Six channel video installation. 6:00 loop.
Glen Dimplex Artists’ Award 2000.

Carbon 12 is a six channel video installation piece in which hexagonal patterns travelling from one screen to the next reveal footage of people beginning and terminating telephone conversations in stuttering slow motion. The patterns and hexagonal arrangement of the monitors echo the molecular structure of the Carbon molecule, while the title refers to the atomic weight which is used to determine all other weights in the periodic table of elements. This pointing to a process of standardization is mimiced in the images, which documents the introduction of telecommunication technologies into daily life. Archival elements from early telephone company industrial films and Cold War era US Department of Defense propaganda pieces are combined with bluescreen recreations filmed by the artists to present a critical view of the mythos surrounding technological progress.

Carbon-12, the most coherent work in terms of its installation design, features footage of telephone and computer operation shown on six linked monitors. These monitors face out from the center of a darkened room, suggesting either a surveillance control room or a ‘futuristic’ mainframe computer. Through their incorporation into this oppressive system these banal images are transformed from emblems of efficiency and progress into signifiers of alienation and dislocation

Maeve Connolly. Circa. June 2000.