Media art installation exploring the connections between language, technology and their effects on society by Christopher Thomas Allen

Dialog is a media art installation by artist and filmmaker Christopher Thomas Allen that was originally conceived as part of the Articulated Exhibition at London’s OXO Tower in 2006 as part of a wider exhibition curated and produced by The Light Surgeons around public and private space in the city. This work was developed conceptually and toured internationally to a series of major galleries and art biennales.

The installation presents a series of arguments and word association games conducted with a group of people and translates these dialogs into a visual stream of images that appear across two computer terminals that are placed inside an ordinary office space setting. The recordings were made during a series of debates that Allen held in 2006 at the oldest debating soieity in London.

The images that appear on each computer screen were selected in relation to each word spoken using the Google Image search, which was a new function of the search engine at the time. Each image selected was then edited in time with the spoken dialog as it unfolded between the two screens, creating a comical and surreal dialog between these work stations and the voices of the debaters.

These streams of images formed a visual cacophony and created a divergent, surreal narrative of their own. The idea was to expose the structural semiotics in language and provoke its audiences to consider the way we create narratives using technology in the Internet age.

The artwork sets out to abstract the conversations and debates of these disembodied speakers, who breathe life into the inanimate computer consoles. It is a comment the democracy of computer networks and the tangential influence of networked technology in an information-saturated, but pre-social media culture.


Artist:Christopher Thomas Allen
Art Producer:Annie Kwan

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