Retreating Switch

Retreating Switch - Sam Bunn

Retreating Switch / I Feel Like That at Openings Sometimes / My! How Differently Things Can Operate Within The Gallery Context / The More You Try The Harder It Gets / Illustrative Plate from ‘Mere Mortals and Technology Volume 3’

or Retreating Switch for short, presents itself in a very quiet way: a simple switch upon the wall, like a normal room fixture. When pressed, it does something it isn’t supposed to do.

Sam Bunn’s practice explores the object, the audience and the maker within the sphere of expanded, interactive sculpture. It is based on an experimental approach to making. His sculptural investigations focus on the interactions between humans and the architecture of modern life. Hoping to avoid pessimism, each work can be seen as an insertion or rethinking of everyday situations that involve our using systems and machines.

This minimal work represents a drastic cutback to Sam Bunn’s normal way of working. When paired with the title, ‘I Feel Like That At Openings Sometimes’, it can be considered expressive. ‘My How Differently Things Can Operate Within The Gallery Context’ makes a playful comment on the possibilities of the white cube. ‘With The More You Try The Harder It Gets’ it can be regarded as a jokey moral lesson. The deeper point, however, comes from last title, ‘Illustrative Plate from ‘Mere Mortals and Technology Volume 3’’. Here Sam has created a fictive book title to raise the notion of the divide or separation he feels from technology and progress in general. As technology develops it becomes more and more unreachable for some, the provide of the few and the magic of the masses. He asks the question, how is this strange relationship we all have to technology going to affect us in the longer future?

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