The New Accelerator, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, 2023
Hanz Hancock and Patrick Morrissey (Saturation Point)
Private view and Symposium: Thursday, 23rd March
Thursday, 9th March – Monday, 3rd April 2023
Katrina Blannin, Eric Butcher, Sandra Crisp, Natalie Dower, Tim Ellis, Julia Farrer, Árpád Forgó, Hanz Hancock and Patrick Morrissey, Stephen Jaques, Hans Kotter, Caroline List, George Meyrick, Ian Monroe, Jeremy Morgan, Laurence Noga, Milly Peck, playpaint, Carol Robertson, Sarah Sparkes, Benet Spencer, Trevor Sutton, Trisant (Julian Hughes Watts), Kate Terry, April Virgoe, Adia Wahid, Mary Yacoob
The New Accelerator, a short story by H.G. Wells from 1901, addresses technological development, introducing a new perception of reality through a tonic which has the effect of slowing the world’s rotation. Taking the same name, The New Accelerator exhibition, aims to establish a dialogue between a range of artists who have reflected advances in technology through reductive, minimal, architectonic or geometric approaches. This story chimes with the editing process and focus through which abstract artists construct their images, using processes based on limitation, a single element, or through repetition or extension. Working with various partner organisations and individuals, the project identifies an interaction between art, science, science fiction and systems. Through presenting 27 contrasting artist’s practices, the exhibition, along with symposium and catalogue essays, will address points of connection and departure within these key areas.
The discourse surrounding Geometrical and Systems based art remains rooted in 1960s and early 1970s zeitgeist for purity, through clarity of thought and articulation, and as an extension of earlier Modernist dialogues. Conventionally located often as related to painting or other physical processes of construction such as sculpture or wall-based reliefs, The New Accelerator exhibition profiles a wider range of work, such as digital generative simulation or 3d video animation, which are presented alongside work that continues to explore media such as oil or acrylic on canvas, 3d relief constructions and installation.
Drawing upon key works within the Fitzwilliam Museum collection, such as Jeffrey Steele’s Sg III 103 (1988), and with Cambridge’s position as a hub of scientific and mathematical innovation taken as a starting point, the project aims to highlight the surrounding discourse, and how this connects with a wider range of contemporary artists working in diverse media, whilst locating their work in context of science or science fiction.
The New Accelerator exhibition and symposium was presented as a Cambridge Festival event (17 March - 2 April 2023), and was supported by research funding from Anglia Ruskin University. An accompanying catalogue is published by Anglia Ruskin University.