Where is Local? Part 2: Who you gonna call?

29 Apr 2010

Oddly enough, ghosts were set to feature in part two of my trek in and around Tatton's online footprint. Naturally, any spectral activity in the electronic machine, or in Tatton's spook-friendly grounds, is upstaged this week by the disappearance of the Biennial's very own 'Ghost' – Clara Ursitti's Nissan-cum-Rolls Royce nicked from a street in Glasgow.

The curators tell me that although the vehicle had been soundproofed, the Italian artist had yet to finish her inspired pimp job of this most perfunctory of motors – designed to look like a Sunny, yet smell like a Silver Ghost – so it would seem a straight forward, if slightly desperate, car theft as opposed to an art burglary. It's not entirely shocking news, perhaps, given that this unfinished artwork can be hotwired and driven away, but the calls of hoax from Tweetsville tell a rather sad story of art events in the age of viral marketing.

On the absurdist flipside, back in the world of youtube I discover that however throwaway, or brief the items in this series of vignettes may individually appear, collectively they offer multiple views upon the site and its real-time cache. From the ludicrous, but highly entertaining 'Most Haunted' episode and clips of big-budget films shot there to the intimate diairistic perspectives of visitors camcordering their way about the place; from RHS TV presenter bloopers to phone footage of boy bands in concert and evidence of the day-to-day running of the site and house.

One certainly grasps a sense of the fight to maintain Tatton as a publicly accessible treasure and the necessity of the events structure to its financial future. But this library of random imagery also exposes the gaps: between the social phenomenon of an onsite event or experience and Tatton as historical backdrop, worlds within worlds that do not always connect. Which is where the biennial comes in – with its temporal investigations that wormhole between the two – artists creating relative contexts for history that take one beyond the 'Truman Show' curtain.

Posted by Rebecca Geldard at 12:29 PM