Merilyn Fairskye - Connected

Exhibition: 28 May to 28 June, 2003

Merilyn Fairskye

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This work considers how disembodied and shadowy the experience of being constantly connected can be. Fairskye uses as a starting point Pine Gap, the foreign and highly secretive military base near Alice Springs, one of the most isolated towns in Australia.

The video installation component of Connected adopts a Pine Gap modus operandi. Sites are monitored from the air and from the ground to create a sense of a town and a landscape inhabited by shadows, mirages, and secrets. People inhabit this space tenuously. You never get to see them. You hear from them, or about them. Every one around Alice Springs has a story, or a friend with a story, that connects to the base. These anecdotes interweave with intercepts from recent news reports; ambient sounds; static; Morse code from Telegraph Station, the roar of road trains speeding down the Stuart Highway; a lone didgeridoo.

As a counterpoint to the video, Fairskye uses the far walls of the gallery to present a phalanx of shimmering, shadowy human figures, their backs turned away from the viewer. They are business people leaving the office at the end of a working day, each holding a mobile phone to their ear. They are physically present but connected elsewhere. This tenuous presence is heightened by the translucence of the prints suspended from the wall.