The dForm explores the construction and perception of time-based events by examining the ability of static objects to encapsulate temporal information. It aims to question our relationship with physical objects and static concreteness that we assume of them, by proposing a new modality for representation for time-based events. It presents a modality in which the linear codec of time-based representation is challenged, and through which the viewer is reasserted as the relational position from which time is perceived.

dForm is comprised of three works – dForm, 16: sec and Plus

In Gallery 2 dForm consists of a trio of machines respond to viewer presence by squeezing columns of clay into twisted sinews that document the events occurring around them each day. Viewers operate as data input to form the work for an exhibition that is literally making its self. As the columns are replaced at the end of each day a journal of the exhibition accrues in a mound on the floor. Steadily filling the room with 60 columns.

dForm establishes a set of rules. Software works like that. It takes a bit to get your head around thinking of it as a sculptural practice but it’s like other sculptural media – governed by its own intrinsic material qualities. The rules for operating these machines are simple – don’t do anything. Unless – someone in the space moves. Then use the location of that movement as a value in an equation that determines which machine responds and how.
So if no one comes to see the show nothing happens. Which is fine – the clay just stays as a column. What makes things more complex is that every viewer’s movement affects all subsequent events on that day. The viewer is the subject in the sense that the work literally looks at them via a web cam. But when the viewer is looking at the work what do they look at? The clay forms are a result of their own and others’ actions.

In Gallery 1 a parallel work – 16: sec,  extend this discourse between the ephemeral and the eternal and engage with notions of time and permanence in relationship to painting and sculpture by transposing video images into 3D stereolithographic objects. The forms are the result of software mapping mean pixel values to spatial coordinates. The resulting sixteen silver plated objects lie on pedestals as static encapsulations of the time sequences present in the videos. The silver surface of these otherwise tectonic forms further disembodies the immutable permanence of these static forms.   On the walls sixteen portable DVD players loop the short clips of processed video footage from which the objects are generated These appear as atmospheric colour field paintings without clear reference to subject matter or to the forms generated from them.

In Gallery 3 an interactive video projection – Plus, composits a drawing based on viewer movement averaged over time. Every 5 minutes the projection is erased and starts over again.

In treating different subjects as data to determine spatial co-ordinates the commonality of motion as a generator of form allows us to consider the time inherent in static objects.  Time is treated as a subjective function rather than a sequential given.


James Charlton from an interview with Deborah Lawler-Dormer