Garrett Phelan: Trusted Servant on YouTube as part of the exhibition .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae at IMMA
As part of the group exhibition, .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae, Irish artist Garrett Phelan has been invited by the curators to officially close the exhibition with his project Trusted Servant. .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae, curated by French artist Philippe Parreno and Rachael Thomas, Head of Exhibitions at IMMA, was shown at the Irish Museum of Modern Art from 29 November to 18 February 2007. More than 20 artists, writers and thinkers were invited to participate in this project that focused on the notion of ‘process’. Parreno’s approach is to go beyond the physical space of the Museum, as a part of this process on the gallery closing date of the exhibition, 18 February 2007, Phelan uploaded the video performance work Trusted Servant, 2007, onto YouTube - a popular free video sharing website which lets users upload, view, and share video clips.
Primarily known for radio, video, drawing and alternative projects, in this instance Phelan becomes the gatekeeper of .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae.Trusted Servant documents an automated and manic performance of Phelan repeating pre-recorded broadcasts from his MP3 player, which have been compiled and edited from media sources – shortwave and longwave radio, cable link, newspaper articles and webcasts. His working standpoint, calls into question the mainstream methods of endless ingestion of information and communication that influence the formations of our opinions in this ‘don’t stop age’. The removal of Trusted Servant from YouTube at Phelan’s conceptual discretion will mark the official end of the exhibition.
Trusted Servant also functions as part of Phelan’s current exploration into the Formation of Opinion (2003 - ongoing). This work is the final part of a first phase entitled Reception of information, which includes the three drawing projects NOW: HERE, 2003, LUNG LOVE, 2004, GOD ONLY KNOWS, 2005, and a month long artwork entitled Black Brain Radio, 2006, an independent FM/online radio station. Parreno’s .all hawaii eNtrées / luNar reGGae catalogue text After Affects proposes a similar style of communication as technology, as an amalgamation of hidden, coded, obscure, specialized languages, that inscribe all forms of transmission.