Hyper-linked is an exhibition for the digital realm, presenting new projects by seven contemporary Australian artists. Each artist is alert to the almost paradoxical fact that we are experiencing mass disconnect in an age of hyper-connectivity.
Like his peers, Matthew Griffin examines the role the internet plays in shaping our lives and the ways in which we communicate, bearing witness and paying tribute to our networked selves.
born Bendigo, Victoria 1976. Lives and works Sydney
Hello visibility: Darts, Sites, Bricks, Hearts, Roads 2020
5 HD digital videos, sound
Courtesy the artist
An Art Gallery of New South Wales Together In Art New Work 2020 © Matthew Griffin
Supported by the Tindale Foundation
Additional video may be accessed through the QR codes in Sites
We call old mobile phones ‘bricks’. You know the ones; the hefty oblong things with an antenna. They do kind of look like bricks. But is that an insult? Bricks are indispensable; they are both essential and endemic to the landscape of the modern world. The evolution of the city is contingent on the brick, as is the sprawl of the suburbs. Where would vernacular architecture be without this structural staple?
Bricks are dependable and steadfast; humble yet capable of greatness. There’s that scene in Indecent proposal where Woody Harrelson’s character gives a lecture about architecture’s capacity to lift the human spirit. Backlit by the slide projector, he pulls out a brick and quotes Louis Khan: ‘Even a brick wants to be something’. The music builds and the meaning lands. A brick is a fragment; a single part of a bigger picture. Not much on their own, but when amassed collectively, they’re monumental.
By that logic, aren’t all phones bricks? Even the smart ones? They’re the building blocks of the globalised world; discrete objects that together form a monumental network. They aren’t useful when inert, only when in dialogue. Maybe this is a metaphor we shouldn’t abandon.
As Matthew Griffin’s instructional videos and the social media accounts they spawn remind us, the ‘brick’ might not be such an anachronistic mascot after all.
— Isobel Parker Philip