Theme for Great Cities explores urbanism, imagining the city as social packaging. Technological detritus gets blown up to environmental scale. A gravelly computer voice emanates from a shack built from computer boxes. Composite images fold around the walls like high-concept wallpaper.
Theme for Great Cities extends Brennan's project Another Green World at Artspace Sydney in 2002, which resulted from her residency there. In her Ramp exhibition, she photocopies computer packaging and blows it up so that it becomes environmental. A small structure is built from G4 packaging in one corner, its 'architecture' reminiscent of igloos, or shanties, improvisational buildings that use materials at hand. A computerized voice floats out from it, reciting a text adapted from Situationist Raoul Vaneigeim. Once inside the structure, we realize the voice is part of a DVD Brennan has made for the project, the style of which is derived from a sci-fi standard - the flight through the future city.
Brennan states that together, the different aspects of the installation create an environment that drifts in and out of focus and between scales. She suggests that Theme for Great Cities is at once didactic and palpably ridiculous.
Brennan was the inaugural Digital Artist-in-Residence in the University of Waikato Department of Screen and Media Studies. Her practice spans work as an artist, curator and writer. Her last major work was the curatorial project Dirty Pixels, which toured New Zealand galleries.
For more information about Stella Brennan, visitwww.stella.net.nz