Spooky Action at a Distance

Anat Ben-David & Martin Bell

Spooky Acton at a Distance is a site-specific temporary video/sculptural installation which has been created at NewActon in Canberra during April 2009 by artists Anat Ben-David and Martin Bell, with collaboration from curators Andy Mac and Adi Nachman. The project has been initiated and formed by Nectar Efkarpidis of NewActon.

Art Exhibition previously on at Citylights Projects in Acton precinct, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
From Friday 24 April 2009 to Monday 31 August 2009

Spooky Action at a Distance image

Published by Andy Mac on Wednesday 06 May 2009.
Contact the publisher.

During Early discussions about the collaborative basis for the project, curator Andy Mac was reminded of Einsteins’s exasperated quote regarding quantum mechanics, which he derided as ‘spukhafte Fernwirkung’ or ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’. Quantum Mechanics, specifically entanglement, suggest that particles which interact in some way become entangled, in a loose sense meaning that their properties become correlated. This is not an ordinary correlation in any sense of the word. It implies that there exists a strange connection between the particles that persists even when they are separated by great distances. In some sense, this connection is instantaneous, putting it in direct conflict with the special theory of Relativity. It was this strange connection that led Einstein to the phrase ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’.

Multi-disciplinary artist Anat Ben-David presents Band, a new video works series, based on seven different musical group scenes constructed from video and digital fragments, cloning and multiplying the artist’s image in such a way that all different members of each band are performed by the artist, who also composed and recorded the original music soundtrack. Band represents an ultimate virtual experience in terms of the construction of an invented reality. The installation aims not only to show the finished results – the completed clips – but to reveal the artistic process of creating a fictional world integrating digital technology and the body.

The members of Band are multicultural, multinational , multilingual and fictional. The characters serve as vessels that absorb culture and regurgitate a new language. Different national identities and cultures are mixed up. The intended effect is that of a parallel universe, where things seem familiar, but are nevertheless strangely and slightly rearranged.

Martin Bell’s installation Cowboy Style is a cut-up sculptural collage that references and connects with a wide array of pop cultural and art historical moments, narrating a Western revenge adventure not unlike the 70’s film West World, wherein a cowboy robot in a theme park goes crazy and starts killing visitors to the park.

Constructed of inkjet prints and mixed media, including live domestic plans, and supported by a timber 3d armature structure, Cowboy Style has a humorous relationship to Tatlin’s unrealized and utopian revolutionary model for the Monument to the Third International, and Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. Like any good Western, there are heroes and villains, heroines and rattlesnakes lurking. Unashamedly nostalgic, Bell is something of a hardcore romantic. Cowboy Style is a dangerous and deadly ride.

The collaborative installation of the two bodies of work, experiments with the amplification of the chance, random elements shared by the artists, and the distinct world of visual superpositions unique to each one. Much of the understated, hidden contexts of each of the artworks surfaced during the intriguing process of discussion and installation, voicing a strong statement on the creative process amongst the artists and curators. This sorcery could most aptly be described as Spooky Action at a Distance.


NewActon Heritage Link
21-23 Marcus Clarke Street
Canberra, Australia
9 to 6pm 7 days a week