James Oram, 2020
Single-channel HD digital video, colour, sound, duration 22 min
Courtesy of the artist

Artist James Oram produces works that embrace the elegance of raw materials from which to draw out honest observations of modern living. This work is located within the tradition of the uninterrupted single take, no edits, preferring video as a direct document of an action over a constructed narrative.

Employing blue latex gloves and surgical tools, Oram carves a face from a square block of soap resting on a mirror to construct a clean, idealised version of himself. The work is reminiscent of lives configured for the best possible presence online, or of how we now protect ourselves when attending to daily banalities such as trips to the supermarket during lockdown. Either way our interface with the world has been transformed, what will the new you be like when we re-emerge in real life?!

Spheres: An Online Video Project

An online series of moving image works exploring social distance and personal environments including works from Xin Cheng, John Chrisstoffels, Conor Clarke, Ronnie van Hout, Sonya Lacey, Janet Lilo, Sione Monu, James Oram, Nova Paul, Bridget Reweti, Sriwhana Spong, and Matavai Taulangau.

Considering the recent popularity of the word ‘bubble’, the Spheres series examines how we interact, and our emotions, thoughts and sensations in relation to our surroundings. German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk described societal structure spatially, as spheres expanding from intimate bubbles to globes and foams. These works offer different perspectives on social distance, personal environments and the close radius of home. 

We invited artists to share something of their spheres, the ideas and places they live with and around. Their works touch on a variety of concerns, from environmental issues to consumerism and the importance of preserving cultural knowledge. Experienced online, they also reflect on representation and the contemporary circulation of imagery and information, the transfer to digital that allows us to reach out into the world.