2012, 2 channel audio, horn speakers, colour prints in LED lightboxes (dimensions variable).
Transition – Terminal was created during my artist residency at the Incheon Art Platform in South Korea (August 2012), commissioned for the Liverpool Biennial City States exhibition Terra Galaxia (15 Sep – 25 Nov 2012).
The work was inspired by my experience of Incheon International Airport as a site of transience, where identity, place and social relations are replaced with a landscape of globalization and codified space.
It uses environmental sound recorded in the airport, a soundscape of passenger information announcements, luggage trolleys and commerce, played through Korean horn loudspeakers and combined with photographs in LED lightboxes, appropriating the glossy, super-modern medium of information and advertising signs.
“Wil Bolton’s Transitional Terminal (2012) appears as part of Terra Galaxia: Aeotropolis, Home and Away which explores the city of Incheon (South Korea) and its relationship with modern urban life and the concept of international hospitality.
With Transitional Terminal the Liverpool-based artist continues with his primary practice of utilizing sound though the application of two-channel audio horn speakers placed between two colour prints on film and LED light box systems, illustrating the busy pace of modern travel.
Bolton arrests the senses with audio captured from Incheon International Airport and other sites of transit, drawing the audience from across the exhibition space; whilst the illuminated prints hold collective gaze and create an idealised version of the mundane nature of modern travel.
These prints of Incheon International Airport terminals create a familiar scene from modern life but this familiarity is distorted by the reflection captured through the terminal window.
The airport terminals’ signs are visible but the audience cannot make sense of them – not simply because of a probable language barrier but due to the distortion of the reflected world outside the terminals. This captured reflection forces the audience to reflect on modern life against the backdrop of busy sound.
The distortion and busy nature of the images compliments the chaotic sound and yet perhaps it is Bolton’s use of still photography rather than moving imagery that make Transitional Terminal so effective.
Arguably the juxtaposition of Bolton’s stills against the busy movement of his audio allows the audience to grasp the idea of fast-paced international travel but the stillness of photography allows for contemplation on the effects and impact modernity has on Incheon and international cities in general.” – LSMedia
“Wil Barton’s work is as equally colourful but looks at the unnatural colours of the South Korean city which is as equally bright but with a garish beauty. The piece brings the atmosphere of the city into the space with sounds emitting from a speaker phone that instantly recalls political rallies and hardship; a very natural product of a country that was volatile until the early 1990s. The colour prints on the LED boxes light up the space well and it would probably look spellbinding at a darker time with the lights in Copperas Hill dimmed.” – Celluloid Wicker Man