Free Fall

13th April - 8th June 2003
Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery Queensgate Shopping Centre Peterborough Central Library

Below are excerpts from the catalogue, if you would like to order a copy of the printed version please email me.

Free-fall, curated by Mike Stubbs, is an introduction to 'new media' art through a selection of work by different artists.

While many of us are addicted to consuming the latest technology, artists are pushing at what these technologies can be, subverting them and what can be done with them. Free-fall explores some of the issues, technologies and themes artists have been wrestling with since the 1990's.

Free-fall takes its title from the projection by Pernille Spence, in which we see a person in the sky free falling. Spence investigates notions of flying, falling and the human desire to escape gravitational pull. Similarly digital technologies seem to offer an escape from physical boundaries, yet the boundaries remain in place for many people.

Fee-fall suggests the desire to fly whilst at the same time predicting a fall to earth, echoing the promises and limitations of new technologies.

Artists are Richard Brown, Heath Bunting, Gina Czarnecki, Bill Drummond, Ronald Fraser-Munroe, Zoe Irvine, Bob Levine, Michael Pinsky, Simon Poulter, Rtmark, Ah-bin Shim, Pernille Spence, Thomson & Craighead, Dane Watkins, Ben Woodeson and Simon Yuill with contributions from Hull Time Based Arts and New Media Scotland (screening of Desk Top Ikons on 30th April)

Three works are located outside the gallery elsewhere in the city- Heath Bunting’s BorderXing Guide, a web-site that can be viewed at Peterborough Central Library.

Simon Poulter’s sculptural installation ‘Rome Shopping Centre’ is being constructed in Queensgate shopping centre between the 8th and the 17th of April. From the 19th April until the end of the exhibition it will be displayed in the gallery.
Pernille Spence’s ‘I look up, I look down’, projected onto the wall of Crecesnt House adjacent to the gallery can be viewed after dusk on Tuseday to Saturday until the 30th April.

peterborough digital arts and Free-fall have been lottery funded by Arts Council England, The launch of the exhibition and Simon Poulter’s residency in Queensgate are part of Mesh: celebrating art and technology from March to May 2003, initiated by Arts Council East, co-ordinated by the Junction.

Free-fall Talk, Screening and Discussion April 30th 7pm-10pm Rome Shopping Centre presentation: Simon Poulter shows the finished Rome Shopping Centre and talks about his work. followed by Desk Top Icons: A screening of 'Desktop Icons', a touring product from New Media Scotland.

Desk Top Icons, curated by Iliyana Nedkova, is a group of short digital films exploring the crossover of popular culture, media and new creative technologies. The quiet digital film revolution has opened up a brave new world where new screen icons are promised 15 Megabytes of Fame.
Discussion: Chris Byrne, Director of New Media Scotland, will join Mike Stubbs, artist, filmmaker and curator for a discussion and questions and answers session. Free, please phone or e-mail to book a place.


peterborough digital arts thank the following people and organisations for their support

Barker-Storey Matthews (Crescent House)
Hull Time Based Arts
Marlec Engineering Co Ltd (solar panel)
New Media Scotland
Queensgate Shopping Centre
Snowdens Marquees (tarpauline)
Unex Group (Crescent House)Tony Cook
Dale Cooke
Kate Pink
Kate Anderson
Thomas Bloom
Robert Follen
Tony Hirst
Lizzie Muller

Freefall Selected Biographies

Gina Czarnecki

Gina Czarnecki works in time-based and digital media making single screen, photographic and installation works. Through sampling, generating and re-processing image and sound she creates contemplative spaces with strong visual aesthetics.
Her work focuses on the human; the physical, biological and psychological More recently this has been concerned with the ethical and cultural issues raised from the scientific and technological advances in the fields of genetic engineering as well as on their future commercial and non-commercial uses.
Her work has been exhibited internationally including ISEA, Ars Electronica ' life sciences' 1999 and is in permanent exhibition at the new Federation Square Development, ACMI, Melbourne, Australia. She won a prestigious creative Scotland Award in 2002 for work on her interactive installation ' Silvers Alter' and has recently been nominated for Becks Futures 2003.

Gina currently Lives in Newport, Scotland and works at the University of Dundee, as Course leader for MSc Electronic Imaging.

Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead

Over the last ten years, Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead have been working primarily with video, sound and electronic networked space to create gallery and site-specific artworks and installations. During this time they have exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having earned an excellent reputation as leading UK practitioners in the field of New Media Art.

Much of Jon and Alison's gallery and web-based works to date follow the artistic traditions of Appropriation and Manipulation while exploring the myriad ways in which New Technologies & Electronic Global Communications Networks are changing the way we perceive the world around us.
Recent solo exhibitions include a presentation of their major new work, 'Short Films about Flying' for Mobile Home Gallery in London, and a mini-survey of three recent installations at V2 in Rotterdam. Recent participation in group exhibitions and special commissions include 010101: Art in Technological Times, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art & Money On-line, Tate Britain; Beuro Friedrich, Berlin; Game-show at the Massachusetts Musuem of Modern Art; Re:mote at The Photographers Gallery, London; BananaRAM in Ancona, Italy and Mobile Phonics at z33, Belgium.

Jon and Alison have also recently launched their on-line shop, and are currently developing new works for e2 in London. You can view their web-work and some documentation of other works at and

Pernille Spence

Based in Scotland, Pernille Spence is an artist and researcher in the School of Television & Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Pernille has been creating installations, performances and moving image works since the late 1990s, and has exhibited throughout the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and online. With her background in dance evident in the performance elements of her work, Pernille explores the limits and constraints of human movement through space. Her work is a journey into the emotional resonance of the human body as it moves within, and is constrained by, physical parameters. In these explorations, the artist creates a playful, visual dialogue between understandings of physical and abstract space.

Recent exhibitions include Kinaree at the National Review of Live Art 2003, Glasgow, Deep Space: Sensation & Immersion, ACMI, Australia and Cyberfem Spirit of Data, Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg, Germany.


The show brought together 17 artists,
some with international reputations some emerging and looked at issues such as biotechnology, physical/virtual mapping of space, the ubiquity of technology, interactive mediation, the policing of state boarders, our relationship with technology and so forth.

Artists Exhibited were:

Richard Brown
Heath Bunting
Gina Czarnecki
Bill Drumond
Ronald Fraser Monroe
Zoe Irvine
Bob Levine
Michael Pinsky
Simon Poulter
Ah-bin Shim
Pernile Spence
Thomson and Craighead
Dane Watkins
Ben Woodeson
Simon Yuill

Live performances on the opening night by Ronald Fraser Monroe, Bill Drumond and Thends

A line on new media...

"Today's new media is tomorrow's old media."
Thomson and Craighead

"New media + future = redundant technology" .
Zoe irvine

"What we may call the impulse to make art has, does and will continue to usewhat ever means and tools it can."
Bill Drummond

"New Media and every other tool available must be employed now to combat the megalomaniacal impulses of the greedy men who decide amongst themselves who should live or die."

"The authenticity of body is no longer due to the coherency of it's identity, but rather to the multiplicity of it's agency. What becomes important is not merely the body's individuality, but it's connectivity- not its mobility or location, but its interface. The internet becomes a crude external nervous system for the body. Not a medium of transmission of information and images but rather a transducer- enabling remote physical prompting and interaction." Stelarc, artist