Jump to navigation Jump to search

Intelligence is the second of two consecutive exhibitions by Richard Grayson for Matt’s Gallery. The dual projection video work Messiah was shown before Christmas, and Intelligence, a three screen video installation with sound, is currently being screened. Intelligence uses the Birth Charts of some of the individuals who have helped shape the current situations in the Middle East. These include George W Bush, Tony Blair, Yasser Arafat, Osama Bin Laden, Ariel Sharon, Condoleezza Rice etcetera. The charts have been drawn from the web and each chart is accompanied by a commentary which is itself computer generated. There are computer programmes available which will give you a detailed and seemingly personalized commentary when you input the date, place, time and location of birth. From this data, the positions of the stars and planets and their relations are generated. In astrology, each relation and placing has a specific meaning or significance. The computer systematically combines these to produce a document that promises insight into some of the deep motivations and character traits of an individual and shows all the signs of empathy. “Remember, computer readings are more accurate than you think” is the legend on the Merlin pop-up. If you believe in Astrology, this may be true, and if you do not subscribe to this belief system, it will seem unlikely. There is an analogy here to be made for the use of technological forms of data gathering in the Iraq war. In the eighth century Baghdad was one of the great libraries of Astrological lore and was a point from which it was re-introduced into the west in the early medieval period.