Tina O'Connell


Various – Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp, 2015-16

Working with Neal White and the curator Antony Hudek, existing and new work was commissioned and exhibited at Objectif. The ideas and research conducted prior to the exhibition were largely based on Antwerp’s success as a Diamond trading centre. Linking the extraction of and mining of data with that of natural resources, various works explored key themes of temporality and the monumental in the context of global capitalism.

Deep Freezer

I worked on a new commission for Objectif, in the basement space. The new work further develops my on-going interest in bitumen, and its temporal qualities. Drawing on the work I made with Neal White, A Quantity of Easing we created two bitumen forms, taking open cast diamond mines as a starting point (Antwerp being a capital of Diamonds in the world).  Situated on a plinth with an interior visible along the perimeter of the top surface, these forms collapse through holes into the bright space below. This inversion of the extraction process, sees the bitumen slowly unfold onto the negative void of the casts. From above, the forms simply dissolve into the plinth upon which they are placed. The link between oil, the basis of the bitumen, and mining or drilling of resources, waste and the void, is implicit.


The plinth itself is shown in a darkened space accessed through a Kiosk placed in the courtyard outside of the gallery. Visitors slowly lowered themselves down a ladder in to the darkness below. Facing them was the plinth, and around them the resonant audio of open source seismic data taken from a global array of sensors - developed by Anna Troisi with the Office of Experiments. Far to the left in the bottom of a liftshaft, a video plays back captured materials from diamond displays.


Exiting, the visitor leaves up a stairwell to an upstairs space, which is lit by orange fluorescent tubes. A text taken from Robert Smithson text on Spiral Jetty, alluding to land art and media, is the only other element in the space. There is no access to the gallery and visitors leave via the roller door half opened to the courtyard.


Going through the main entrance to the gallery upstairs, the Speedie Telstar – a work commissioned by TULCA Galway and on loan from the Museum of Computing and Communications, Galway was exhibited among works made by White that reflect on recent projects and fieldwork concerning key issues of time, with the ideas of global communications and global resource extraction.


Project Elements:
Deep Freezer
Two bitumen casts approx 40 x 40 cm. Custom made white plinth with floating top. LED lights, wood .


Speedie Telstar Sculpture;

Original Front page of the New York Times following the Speedie Telstar Launch 1962; Assorted informational videos and propoganda on DVD. 

The Speedie Telster is a sculpture in aluminium and steel with a range of recent technologies and traditional techniques used to finish details, from 3d printing to watercolour for the solar panels. The sculpture is approxiamtely the size of the orginal at 30 inches diameter.



Entrance to Objectif Exhibitions. Installation entrance is through kiosk, visitors exit from space to right.

The Kiosk forms a watertight entrance to the the installation in the basement space below.

Deep Freezer is situated in a dark basement space- a concrete resonating box vibrating to the seismic soundscape provided by a massive sub bass system.

Two bitumen casts modelled on open cast diamond mines dissolve throughout the show into the plinth beneath.

Detail of plinth interior visible through the space between the floating top and the sides of the plinth.

Bitumen collapsing into its centre, begins to slowly pour over the moulds from which it was cast.

Exiting via the staircase and then an orange neon space marked only by an extract of text from Smithson writing on Spiral Jetty.

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