James Irwin: Monument to the Alphabet

26 Feb 2010 – 20 Mar 2010

Event times

Thurs-Sat, 12-6

Goth on Bus

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Buses: 53, 180, 199
  • Greenwich station, Deptford Bridge DLR

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Goth on Bus is pleased like to present Monument to the Alphabet, a solo exhibition by the British artist James Irwin. Irwin is also a member of the London collective Everything Is Number, and as Goth on Bus reaches it's first anniversary, it is a pleasure to welcome him back for his second exhibition at the space. Following their display at the Kinetica Art Fair in Marylebone, Irwin has installed two recent works which form an integral part of his research on the innovative MFA in Computational Studio Arts programme at Goldsmiths College. The eponymous Monument to the Alphabet, 2009, consists of sixteen flourescent fixings mounted on the wall, replacing the gallery lighting. Visitors are invited to interact with the installation through a plinth-mounted interface and, by using a sliding mechanism, can instantly reconfigure the lighting in order to create characters from the English alphabet. The second work in the show, ON/OFF(OFF/ON), 2009, is a single white neon. Visitors may also engage with this work via remote control, turning each word off (and it's opposite on), or each word on (and it's opposite off). Irwin's work is posited in the gap between 'new media art' and 'high art', and by using tropes from both (sculptural plinths, neon and an interactive element), attempts to render this gap non-existant. He describes the work as being made in 'response to throw-away status updates on Facebook or Twitter' and as such Monument to the Alphabet sits as a direct challenge to a viewer/user attempting to write sentences using one six foot letter at a time, particularly given the difficulty in looking directly at the lights themselves. However in contrast to this, it is the letter-forms that illuminate the space with a cool white glow, transforming the gallery into a spiritual space, similar to the work of Dan Flavin, giving the alphabet a kind of religious status. www.jamesirwin.net Goth on Bus is a non-profit experimental arts space in Greenwich, London. Goth on Bus, 139 Greenwich South Street, London Se10 8nx Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12 - 6.

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