chris klein art

overcurrent

undercurrent n. a current that is not apparent at the surface or lies beneath another current.
an opinion, emotion, etc., lying beneath apparent feeling or meaning - cf. overcurrent.

overcurrent is a series of digital urban landscapes that reflect a view of society as seen from the banks of the thames.
the initial idea for the overcurrent series came from an event called underkurrent, an evening of live electronic
music by the river presented by walter fabeck and kreepa, for which i was commissioned to design the
publicity material. the programme began with a river cruise on a boat equipped with a spatial
sound diffusion rig playing electromagnetic recordings of underwater sounds, then
continued at the trinity buoy wharf with a selection of live electronic performances
before returning to the embankment pier. on this return trip, no doubt influenced by the
music i had just heard, i saw for the first time the full extent of the docklands development
and recognised it as a reflection of the changes in contemporary society. on subsequent walks
around the docklands and along the river i looked for scenes which show how the different
levels of power that control and influence our lives are historically interwoven.

overcurrents appear complex and complicated because that is the nature of the world in which we now live.
telecommunications and the media have become the fabric of society, permeating everything to the
extent that we are almost oblivious to their influence. the persistent complexity of our lines
of communication has required us to reduce all complex thoughts and images to the
most simplistic symbolic icons. with increasing dependence on the media for information
and opinion, we have unconsciously become a collective. our layers of sophistication belie the
basic nature of our fears and desires. what we know is all we know. repetition of a message reinforces
its importance and validity, regardless of its credibility, while seeing every angle passes for understanding.
the conventions to which we conform, the rules we obey, the tricks we play, the beliefs we hold sacred, the
devices we employ and the limitations to which we willingly subject ourselves maintain our illusion of free
will and self determination. overcurrent is beyond now, beyond the present - overcurrent is the future.

representations of the overcurrent are produced by initially creating a stylised geometric line drawing over a photograph
which, when deleted, allows the remaining monochrome image to be coloured and reconstructed according to the
requirements of the total structure. it is then further modified through the interaction of successive
duplications to enhance the inherent complexity of the subject. even though nothing
of the original is left, the resulting electronic strata that runs through the
image remains as its binary signature.

click for a bigger picture

overcurrent16.jpg

a couple of years ago walter fabeck fabeck asked if i could modify my overcurrent image of the south bank complex to
publicise his teaching studio. the circle had been squared - i was happy to oblige.