More selected projects


Gabriel Thomas

3 screens

3 computers

3 keyboards

1 film

1 processing sketch

1 mouse 

1 pair of headphones

1 printer

glass cabinet

tea lights (optional) 


Broadcast is an installation consisting of 3 separate moving image pieces. The first was a 4 minute film displayed from a screen I hung from the ceiling, the second a generative animation displayed on my laptop and the 3rd a series of screen savers native to an old computer I got free off the internet. 


The installation resonated in various different ways for me. The film pertains the role of being the most immersive aspect, bound by headphones the experience demands the attention of ears as well as eyes. Audibly the film dictates, explains and expands upon the biometrics industry, specifically its role in the middle eastern political climate. The ending is then jared by an information video about plasma physics and the Bay City Rollers cover of ‘Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye).’

Visually the film presents a series of animations that proceed one after another, like a presentation. ranging from stock footage to fully rendered models. The project on a whole felt like a regurgitation, some of the aesthetics I built from scratch, some I found. It was interesting to play with authenticity. On the one hand I took products, anything i could get my hands on for free. I downloaded and messed with as much as I could. Sometimes I heightened it to make it more beautiful. Destroyed it too because that felt beautiful also. Ripped, took apart, dismantled and remixed everything I was able to take.

Working in a digital space everything has an expendable feel too it, theres always copies of copies. With digital mass production vandalising and altering materials manifests in a different way. Physical value feels like less of a thing. Everything in this project had a similar taste for me, it all came from the same space. The information I learned, the techniques, even the voices I spoke through were found in a google search with a free mp3 conversion.  

The second screen carried sense of purgatory with me. The simulation was generative, and constantly ticking. Animated fabric became somewhat of a loose motif, as did zero gravity space. The whole idea was centered around movement within stillness, I wanted certain things both in the film and on the laptop to simply exist in somewhat of a void, in a position where they could be inspected. The glass cabinet below also added to this, the junk in there felt important. The installation was laced with media references because the emotional connotations from those films shed a certain light on my work. From the nihilism I feel from the two brothers scene in Gummo, to the low frame rate references to A Space Odyssey flickering beneath, its all a melting pot of different ideas. 

My inspiration has been heavily tied to simulated works recently. I think that simulation has interesting energy, specifically the when the artist has the power to alter the conditions and parameters of the simulation to render something much more surreal. Both Ed Atkins’ social commentaries, and Jennifer Mehigan’s sexualised, fetishised landscapes first made me realise the power of this medium. As did Ugly Dynamics and Ian Cheng. I also found Diene Bertolo’s channelUntitled hugely inspirational in terms of its commentary on the then new technologies of 2000, whether they extend and clarify ourselves and the world around us or create murky and incomplete sense of displacement.

The development of my work was very much tailored around these ideas, simulation. One of the most important discoveries was a series of explosion test videos. I used time warping to play with the motion of the videos effectively giving a loose form of choreography. Another aesthetic choice I found useful was screen recording my experimentation, I often find when working the most important moments happen in between, in the moments i cant necessarily control. Throughout the film I also wanted to maintain continuity, specifically with the shots of assembling machinery. Due to the subject matter I felt the need to emotionally project an essence of clinical hardware, of engineering, work and robotics. As well as displaying all the small pieces in a way where they can predictably come together. 


Overall this piece has been interesting, I think it delivers technically as a project however as a piece of art I feel estranged. My perspective on what my own work means to me has shifted gradually since the beginning of this project and undoubtedly has misaligned in its completion. However I would not be in a critical, and more self aware position without this piece, I am grateful for the lessons this process gave me. Without it I would not have the opportunity to judge and question my own relationship with my work if I hadn't experienced the same level of frustration in the final weeks. The piece feels to me more of a by-product to larger, more fulfilling works I hope to develop in the future.  







Ugly Dynamics – About controlling simulations / Ugly Film