Containing moving image, video, interactive multimedia, photography, audio, music, installation and collaborative practice, the DVD/CD package includes the work of over 30 culturally diverse and emerging artists alongside established figures such as Keith Piper.
The work splits into two distinct phases: the first half forming part of the touring Terminal Frontiers exhibition, which took in five venues including Watermans in London and Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery between 2002 and 2005.
One of these pieces of work, Keith Piper’s Local/ Stranger, is an interactive experience which encourages participants to critically examine their sense of what defines a stranger as opposed to a local. The user logs in by name, and chooses the category which they feel best describes their current situation through the question ‘How best would you describe yourself… a local or a stranger?’ Based on their responses they are drawn into a series of interactive question and answer scenarios which progressively challenge notions of the terms as discrete categories within the context of contemporary fluid and cosmopolitan societies.
Other works make up a body of yet un-exhibited work, known collectively as The Next Breath. The work involves a number of collaborations with UK-based people categorised as refugees or asylum-seekers, which took place 2004-2006.
In Glasgow, Virtual Migrants worked with young music group 4D, whose members are from Iran, Zimbabwe, Armenia and Sri Lanka. Together, they produced a video piece built around the daily threats and regular attacks which they experience on their estate.
Whilst in London, work with young women from Somalia, Iraq and the Seychelles and local photographer/ performance artist Poulomi Desai created an abstract fictional narrative in which characters exist looking for the other half of their fragment of a personal photograph, and begin to complete their jigsaw through finding each other.
The audio works feature a wide range of musical collaborators including hip-hop influenced artists from West Africa, classical santoor playing from Iran and a special remix by young, Glasgow-based rappers 4D. Mixed in with this is spoken poetry and montages of interviews.
Exhale has been produced by by Kooj Chuhan (digital media artist and filmmaker) and Aidan Jolly (musician and sound artist).
Kooj said: “The works range from fictional and abstract to factual and realist, and propose new ways through which art can tackle the emotive and personal dialectics of migration through displacement in our very midst which many choose to ignore.”
Exhale consists of:
– DVD with 18 original video and interactive works, including artist interviews and ‘the making of’ documentary
– Audio-CD with 11 works including songs, soundtracks and live music
– Two booklets with 40-pages of essays, images and contexts.
“Memorable and passionate” Art Monthly “Evocative, metaphorical” The Guardian
VIRTUAL MIGRANTS ‘EXHALE’
Release date: March 2007
Available from selected galleries and bookshops nationwide and online from www.virtualmigrants.com/exhale