September 22, 2001


Taken from ARt&D - Research and Development in the New Art Practice (Paperback) by Joke Brouwer (Author)

GRID allowed users to input a short video sequence into one of its grid rectangles, which then looped repeatedly, until someone else decided to re-record over the same grid rectangle.

The effect of GRID was of an evolving and complex set of repeating patterns – a matrix of differently looped actions, often created by different people at different times, each with their own internal phase patterns. The whole thing adds up to a novel kind of polyrhythm, a compelling visual music of syncopating facial expressions and body movements created by the audience for the audience.

GRID, like the TRIPTYCH piece mentioned above, is an unwitting descendant of Krueger’s REPLAY, the VIDEOPLACE interaction which grabbed a 16 frame silhouette sequence from the audience whenever the system detected motion, and then looped it back and forth until the next motion detection occurred. But REPLAY, according to Krueger’s description of it, is a simpler work, so simple that it might be argued that it fails to fully realize its potential. We have already seen how for Krueger, as for many artists who program, the invention phase, the creation of the basic idea, can become the end of the process, rather than the beginning of a new phase of applied creativity. Ross Phillip’s GRID on the other hand starts simply, but goes on to build complexity from this simple base by overlaying and juxtaposing loops together day by day for 4 months, and in doing so creates an artwork which is full and resonant and satisfying. In the way it uses full images rather than silhouettes, by putting the moving images into a spatial relationship with each other across the grid and by giving the artwork a memory, GRID empowers it’s audience to make a personal and collective statement, while the artwork as a whole constitutes a statement about the nature of interactivity and authorship.

You can see a (slightly) interactive version of the grid here.