Ted Whitaker, 2019
Mobile phone, mixed-media
Running in the Background consists of a consumer mobile phone, housed within an acrylic display case. The objects blend a language of a retail space and a hospital or science laboratory. The environment within the cube becomes strained under the activity of the device, in turn producing heat. The heat activates the moisture within the cube which generates condensation, or sweat. This work talks to a contemporary social space of work and labour that is phone dependant and significantly experienced online. Through anthropomorphising the electronic device with sweat, a conversation arises surrounding empathy and suspicion with connection to the role technology plays. In reference to Hans Haacke’s Condensation Cube, 1963-5 and Eva and Franco Mattes’ Biennale.py, 2001, this work plays on the ideas of environmental control, either through natural or technological means.
Ted Whitaker is an artist from Ōtepoti Dunedin, based in Pōneke Wellington. He has a Masters of Fine Art from Dunedin School of Art. Whitaker has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand, and in Beijing, Australia, Czech Republic and Scotland.