On Robin Deacon

Posted by | George William Price | Posted on | February 18, 2015

I am delighted that Conversations at the Edge will be opening with my fellow Englishman Robin Deacon‘s multimedia performance White Balance: A History of Video this Thursday, February 19th at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

White Balance is a performance that draws on Deacon’s journalistic and documentary approaches to art making. Throughout the performance he engages with different outmoded forms of video technology in an effort to explore how the perception of memory and time are constructed through the medium of moving image. Deacon’s performance reveals the “ghosts in the machine,” those haunting specters with which we engage when viewing the ambient images of early video: artist documentation, family holidays, and television broadcasts. We see his pet dog. He speaks to us of a childhood in his native England. Time is demonstrated to be as malleable and ever-shifting as the degrading polymeric material to which it has been committed, while technological developments become temporal markers for our own memories. As viewers, we realize that we use these anachronistic vessels as compasses to orient our individual and collective memories. Deacon states during a performance in which time seems to be ever expanding, “Everything is out of its place. Everything is out of its time.”

George William Price is an arts administrator and scholar specializing in alternative forms of moving image media. He is the program assistant for Conversations at the Edge at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is a candidate for a Masters in Arts Administration and Policy (exp. 2015).

Robin Deacon, performance shot from White Balance: A History of Video, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Robin Deacon, performance shot from White Balance: A History of Video, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

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