Departures, loaned and found objects, embedded PC.

Inspired by 'State_Sponsored_ Homophobia_2010' (Daniel Ottosson, ILGA.org), this screen-based 'travel information system', seems like a twisted admonition to 'behave' ourselves on holiday, but is, in reality, a shocking reminder that, around the world, so many gay people's sexuality is still criminalised.



The Trope Troupe 2011 (original description)




I make art installation objects with small embedded computers. I wanted to make an upright monitor piece! I love the way all the upright monitor display systems are based on horizontal operating systems - so when they break - which they do - you get system messages at right-angles to the picture. Well my piece, it turns out, is no different.

I found myself looking for information on the existence of countries that still outlaw gay sexuality. I came across ilga.org a fascinating and thoroughly researched web-site. On the site I found the document State Sponsored Homophobia by Daniel Ottosson. I have had to interpret the information in the document - sometimes the legal phrasing does not make it clear exactly what sexual act is being described and therefore punished. There are confusions in many legal utterances about rape and under-age sexual activities. In some cases the proposed sentences are vague and confusingly wide-ranging.

I have added reported punishments carried out unofficially. Some of these are disgusting - I have to remind people that is art, not an automated legal advice display device. I have quoted some colourful phrases 'Anus Locking' and 'Haffi dead', found in press reports about anti-gay murders .

'Anus Locking' How Islamist gangs use internet to track, torture and kill Iraqi gays

'Haffi dead' The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?

I first started researching the piece in September 2010 - though it was finished in Febuary 2011, and has had radical changes since, both in structure and contents. It is now a series, each year it has been re-made and kept current - sometimes with new technology, officially, with an upgrade number.

The first version at Kinetica had sound! There was a subtle long-cycled sonic element to Departures (1.00). An airport stytle chime can be heard every two minutes, sounding out mashed-up fragments of 'I Am What I Am' from La Cage aux Folles. According to Wikipedia, the song was composed in 1983 by Jerry Herman, an openly gay man.


Links to important campaigning groups :-

The Peter Tatchel Foundation & Movement for Justice ...