September 18 – October 26, 2008
Arcadia University Art Gallery
About the Exhibition
Arcadia University Art Gallery is pleased to present the first individual exhibition in the United States for London-based artist Daniel Eatock (born 1975). Entitled “Extra Medium”, the show introduces a practice shaped by discovery, invention, and an alert sensitivity to coincidence and contradiction. Projects such as a set of dances to accompany car alarms, an open call for snapshots depicting camera straps that resemble photo accidents, and a wiki that invites participants to add the lengths of their favorite vertical structures to a mile-long website scroll, all employ wry humor and reductive, serial logic to reorient our methods for making sense of the world.
Eatock served on the design staff of the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) before returning to England to work with clients that include Britain’s Channel Four and the Serpentine Gallery (London). His early regard for conceptual art (cultivated, in part, by his reading of Lucy Lippard’s 1973 classic Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object) has consistently biased his solutions toward the objective, the essential, and the critical without sacrificing the wit that characterizes some of the best examples within this tradition. (The title of the exhibition is both a play on the excess of consumer options to which we have grown numb as well as a philosophical quandary not unlike one of Zeno’s paradoxes.)
Eatock’s hybrid practice is unified by a generous abundance of examples and its openness to collaboration, both of which are demonstrated by the number and variety of projects posted on his website. These include a participatory work conceived for this exhibition that will be comprised of products shipped (or hand-delivered) to the gallery marked “Best before October 26, 2008”, a date that coincides with the closing of the show. To learn more details about this project and to how to participate, please visit www.eatock.com.
Driven by ideas and the fluidity of language and its categories, the works in “Extra Medium” are equally invested in a curiosity about the physical properties of objects and materials and the range of circumstances in which we might encounter them. Unforeseen solutions to familiar challenges (domestic storage and display, stationery, website design) join an expanding roster of more idiosyncratic, client-less efforts, such as Eatock’s ongoing attempts to draw a perfect freehand circle, sustain a helium balloon at a constant height, or carry a glass of seawater from Atlantic City to Glenside via public transport (videotaping the entire process in a single take). These and other projects—many realized specifically for the exhibition and several in collaboration with Arcadia students—offer contingent forms of value and meaning amidst the chaos of the everyday.
The exhibition coincides with the publication of Imprint, a new monograph by Princeton Architectural Press. This 224-page book, the first to survey Eatock’s practice to date, features nearly 1000 images from over one hundred projects from 1994 to the present. Entirely authored and designed by Eatock, the book is distinguished not only by its (deceptive) lack of apparent order but also by the fact that each individual copy in the run of 4,000 is unique. In addition to inking his own thumbprint onto the spine of every book, Eatock arranged for one of his freehand circle drawings (inscribed on a sheet of yellow 8.5 x 11” paper) to be inserted into the binding of each copy at random locations throughout the entire edition.
Assist us in realizing a project for this exhibition. Daniel Eatock is collecting products marked Best before October 26, 2008, a date that coincides with the closing of the show. All products* labeled with this date and delivered (or shipped) to the gallery will be displayed on a shelf or refrigerator (if necessary) in the exhibition space to comprise a collection of seemingly random things unified by an expiration date. In exchange for any items donated, contributors will receive two signed photographs of the collection, one taken the day of expiration, the second taken the day after expiration. All participants will be credited by name. Submissions must be received before October 25, 2008. Goods that are collected for the project will be donated to local food pantries, including Philabundance and St. John’s Hospice.
*No dairy products, freshly baked goods, produce, or other readily perishable items. Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.