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DCA Archive

Thomson & Craighead

Maps DNA and Spam

We are delighted to welcome back artists Thomson & Craighead to DCA for our first exhibition of 2014. Maps DNA and Spam features new work (Dundee Wall and The First Person) and a selection of older work including The Time Machine in alphabetical order, Belief and A short film about War.

Much of Thomson & CraigheadÂ’s recent work looks at how communications networks like the worldwide web are changing the way we relate to the world around us - the conflict between our private and public identities, the tension between the global and the local and the way in which modern communications inform our sense of place and self in the world.

The exhibition includes new two new works: The First Person (2013), an endless stream of first person statements taken from American self-help websites, randomly intercut with found video footage of a burning house; and Dundee Wall (2014) a poetic snapshot of social networking traffic from within this city, published as typeset posters and pasted up within DCA.

Two earlier works in the exhibition draw on information found entirely online: A Short Film about War (2009) is a narrative documentary artwork which takes viewers around the world to a variety of war zones as seen through the collective eyes of the online photo sharing community Flickr, and as witnessed by a variety of existing military and civilian bloggers; while Belief (2011-12) presents a series of fragmented broadcasts about faith, all sourced from the video sharing community YouTube.

Other works on display include The Time Machine in Alphabetical Order (2010) a complete re-edit of the 1960s film version of HG Wells Novella reconfigured by the artists into alphabetical order from beginning to end.

Jon Thomson, born 1969, and Alison Craighead, born 1971, studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and now live and work in Scotland and London. Jon Thomson is Reader in Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, while Alison Craighead is Reader in Visual Culture and Contemporary Art at University of Westminster and lectures in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University London. Thomson & Craighead have been working together since 1993. Recent exhibitions include MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen and Carroll/Fletcher, London.