Sawtell is interested in vocabularies of access and excess, how images and objects are made and cirulate in a global and technologically advanced economy.
For this exhibition, Sawtell has created Dividend, a ‘people’s currency’ for Sheffield, modelled on alternative cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and made available to acquire through an open source application of her own design. When Dividend currency is exchanged online it triggers an algorithm that directly affects the visual content of a computer generated moving image work, which forms the centerpiece of the exhibition.
Drawing on her activity as a musician, a new electronic sound work is played through bespoke speakers and strobe lighting alters the atmosphere of the galleries. Sawtell has collaboratively designed the speakers and light with specialist manufactures based in Britain. Her work often fuses the interdependencies of globalised trade with small-scale, local production.
All the elements of the exhibition are conceived as one interconnected system; from the open source application directly influencing the moving image work, to the exhibition’s title @dividend_plus, which takes on an additional life via Art Sheffield and Site Gallery’s social media platforms.