UK / Duration 4m 28s / 2012
Michael Day recently undertook a guest artist residency at Lademoen Kunstnerverksteder in Trondheim, Norway, with a view to involving the unique landscape of the fjords in his work. He found the calmness of the location quite extraordinary: some of the footage he gathered looked like it had been 3D rendered rather than captured from reality. Often, on ascending the cliffs toward what he expected would be considered by the Romantics as an inspiring and morally wholesome view, he saw that the viewpoint had already been occupied: by a picnic table.
He began to notice how many of these spaces had been commodified in this way, and started making a body of work that focused on picnic tables as insertions into the landscape. Picnic tables as sites from which to view a beautiful view, in a pre-commodified way, as a landscape that has not only been pre-enjoyed but so much so that it is now ‘staged’ with amenities. This piece uses the picnic table as a focal point for the idea of the failed wilderness, and alludes to the prefabricated nature of the experience of consuming those beautiful yet unreal-looking vistas.
Recreational Structures was commissioned by Lightworks 2012, and was supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Michael Day’s practice is interdisciplinary and uses a wide range of media and technologies, including digital media, sound, installation, electronics and photography. Often, his practice positions itself between new media art and fine art, opening a conversation between the similar but often divergent approaches of these two related areas of art practice. He has exhibited and screened work in venues in the UK and in Europe, Mexico and the USA.
His recent work has been concerned with the interplay between time, technology, and the experience of viewing art, and he has recently been working with filmed landscapes and seascapes to explore this. By combining slow, meditative footage of natural environments with the interruptive potential of the digital, his work considers the status of solitude in a world primarily experienced via hyperactive, interconnected technology.