Love is a Metaphysical Gravity explores the complicated interiority of our electronic world. The photograph depicts a tangle of black and luminescent blue wiring surrounded by a halo of orange light, an effect the artist achieved by making a close-up photograph of the inside of a tube with a light source illuminating the inside. The image could be read as a portal or tunnel, or even the contents of a microscope, an effect heightened by the photograph’s black circular frame. Love is Metaphysical Gravity is a poetic imagining of the hidden systems that make our world function, and an invitation to consider their material forms. In depicting a tunnel perspective, Barclay critiques a fascination with the future that dispenses with lessons of the past. The work’s title is a reference to Buckminster Fuller’s proposition that systems of care should be embedded into organisational infrastructures.
Barclay’s practice investigates the disconnection between our abstract idea of computer systems and their reality –while the exterior is sleek and streamlined the backend is complex and unfathomable to the untrained eye. Drawing our attention to this schism also invites the viewer to re-examine the ethical and political dimensions of data and network architecture, and who controls the flow of information.
This work was exhibited at UTS Gallery in 2016, as part of a solo exhibition by Ella Barclay titled I Had To Do It. The exhibition explored the materiality of technology, data and network systems via bespoke electronics, photography, video and sculptural installation and performance. Ella Barclay has exhibited extensively in Sydney, as well as solo and group exhibitions in Tokyo, Taipei, Edinburgh, Brisbane, Kassel, Melbourne, Bathurst and New York. She has a PhD from UTS in Media Arts and her work is held in national and corporate collections.