Thursday 26 November
4pm – 6pm
University of the Arts London
272 High Holborn
Artist Tania Kovats (Course Leader, MA Drawing) entered into discussion with Simon Allen from Enter the Swarm, based around her new work ‘Tide’ in the current exhibition at Somerset House ‘One and All’.
Building on a longstanding preoccupation with water and the sea, Kovats has made a digital drawing that uses real-time data to brings to life the tides around the UK. Spectators are able to accelerate or pause the drawing. In the gallery at Somerset House a 12-kilo bronze bell, cast on Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall, is rung twice daily at high tide over the River Thames.
Kovats worked with Simon Allen and Enter the Swarm to concieve, design and build the digital drawing. Projected live as a backdrop to the event, on a scale larger than Kovat’s had seen before, the digital drawing, mapping high tide around the UK, quietly progressed as the discussion unfolded.
Screenshot from ‘Tide’, showing high tide at 2.37pm 2 Dec 2015
Highlighting how the UK and London’s historic and economic links to the sea were driven by empire, trade and military needs, Kovats poetically shared William Wherwell’s ground breaking map of the tidal streams around the UK and the rest of the world- drawn in the 19th centuray. Wherwell’s approach was not only revolutionary in terms of the infomation he visualised through drawing- but his influence on scientific methodology and terminology can still be seen today. Resulting discussions with an audience of postgraduate students and alumni from across UAL, touched on themes of tangilibility, digital audiences, art and science amoungst others, and was quielty punctuated by a bell from the online drawing as high tide hit Land’s End.
Prior to the event, participants were asked to visit the exhibition and supplied with and extract of text from Kovat’s book ‘Drawing Water’ locating the starting point for this work with the 19th century scientist William Wherwell’s cotidal lines: Cotidal lines