If there is a true centre of the universe then it must surely lay close to the television set."
The television set is the perfect machine for monitoring
all of this activity, keeping an eye on the coming and going in the world,
from the safety and inactivity of the armchair. Bringing live pictures,
news events, factual documentaries and fictional films all with full colour
and stereo sound from any place on earth and presenting them to the viewer
in the comfort and privacy of the home.
| The colour television set shows images from all over the
world (and beyond) presenting them to a comfortably seated 'static' viewer.
This seemed to me to present an uncomfortable imbalance which needed immediate
What would happen if the situation were reversed so that the television became the moving component (instead of the images) and the picture remained motionless, as a constant solid reliable object.
In order for the viewer to see the entire image they would need to move around the work, following the television, which is now revolving. This results in two elements exchanging their 'normal' passive roles for active ones whilst the active role of the moving picture now becomes static, or at least greatly slowed down.
The image on the television is a video recording of a model globe of the earth rotating at approximately one revolution per minute. The movement of the television set is timed to revolve at exactly the same speed as the rotational movement of the filmed globe so that one movement cancels out the other, resulting in a situation where the image does not appear to be connected to the screen.
The machines built between 1991 until 1999 are not an attempt at solving any of these ecological problems in fact they can only add to them (by the mechanical processes and energy consumed during their production) fractionally heightening the hysteria surrounding the forthcoming millennium and the current global warming debate. Nevertheless they were directly or indirectly inspired by the general preoccupation for the globalization of everything as well as the more local, close proximity of my studio to Greenwich meridian and it's observatory.