|In the past explorers used beads as a means of exchange in order to open new trading routes just as the development of the silicon chip has opened up a means of exchange in the "information" age. The images on this page document a part of the "Shareware Project" which was exhibited in March 2000 at the Canberra School of Art Gallery, Institute of the Arts, Australia National University Canberra ACT. This body of work endeavours to ask what is an original in the digital age and where does authenticity lie?|
|A section of my site provides a dictionary of embroidery stitches. On this site I requested that people who use this on-line resource make a 'shareware payment' and send me a piece of fabric, or a button, or some lace or ribbon. At the same time I requested that if items have a persoanl history associated with them to please tell me the story.|
|The "Shareware Project" has been created in two sections. The first section of the project is a web installation in which the images that appear on the website are created from scans of the materials I received from members of the public who participated. I have responded to each person by creating a series of images which tell their story and my journey. In each person's case this series of images culminates in an image of a 'postcard.'|
|The second section of the 'Shareware Project' further explores the tension between the original artefact and the simulated digital image. I created a 10 metre panel made from hand-made envelopes which is pictured above. This work incorporated materials that I have received in response to my request for 'payment' . I have used these objects received from members of the public to provoke ideas of the slippery exchange between the virtual and the real.|
As I work I ask myself in a digital age what and where is authenticity? Is it in the original request for honesty? In the form of payment for work online? Is the authentic to be found in the response by each member of the public telling his or her story? As each narrative unfolds, is an original to be witnessed in the process of creating a 'postcard' ? Is the original work of art to be found when we contextualize it in a gallery? What happens to narratives when clustered together within this site, and contextualized near objects which are photographed and digitised? Or does an authentic, original and therefore real cultural experience happen when we encounter this cultural artefact online? Does a truth lie in between all these questions. .........
A version of this work is currently touring to areas of Australia as part of Frisson: 14th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial
for the tour click to view