Since the end of the 1980s Angela Bulloch has produced works that vary greatly in appearance, they have nonetheless one topic in common: namely the handling and projections about the regulatory nature and organisational structures of our past and present life systems. Typically, she conceives several work groups concrurrently. She does not elaborate them in chronological order, but sometimes abandons one, only to take it up again at a later stage. These groups cover a wide range: sound works, light pieces, drawing machines which respond to movement, pressure or noises made by the viewers. Some of these are interactive, while others merely give the impression of being so. Then there are wall paintings, photo series, video interventions and text works called “Rules”. Various self-imposed rules of society are chosen then removed from their particular social contexts and reinserted into different places. This process undermines the authority of the rules, and they become ‘images’ of society’s structures. Angela Bulloch’s works are either of an impersonal, technical nature or their aesthetic is determined by the technology employed (video, film, sound or image processing, etc.). Her work features forms familiar to us from the everyday world, or the “revamped” earlier version of the technology she employs. Consequently, regarding design concepts, the artist’s entire life-span is represented – from the sixties until today (and into the future).
A central aspect of her work is that she not only enables us to experience from within how realities are organised as sites of action and systems. She also reveals the constant flux of things caused by the projection of ideas and concepts onto locations, objects and realities which actually exist. The perception of structures and the perception of this perception can be described as the site in which the restructuring of reality is expressed as the constitution of individuality.
The technology behind her more recent pixel works is relatively easy to explain as a reinvention of television. Bulloch collaborated with Holger Friese to create a special modular light mixing system that allows 1.6 million colours to be mixed thanks to fluorescent tubes in the three screen colours red, green and blue. They engaged a variety of technical experts for the research and development of the various pixel modules. An interface was invented to operate the modules individually with digital information and each work runs its own programme. Each pixel module consists of a backlit glass sheet in a box and fluorescent cubes arranged by the artist to form various structures: towers, rows and more recently an entire “movie screen”.
Beatrix Ruf, ‘Pixel Text’, Kunsthaus Glarus, 2001 (excerpt)