The Influence Machine (Ousler, 2000): Tate Modern, 6pm
This 'event' is also being presented at the Tate on Feb, 15th, 16th & 19th. Details here.
Tony Ousler is perhaps best known currently for his video to accompany David Bowie's latest song, Where Are We Now.
Here is the Tate Modern's introduction to Ousler's 2000 work: Ghostly presences haunt Tate Modern’s riverfront landscape in an immersive installation entitled The Influence Machine by American artist Tony Oursler, presented in collaboration with Artangel. This large-scale multimedia séance,
which explores the deep history of virtual image production, was
recently donated to Tate, along with several other works from the Artangel Collection.
Oursler conceived The Inﬂuence Machine as a kind of
‘psycho-landscape’, which traces the growth of telecommunication, from
the telegraph to the radio, the television and the Internet, with each
technological leap accompanied by a struggle to define its usage.
Delving deep into the history of media, Oursler created a historic sound
and light show which invokes the spirit of the phantasmagorias of the
late eighteenth century to investigate what he called ‘the dark side of
the light’ - an alternative history of disembodied communication.
The work consists of monologues written by Oursler and performed by
several ethereal figures which are projected onto trees, walls and
clouds of smoke. Key names from media history are referenced, such as
Kate Fox, purveyor of the spiritual telegraph, the television pioneer
John Logie Baird and Etienne Gaspard Robertson, who used automatons and
magic lanterns to create pre-cinematic performances in a Paris crypt in
1763. The haunting soundtrack, played on a glass harmonica, was composed
by musician and expanded cinema pioneer Tony Conrad in collaboration
Here is an extract.