The Strip (3 stars)

This article is from 2015

The Strip

Credit: Edinburgh Art Festival

The Dennis and Debbie Club present new digital installation developed at Edinburgh’s tech-incubator

Glasgow-based collaborators ‘The Dennis and Debbie Club’ were artists-in-residence at Codebase, the tech incubator in Argyle House, in the six months leading up to the Edinburgh Art Festival. During this time they developed The Strip – a digital triptych made using open source 3D graphic software and CGI animation, currently exhibited in the Codebase office block.

This technology, despite being used for the first time by the duo, maintains the low-fi digital aesthetic familiar in previous works. Each of three screens constructs a different location; the greenhouse in which Kurt Cobain shot himself in 1994; a crater on the planet Mars from data captured by ESA’s Mars Express Mission in 2014; and a collage of buildings found along Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. These scenes eventually break apart, leaving disparate objects floating across a blue background. This process is played on a loop with the cycle concluding with the words ‘what you need now is a good night’s sleep to regain the illusion of a fresh start,’ overlaid like subtitles.

But The Strip is displayed in such an honest way (everything is on display, from the speakers and cables to the mouse to turn the clips off and on) that there is no illusion within the work – there is no fresh start. The scenes constructed and then fragmented by the pair are obviously artificial throughout. This is a little disappointing for an audience expecting to be entertained by the immersive and sensational possibilities of CGI technology that are promised. ‘You cherish the delusion’ write the artists at the start of the loop, but this is a work that forces its audience to engage – and acknowledge – reality.

Argyle House, 560 2003, 22 & 23, 29 & 30 Aug, free.

Dennis and Debbie Club: The Strip

  • 3 stars

German-born, Glasgow based pair, Dennis J Reinmüller and Debbie Moody, have constructed an audio-visual installation using 3D computer graphics to recreate locations such as a crater on Mars and the greenhouse where Kurt Cobain was found dead.