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The Air Loom

Dickinson, Rod


Rod Dickinson
Senior Lecturer in Digital Media


The Air Loom is a large sculpture commissioned and exhibited at The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne as part of a larger exhibition "All you need to know" curated by Andrew Patrizio, (which included Lucy Orta, Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan, Marko Peljhan, Sarah Tripp). The sculpture was a life size representation of a room-sized 18th Century machine that was based on a series of delusions of a famous bedlam patient dating from 1810. The patient believed that the imaginary machine was a "mind control device". Drawing on extensive archive research and using original drawings and documents the sculpture is the first ever physical manifestation of the imaginary device. Constructed in painstaking detail the sculpture used many of the tropes of popular historical representations to interrogate ideas of authenticity and historical veracity. The exhibition was reviewed in Frieze magazine by Neil Mullholland, March 2003, and in Art Monthly, by Paul Usherwood, Dec 2002 - Jan 2003.

The sculpture was rebuilt and reassembled for "The Air Loom and other Dangerous Influencing Machines", held at the Prinzhorn Institute and galleries, Heidelberg, Germany, 26 October 2006 - 15 April 2007. The work was featured in the catalogue, edited by Thomas Roeske, 2006.


Dickinson, R. (2005). The Air Loom

Physical Artefact Type Artefact
Publication Date Jan 1, 2005
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
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