The South London Gallery concludes its season of video projections with a newly commissioned work by Derek Ogbourne: What Makes Me, What Makes You.
The work consists of two related elements. For the duration of the exhibition Ogbourne is walled into one end of the gallery, which has become a Spartan bedsitting room. Here he lives surrounded by his bits and pieces, pens and pencils, aides-memoires and memorabilia. He is recording his life by writing down the name of, or a reference to, every person he has ever met. The growing list is transmitted as he writes onto a monitor in another part of the gallery. A video camera watches him as he dredges his memory and this is transmitted too.
On another wall, outside Ogbourne’s cell, another changing image is projected, the face of very person in London. Using digital identikit technology every possible face is shown, accentuating the insignificance of the individual and the technology of detection. Each person is illustrated as a suspected criminal would be, stripped of personality or character to become merely the combination of several basic facial elements with the computer randomly selecting features and spitting them out in one continuous stream without stop. Ogbourne’s intention is to extend this work to include the population of the world, enabling the viewer to see up to six billion different faces over a period of time depending on the number of frames per second.
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What Makes You