in segments of the oral histories audio recording into an overlapping conversational soundscape.

Collar Weights - conversational group

Conversational Group - Collars, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia (2008).

In November 2008, one collar conversation group was installed at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Manuka as part of the dorkbot cbr exhibition.

In July 2008, we presented an artist talk on Collar in Singapore at the 2008 International Symposium on Electronic Arts (ISEA). To an audience of approximately 40 people, we discussed the concept of the work, the collection process, the development proces so far, and the future stages and iterations of the work.

Collars was installed in October 2007 in the front shop window of High Tea With Mrs Woo in Newcastle, Australia, as part of the re:skin exhibition at the 2007 Electrofringe festival.

Collar Weights - Electrofringe 2007

Collars at Electrofringe Festival, Newcastle, Australia (2007).

Collar Weights

Collars - work in progress - re:skin, Canberra, Australia (2007)

Collar Weights

Collars - V formation, illuminated text

Collar Weights

Collars - suspended, illuminated text

Thankyou to our participants - Alessandra Pretto, Antonio Gambale, Caolan Mitchell, Govinda Lange, Jasmine Guffond, Joc Curran, Justine White, Lindsay Bingham, Maria-Eleni Alesandre, Marie-Louise Ayres, Melissa Penrose, Meredith Hughes, Michelle Fix, Nick Mariette, Nicole Leuning, Quentin Mitchell, Rod Gillespie, Rowena Jamieson, Rozi Suliman, Willow Fix Berry - we are humbled by your very personal contributions.

Sun Industries E-Lite

Thankyou to the sponsors for our materials components - E-Lite and Sun Industries, Thylacine for construction of the custom-built collars stands, programming for the lighting sequences by Ben Lippmeier and additional audio editing by Christian Malejka, for this support we are very grateful.

This work began at Create_Space, the 2005 Australian Network for Art and Technology media laboratory held at the Meat Market in Melbourne, Australia.