September 1 - September 29, 2011
Wasmer Art Gallery
Passing Through brings together work from two areas of Mike Salmond’s research: interactive art and reflections on tourism. The work spans over a decade of travel in imagined and postmodern physical spaces. Most tourism spots are as engineered as any video game environment or space. They evolve from a perceived need for entertainment and connection with the country’s culture. Game spaces are also designed spaces that fulfill a need for a goal-based player. Both spaces can engage, astonish and excite us; the main difference being the physical spaces demand a rite of passage (airplane, boat, car, etc.). This rite focuses the traveler and creates a level of expectation that generates a lens from which we view the space. The game space is often viewed at speed, we are travelers in virtual realism but are not tasked with this same focus or concentrated lens. There are parallels here; many travelers visit the sights of a city or country so that they can reinforce the concept of being there and perform the function of a tourist. The psychology of play and travel is dictated by many factors and it is these concepts, behaviors and cultural tropes that Mike explores in his works. By traveling on buses through tourist areas, using public transport or by creating virtual lands where the only interaction is to view the space you are in, his work explores these created, imagined and evolving spaces as a reflection of how they change us and how we change them.
~ Michael Salmond