Tina O'Connell


Various – 9 Events, Dyson Gallery, Royal Colleage of Art, London, Februar-March 2016

9 Events:
Tina O’Connell and Neal White, presented by Anony Heudek of Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp.


The exhibition was selected for Royal College of Art's Dyson Gallery by Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, part of a programme in which leading curators, such as Anony Hudek are asked to selected artsts for the Royal College of Art Dyson Gallery. Parts of the exhibition were based on works Deep Freezer, which you can read about here.


Key elements of the installation were constructed utilising tinned samples of bitumen – the residue left from oil production, and a material central to O’Connell’s work for a number of years. In particular the molds and forms used to create ‘Deep Freezer’ and that were originally exhibited in Antwerp are reshown as an unfolding series of further experiments. These include events such as drop pieces that explore how bitumen’s material state pushes our own perceptions of time in relation to form. A materials-test experiment led by O’Connell with research chemists at Reading University is documented as the effects of liquid nitrogen shatter and freeze a sample of bitumen, which then thaws slowly. As with other works, these event-based works link the perceptual limits of our own sensibility, with larger scale hyper-events – such as environmental change (Morton).

Further elements of the installation from Antwerp included seismic data drawn from the world’s largest global sensor that monitors nuclear explosions through seismic activity. This data obtained by the research collective ‘Office of Experiments’ from the UK Atomics Weapons Establishment; AWE Blacknest, is made audible as this Seismic data is translated to resonant frequencies by programmer, artist and composer Anna Troisi. Part of OoE’s work with artist Rob Smith and Anna Troisi, this project examined the potential of a global scale sculptural network.

Entombed Archaeological Objects’ – taken from the aftermath of the London Riots in 2011, links a philosophy of social practice or 'the incidental' with artistic artefacts, readymades etc. Central to the practices of the artists, O'Connell and White make reference to the legacy of John Latham, whose own artworks link together time with 'incidental' practice. As a philosophy that was also part of APG (Artist Placement Group), incidental events and the value given to found materials embodies a critical link between artistic and critical social engagements. The discussion about the legacy of 'incidental practice' was further developed through an ‘Incidental Meeting’ on March 18th, organised with Barbara Steveni and addressing questions of ‘unfinished business’. An additional visit to Flat Time House with Neal White, Henry Meyrick-Hughes and Antony Davis in April further extended the opportunity for students to engage with these ideas.



Panormaic View of Dyson Gallery. RCA.

View into Dyson Gallery with various event-works.

Detail of two event-works in vitrine. (unwinding time) - Day 6

Detail of Event-work. Bitumen sample suspended over laboratory sphere (unwinding time) - day 21

Detail of Event-work. Bitumen sample suspended over laboratory sphere - (unwinding time). 2016

Detail of Event-work. Bitumen sample suspended over laboratory sphere - (unwinding time). 2016

Detail of Event-work. Bitumen sample suspended on silicon paper - (unwinding time). 2016

Detail of Event-work. Bitumen sample suspended on silicon paper (unwinding time) - day 3. 2016

Bitumen Sample - Frozen to Defrost - slow motion loop (imperceptible time). 2016

Detail of Events. Dyson Gallery. RCA.

Post-event Structure. Found object (radical / enclosed time) 2011

Detail of 6 samples unwinding suspended through the wall and in balance - unwinding into two casts - (reversal of time). 2016

Detail of 3 samples unwinding into one of two casts - (reversal of time). 2016

Extracted resource from mining corporation promotional video - (deep time). 2016

An Incidental Meeting - organised by Neal White, Tina O'Connell and Barbara Steveni: the event was organised as a social gethering and brought together former Board members and artists associated with O+I and APG (1989-1966). Such was the strength of feeling in the room, and the context for art that a new upsurge of activity from a large group of artists and incidental persons was felt necessary. Working with Barbara Steveni, and Gareth Bell-Jones, Neal White has organised number of Incidental Meetings that have since taken place at Flat Time House, in a lead up to new planned activity through 'The Incidental Unit' (incidental time). 2016.
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