High Street Casualties:
Ellie Harrison’s Zombie Walk
A performance / event in collaboration with Ort Gallery staged on Birmingham’s busy shopping streets. Dressed as “zombie employees”, more than 60 participants helped to map the former locations of thirteen of the big retail chains which have disappeared from our high streets since the start of the financial crisis in 2008.
Friday 13th February 2015
An event by Ellie Harrison offering one hundred participants the unique opportunity to stay the night in the great hall of the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow as part of a pop-up community.
After the Revolution,
Who Will Clean Up the Mess?
1st August - 18th October 2014
An installation / event by Ellie Harrison completely contingent on the result of the Referendum on Scottish Independence on 18th September 2014. The four large confetti cannons installed inside Talbot Rice’s Georgian Gallery would only be detonated in the event of a Yes vote.
The Global Race
The Global Race is an absurd vision of an Olympic games of the future, in which the brilliance of human ‘innovation’ means we no longer need to break a sweat! At an athletics track in central Berlin, a group of ‘elite athletes’ and members of the public competed in a series of races on Segways.
Watch online (released 24th September 2014)
Attempt at an Inventory...
Created specially for The Hospital for Dazed Art exhibition, for which artists were asked to revisit and rescue old or discarded artworks, Attempt at an Inventory... is Ellie Harrison’s attempt to take account of all the creative production she was responsible for in her formative years, exhibited alongside her first known self-portrait.
Created as a disruption during Invisible Dust’s Ways of Seeing Climate Change conference, Anti-Capitalist Aerobics engaged delegates in an energy intensive workout in order to expose some of the fundamental contradictions in the way we live our lives.
The Redistribution of Wealth
Installed in Tate Britain’s Historic Collection Room, this piece aims to retell the history of UK government spending on the arts from the birth of the ‘Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts’ in 1940, right up to the present day climate of cutbacks.
The End Product
Ellie devised this project in order to conclude and commodify the series of ‘LIVE Broadcasts’ she had been making over the last year. Specially for the exhibition I’ll Look Forward To It at Collective, Edinburgh she created and attempted to market a special DVD ‘boxset’ Ellie Harrison: 4 LIVE Broadcasts.
Austerity & Anarchy
An installation which employs a spotlight and smoke machine to visualise and explore the correlation between cuts in public spending and instances of mass rioting on the UK’s streets.
8th - 11th September 2011
An experiment in ‘value’ devised specifically for the context of the art fair. Fair Game is an endurance performance which sees Ellie gamble her entire artist’s fee for the project with fair goers, by setting-up and running a hoopla stall within the fair grounds.
Early Warning Signs
June 2011 - LIFELONG PROJECT
Devised as one of Ellie’s contribution to the Two Degrees festival, these four signs, designed to mimic those you might find outside a garage or a Bureau de Change, took up residence along Commercial Street in London. On a mission ‘promote’ climate change, they try hard to grab the attention of passers-by.
A Brief History of Privatisation
An installation in which the oscillations in UK public service policy over the last century are re-enacted by an inner circle of electric massage chairs under the seedy glow of red, and then blue, neon.
The History of Revolution:
Ellie Harrison’s Fireworks Display
26th June 2010
Conceived as the sister work to The History of Financial Crises, this performance spectacle is a one-woman attempt to re-enact a chronology of ‘the history of revolution’ over the course of the last 360 years via the medium of pyrotechnics.
18th May - 6th June 2010
Ellie devised this project specifically for the context of the ‘degree show’. For the final three weeks of her Master of Fine Art course at Glasgow School of Art, she made a conscious decision not to make any ‘work’, in favour of instead transforming her studio into a ‘press office’ and attempting to directly solicit the media coverage which many hope will come as a result of this much anticipated show.
General Election Drinking Game
6th May 2010
An endurance performance devised by Ellie Harrison to coincide with the 2010 UK general election. Four ‘players’ represented the main political parties - each attempting to drink one shot of lager for every seat in parliament their party won, live as the results came in throughout the night.
An installation for which an old vending machine is reprogrammed to release snacks only when news relating to the recession makes the headlines on the BBC News RSS feed.
The History of Financial Crises
An installation in which the turbulent history of capitalism over the last century is re-enacted each day by a row of popcorn making machines.
Developed to accompany The History of Financial Crises installation - for the duration of exhibition, Ellie sent an SMS message to the phone installed in the gallery every time she made an economic transaction. The Coke can dances with joy every time a message is received.
Know Your Thinkers & Theorists
2007 - 2008
Not strictly a ‘gallery project’, but more the by-product of a year-long research project for which, as part as her self-improvement programme, Ellie attempted to teach herself an overview of the chronology of Western philosophy and critical theory from 800 BC to the present. She hoped to retain this newly acquired information by designing an easy-to-read, quick reference, colour-coded wall chart for her studio wall, which is also now available to download free in PDF format.
Angel Row Jukebox
22nd September 2007
An interactive installation commissioned for the closing party of Angel Row Gallery in Nottingham. The Jukebox contained all the UK #1 hits which corresponded with the openings of 254 exhibitions held at the gallery over its lifetime. The audience were asked to punch in the code for the exhibition they first remembered visiting.
Self-Destruction (Building Site Ballot)
A site-specific installation made for the launch of a gallery on the second floor of a working building site in Copenhagen. The audience’s attitude and nerve were tested by being asked to respond to the question of whether or not they think the ‘artwork’ (a small replica of the gallery), is any good. Their response helped decide whether it should be saved or destroyed.
I’ve Been Watching You
This screen based animated notebook was developed in response to the three-and-a-half years Ellie spent working as Undercover artist-in-residence at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham. The 38 minute animation chronicles anecdotes, facts and figures about the 207 films she watched whilst on shift, which collectively amounted to over 16 days solid viewing.
Daily Data Display Room
10th March - 23rd April 2006
For the duration of the Day-to-Day Data exhibition at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art in London, Ellie collected information about 10 elements of her everyday routine. Each morning the results from the previous day were emailed to the gallery and used to reconfigure and adjust the 10 different objects comprising the installation. Over the course of the exhibition, the display aimed to test and visualise an experiment as to whether there was a correlation between different elements of this information.
Daily Data Display Wall
20th July - 29th October 2005
For the duration of the Day-to-Day Data exhibition in Nottingham and Portsmouth, Ellie collected data about 20 different elements of her daily life onto Daily Data Log sheets. Each morning the Log Sheet results were emailed to the gallery and used to reconfigure the 20 different items in the installation, so that it took on a slightly different appearance each day of the exhibition.
Throughout 2003, Ellie recorded the exact date and time of her every sneeze. For this solo exhibition at the Wallner Gallery in Nottingham, she transformed the gallery walls into a giant two-way timeline. Mini colour-coded prints representing each of the 318 sneezes were positioned around the walls to indicate the exact date and time at which they occurred.
The Monthly Sculptures Determined by the Daily Quantification Records
Throughout 2003, Ellie also collected data about 14 different elements of her everyday life onto Daily Quantification Records. Each month this data was converted into a set of averages, which was then applied to a set of scales and systems to output the specifications for a monthly sculpture. The first six months’ worth of sculptures was installed at the 2003 Goldsmiths Postgraduate Degree Show.
Gold Card Adventures
For her solo exhibition at Piccadilly Circus Underground Station in 2005, Ellie created a series of 20 large format posters to visualise the data collected during her Gold Card Adventures project, for which she recorded the total distance of every journey she made on London Transport in a year (9,236 kilometres). These posters were used to mark the stages of this cumulative journey by featuring a series of imitation postcards from different global destinations at progressive further distances away from London.
Statistics Are Hot Air
1st January - 31st December 2003
This colour-coded vinyl bar chart visualises the exact quantity of gaseous emissions Ellie produced daily throughout 2003. The piece was originally created in 2003 as a studio based wall chart exploring the notion of ‘artistic output’, for which Ellie added one bar to the chart each day. In 2007 the completed chart was installed as semi-permanent installation on glass at Birmingham Moor Street Station as part the New Art Birmingham exhibition Ariston. There is also an online version of the chart.
TicTac Typing & Peanut Typing
This installation features two Mac computer programmes made during the LabCulture digital arts residency in 2002. The programmes mimic the common typing test, but rather than telling you your speed or accuracy, they inform you of the equivalent number of TicTacs or peanuts you are burning off whilst typing. Bowls of TicTacs and peanuts are installed alongside the two Macs for hungry participants.
Mass = Energy = Time
This kinetic installation uses two found weight mechanism clocks. The lead weights which are normally used to power the clocks have been removed and replaced by foods (bread and bananas) of the same mass. The clocks continue to work as normal - powered by the gravitational potential energy inherent in the foods. Originally installed at Goldsmiths College in 2002 and then at the Colony gallery space in Birmingham in 2004.
This kinetic sculpture was designed to give gravitational potential energy to apples. Apples are placed on the escalator device at the rear of the bike and, as a result of the bike being pedalled, are transported to a height above the ground proportional to their chemical energy content. A similar, but proportionally larger, Potential Generator for doughnuts was also designed.
Kinetic Cake vs Kinetic Carrot
In this kinetic installation a carrot and a chocolate éclair race around two facing train tracks at speeds proportional to their chemical energy contents - the éclair being just over three times faster than the vegetable of a comparable size.