Installation speaks to ‘our precarious niche’

The video installation Bruno's Thin Skin, by Dunedin artist David Green, takes shape in a George...
The video installation Bruno's Thin Skin, by Dunedin artist David Green, takes shape in a George St shop space. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Organic motion dynamics, including trees in the wind and bull kelp in the tide, are incorporated in a new video installation by Dunedin artist David Green.

The site-specific installation, which opens tonight at 343 George St, marks the third collaboration for Green with the Dunedin Dream Brokerage.

Green’s design, entitled Bruno’s Thin Skin, features fragments of digital video captured around the South Island, with digital projections spilling out of the shopfront windows and out into the street.

The image fragments will interact with the interior and exterior architecture of the building, as well as cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians.

Green’s work in Bruno’s Thin Skin contemplates the fragility of what French philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour describes as a "biofilm" — the niche we inhabit on the thin skin of Earth’s surface.

The project is supported by the Otago Polytechnic Research Office and funded in part by the Dunedin School of Art, where Green is a lecturer.

“This work is intended to speak to our precarious niche on this fine planetary skin that has made life as we know it possible," Green said.

"From the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, life’s playground is as slight as the skin of an apple, relative to our planet.

“At this moment, across the planet, people are fraught with anxiety over water issues; every day we find ourselves confronted — in real time — with our absolute reliance upon enough and our utter vulnerability to too much.

"Water quality, something until now we in Aotearoa/New Zealand have had the luxury of taking for granted, is slipping through our fingers,” he said.

Broker Kate Schrader said the Dunedin Dream Brokerage was pleased to be able to work with Green on another "unique and striking" installation.

Both previous projects with Green — 1954 and Time and Tide — had been very popular, she said.

The Dunedin Dream Brokerage has delivered 53 events since its launch (as Urban Dream Brokerage: Dunedin) in 2015, supporting use of the city’s under-utilised buildings.

The Dunedin Dream Brokerage is funded by Ara Toi Otepoti and the Dunedin City Council’s arts and culture strategy, with support from the Otago Chamber of Commerce and Otago Polytechnic.

Bruno’s Thin Skin runs until August 8.

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