Today I went to a video art installation at Whitley Bay in North Tyneside, called Mariner 9, by Kelly Richardson.
This video art installation is being put on in the Spanish City Dome and is supported by North Tyneside Council and Tyneside Cinema.
At this point I must declare an interest as I am a Friend of Tyneside Cinema
The official website is here
First some background to the art work
According to a handout given at the installation
Now the reviewMariner 9 is a giant video installation by the artist Kelly Richardson. It is her representation of the surface of Mars created using cutting edge digital effects software and utilising 3D data taken from NASA satellites currently orbiting the planet. Scattered across Richardson's landscape are spacecraft from both real and imagined future missions. Now little more than rusting remains, some are still half working, still trying to find signs of life and send messages back to Earth, possibly to no-one
Operating like a moving painting or photograph, Mariner 9 is a snapshot of a single point in time a century or two into our future that tells a bigger story
I turned up on time however they had been having problems with the projector so the opening was delayed. When we were allowed into the Spanish City Dome, the are work was still not ready, so we were invited to look at some of the display material related to the Spanish City Dome it self. This building is a white domed building on the sea front of Whitley Bay and is a grade two listed building.
The toilet facilities currently are portaloos although near by on a road down to the beach are some more decent toilets.
We got into the art work itself which was 12 metres in length.
A picture courtesy of the Tyneside Cinema Twitter account can be seen here
In front of the art work are a number of basic camping style seats all in a line.
On the panoramic image I could see a number of what would be classed as space junk. One item looked like a crashed satellite, still in remarkably good shape after supposedly crashing onto the planet surface.
There were a number of the "landers" that moved.
On the far right of the installation, next to what seemed like some remains of a human installation, evidenced by large pipes, was something based on the Curiosity rover design that had somehow been stranded so that it's wheels did not touch the surface, although they would rotate from time to time. A probe in front went up and down.
In front of that was something, possibly like Beagle 2 or Pathfinder which just had a top part that rotated.
In the back ground another ruined rover picked up a wheel and then rotated it and then lowered it.
On the right hand side there was what looked a cross between the Viking landers and Phoenix which had to arm probes that moved, a long one and a short one which both moved up and down.
Added to this mix were what seemed like two garden lights that went on and of and periodically dust would be blown across the scene.
The whole art work is on a twenty minute loop tape, so do not expect any of the rovers to go mobile. I stayed quite a while, longer than those who came in with me. This is probably not something to take children too, unless they have a low boredom threshold and you have taken them to the toilets by the sea front first.
In terms of the Bad astronomy, it would seem odd if a large number of lander would end up marooned in the same area, as we tend to land these things as far a part from each other as possible to gain as much scientific data. It could be pointed out that this is set about 200 years into our future, which it could be asked, why would rovers be commanded to congregate near a stationary lander. Maybe this rankles because this is the kind of nit we tend to pick.
In addition to this art installation two talks were commissioned, and a performance / playing of Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds plus some other music and a film festival.
The Exhibition is on at Whitley Bay's Spanish City Dome on Promenade from Friday 03 August 2012 until 19 August 2012. Admission is free
For more details about the related events see here