Ronan McCrea

Twelve by Twelve by Two

Twelve by Twelve by Two is a projected 35mm slide work consisting of twelve sets of twenty four images. Each set depicts a particular subject or typology of what the artist terms ready-made images that variously encompass his ongoing photographic studies, collections, unrealised projects, fragments of earlier artworks, and self-reflexive stagings of the photographic medium itself. Four slide projectors are programmed to create twelve systematic sequences of superimposed images, each of approximately two minutes duration that include pictures of uninhabited zoo environments, seascapes, hand gestures, projection lamps, instructional pictures, renderings of a speculative sculpture project, a study of photographic images found on empty buildings and sites, a collection of mid-century glassware, an issue of an art magazine from 1971, encyclopaedia photographs with holes, and a study of raking and flying shores. The contingency of the material is re-imagined and re-constituted through tropes of superimposition, seriality and the grid that draw on the legacies of Structural film and the procedural logics of minimalism, early conceptual art and twelve tone serial music.

This work was exhibited as part of the solo exhibition Efference Copy Mechanism, at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, 14 Feburary- 13 April 2019.  The exhibition comprises a complex arrangement of superimposed slide and 16mm film projections that draw on the artist’s personal archive and accumulated image bank, continuing his ongoing exploration of celluloid materiality, appropriated and found images, instructional film and pedagogy, reproduction and indexicality.

The darkened gallery space is divided by a line of steel archive storage shelves. From within this structure – at once functional and symbolic – an array of signals, control boxes, cables, looping mechanisms and projectors orchestrate the combination of images onto the surrounding walls. This spine-like structure is a key to the exhibition’s title. In neurological terms an efference is a motor signal from the central nervous system to the periphery. A copy of this signal – an efference copy – is created as the signal exits the brain and is re-routed to other areas of the sensory cortex, thus explaining our perception of stability despite constant eye movement, and how sensory signals generated from external stimuli can be distinguished from signals resulting from one’s own actions. Efference Copy Mechanism acts as a metaphor and framework for the artist’s thinking on his own relationship to the photo-mechanical image and the ‘baggage’ – both physical and metaphoric – of a personal archive representing many years of practice.

Installation photography  of ‘Efference Copy Mechanism’ by Kasia Kaminska