Susan Collins – Glenlandia

 
glenlandia at Loch Faskally © Susan Collins 2005
 
The above image was recorded in horizontal rows, pixel by pixel, from top to bottom and left to right, constructed over 21.33 hours on the 18th August 2005
 
Although this view appears to be that of a quintessentially natural Scottish landscape, Loch Faskally is in fact man made. It was created behind the hydro dam at Pitlochry which was built in 1947-50 as part of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board’s Tummel/Garry Power Scheme. The water level in the loch rises and falls according to need as it is drawn down to generate electricity and to facilitate the upstream migration of salmon (who bypass Pitlochry Dam via a fish ladder built into its structure).
 
The glenlandia camera was sited at the FRS (Fisheries Research Services) Freshwater laboratory which is situated on the bank of Loch Faskally. The FRS provide expert scientific and technical advice on marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and the protection of the aquatic environment and its wildlife. You can find out more about the work of the laboratory by clicking here. glenlandia was commissioned by Iliyana Nedkova for Horsecross in collaboration with Film and Video Umbrella for the launch of Threshold artspace and the opening of Perth’s new concert hall. It is a companion piece to Fenlandia – a work originally commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Norwich School of Art and Design for Silicon Fen. Both works address the relationship between the natural and the manmade, and our perception of landscape and technology over time.

 Read an article by Iliyana Nedkova about this work here : http://issuu.com/horsecrossarts/docs/readmoreissue5susancollins

What I find particularly intriguing about Collins’ “datascapes” as alluded to by Ilyana Nedkova is the aspect of the space time compression she deploys. This of course is a technique used by many a landscape painter over the centuries but not to the same abstracting effect. The result ironically is that the images are rendered uninhabitated by the drawn out pixelisation technique echoing the product of many highland landscape painters over the centuries. As Murdo MacDonald points out, this can be interpreted as the landscape of post Culloden millitarisation, of clearances and diaspora, of feudal land ownership and victorian wealth, where the stag, the grouse, salmon and sheep take precedence over people.

 

 

 

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