essay by Chris Rose

Deceleration, magnification, multiple coexisting frames, layering and displacement of screens within the viewing space­these are just some of the techniques employed in Linda Wallace¹s video installation, entanglements (2004). This work extends the artist¹s experiments in the re-use and manipulation of media (cinema, internet, analogue video, television) by digital video. lovehotel (2000) and eurovision (2001) both used multiple narrative strategies to convey aspects of contemporary reality which are themselves multiple and nonlinear-netspace in the former, a fragmentary and heterogeneous Europe in the latter.

entanglements, for its part, is about television, which is less an external reference than the milieu in which Wallace gets our eyes travelling by means of digital video techniques of recording and manipulation. The milieu is instantly recognisable: the Moscow theatre siege, the Gulf War, Palestine, Pine Gap. One side of entanglements faces the domestic space of televisual reception. (The installation space resembles a living-room interior, with the curtains hanging either side of the Œtele-window¹.) On the other side, the video is the means of extracting thought and perception from this space. It is an assemblage of television images, taking leave of their ordinary context, thereby allowing new relations to emerge in their intervals and unexplored dimensions.

The artist is like a tourist who travels out of curiosity, but rather than moving, she remains in the living room and travels by cutting and assembling, speeding up and slowing down the image, which itself is always on the move. Magnification, for example, does not merely reveal small details. It breaks up objects and makes them melt into a pixilated Œground¹ which emerges from the image¹s midst like a foreign land accessed solely by digital processes. Despite the artifice, this enables Wallace to say, Œit¹s just television¹ ­ television intensified, recomposed by a digital video travelling machine which has broken free of regular programming.

Why Œentanglement¹? Wallace treats television images as entanglements of lines, processes, or forces (often invisible). These lines can be technological, political, physical, anything at all, as long as they are captured in and expressed by the image. Images are fragments connected by lines of force to other images. Television records the visible and already sayable parts of these lines in segments. Our ordinary viewing habits entail jumping and jerking from one segmented entanglement to another. We skim across heterogeneous images, along with their coexisting force fields. Wallace rejects this kind of movement, along with the political and commercial interests animating it ­ but does not reject the images.

By abstracting the image from its everyday context Wallace replaces one kind of tangle with another. She passes from a segmented vision of images and forces in order to consider the image as part of a more specific pattern of eventful connections. When an unusually intense image flashes on the screen, it produces a charge which lights up the implicit and persisting lines of the image to such a degree that we are transported into a foreign territory (even if we remain at home). This foreign territory is the unknown land of the event, which seizes hold of us before we know what¹s happening, or seeps into our homes and brains, effecting subtle internal adjustments. In entanglements, Linda Wallace frees up some time and space to think through this eventful televisual interface between the outside and subjectivity¹s domestic interior. The driving question of the work appears to be: ŒHow is this global dynamism, this so-called "war on terrorism", rearranging our interiors and exteriors, speeding up, slowing down, and generally editing our lives?¹ While there is no straightforward answer to such a question, the juxtaposition of terror and images evocative of Australia¹s current property mania gives rise to one unexpected angle on the event­the war on terror as Australia¹s ultimate home-renovation show, slow-leaking a virtual terrorist into every interior.

Chris Rose is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of Queensland, writing on Gilles Deleuze's theory of the image and sensation with regard to the paintings of Francis Bacon.