Group 2: Humanity and Security

The humanity and security inspiration yielded several individual and group projects, these were subject to the same process of weekly meetings and two reveal sessions where the artists firstly offered their opening work to the companies, and then the work as it came to completion in readiness for the exhibition.

1.     Exploding Computer [James, Mike]

This idea used Mike’s inspiration of Cornelia Parker’s explosion. This has resulted in the development of a concept looking at stills and video of a computer and of it exploding, then converting this into a 360 VR environment accessed using VR headsets (HTC Vive/Occulus) with gaps between images and stills. This piece in the final exhibition was accessed via QR codes, this approach improved accessibility to the work.

Work in progress – Exploding computer

At this point the artwork was integrated with the Cybersounds artwork with how the collaboration between words and images can be achieved still being considered. Please click on the link below to engage with the final piece.

Click on the link below to watch the final work (Humanity- James Hutchinson and Ian Horn):

2.     Forgotten Password [James Hutchinson]

James created a body of work around a short film shot in ‘Waste lands’ in London and Sunderland, no doubt harking back subconsciously to certain areas where he would play as a child. The potential of the landscape is contrasted with footage of a computer exploding at the notion of the Forgotten Password. The moving images are accompanied by ambient sound and the word Humanity spoken in several languages collated by Ian Horn.

Humanity QR – James Hutchinson and Ian Horn

Alongside this 360-degree moving image work are other developments: ‘Cyber Eyes Benwell’, a photograph taken on a research trip to the New Breeze Creatives at The John Marley Centre in Benwell, Cyber Rug Hendon, included for its sculptural, performative potential.  ‘Forgotten Password digitally amended’ a collaboration with Ei Arakawa at Tate modern and finally Forgotten Password Arial’ referring to Hutchinson’s digital text works Forever and Love from his exhibition ‘Drawn’ at Baltic in 2005. 

Cyber Eyes Benwell – James Hutchinson
Cyber Rug Hendon – James Hutchinson

‘Forgotten Password digitally amended’ a collaboration with Ei Arakawa at Tate modern and finally Forgotten Password Arial’ referring to Hutchinson’s digital text works Forever and Love from his exhibition ‘Drawn’ at Baltic in 2005. 

Chalk Forgotten Password

The Atheneum installation of Forgotten Password was painted directly on the wall and upside down. Reflecting the Atheneum upper gallery being boat like and connecting to the Information Wave.

The Forgotten Password – James Hutchinson

3. Information Wave [Rhonda Fenwick]

The wave of information is engulfing everyone. The access to so much information it is a deluge and we are submerged, lost beneath a Tsumami of words, sounds and images. The primary 6 ft by 6 ft artwork proposed presents the struggle of the immenseness of information overload. Different informational characteristics are embedded in the waves, positive, negative, benign, dangerous, personal, hidden, etc. Perhaps as boats representing different data types.

The Great Wave – Rhonda Fenwick

These works were inspired Japanese artist Hokusai’s iconic work the Great Wave. ‘The irresistible force of nature and the frailty of human beings’. The crashing wave paintings attempt to capture their unpredictable energy, one minute they are there and the next they are gone.  This unpredictability is similar into the ways in which information technology can perform. Along with the incessant need of humanity to be heard and seen, overwhelmed with information and constant newsfeeds. The internet has created a tsunami which engulfs us all. The need for Cyber Security is crucial if we are to ensure personal information is protected.

Waves of Information II – Rhonda Fenwick

The digital prints below are works created as an antithesis to the crashing wave paintings. Contemplating humanity’s place in the cosmos. Energy, light and information at North Beach Lindisfarne. A metaphor for a place of safety, solitude and space to think of how we are to continue, safely and securely in the technological age of information.

Waves Tides and Information – Rhonda Fenwick

4. Encroaching and winning virus [Caitlin Savage /Ian Horn]

This artwork started with a virus attacking, where animated code (based on code used to hack into NHS) was being steadily eaten by the virus, with use of hexadecimal, binary and cybersecurity code to reveal the virus taking over as a projection eventually ending in a blue screen of death. Hacker is seeing and attacking the code behind the image – projected and/or animated. As this is happening, there will be the performance/narration of a Hybrid Greek / Japanese Haiku that could be a live reading with the virus being projected over the poet.

This project culminated in the ‘Blue Humanitas’ piece. This audio-visual digital artwork was the culmination of two artists from different disciplines. Ian Horn a local poet and Caitlin Savage a local visual artist. The premise for the work is based on the idea of humanity and technology destroying one another. The work is a product of discussions between the two artists on Greek language, computer coding and a common experience by everyday computer users…the blue screen of death.

The experience aims to provoke that terrible moment of realisation as the virus is taking over, with the realisation that everything has gone.

Poem written and performed by Ian Horn.

Digital artwork created and edited by Caitlin Savage.

Blue Humanitas – Caitlin Savage and Ian Horn

Caitlin went on with the virus inspiration to create a series of eight digital artworks that explore representations of the first computer worm ‘The Reaper’, invented by Ray Tomlinson in the 1970’s. ‘The Reaper’ is the first example of ‘anti-virus software’. For the work Savage converted personal data files into coding and layered this with the ‘hack’ code used to infiltrate the NHS. This project was seen as a great opportunity to research into the origins of cyber security and allowed the development of new skills in the conversion of JPEGs into Hexagonal coding. The research has been a crucial part of the fusion of art and technology enabling the creation and production of work in both print and video formats.

Yorms – Caitlin Savage

5. Cybersounds – voice of the internet [Ian Horn]

This artwork explores ideas relating to the vortex of the computer (through the explosion) with text and poems in different languages and how to represent the soliditary of humanity and its relationship with technology. The final version of this work was the repetition of the word ‘Humanity’ in a number of languages and speeds to create a haunting soundtrack for the piece above. This sound track also contributed to the SLEEPERS installation.


Mike Pannell    


Ian Horn          

Poet and Author

Rhonda Fenwick           


Beth J Ross      


Caitlin Savage