Handle With Care

1993 – 94

Commissioned for the opening of the 1830 Warehouse, Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Each building has its own function and history – a fabric of usage and occupancy over time.
This work for the 1830 Warehouse responded to its richly textured past, while exploring a sense of fragmented recollection in the present.
Viewers choreographed very individual experiences of the space, as sensors, such as are currently used in warehouses to control the movement of goods for storage, were used to trigger sounds, images and robotic movements (the robot held a flashlight to further introduce the viewer to the space). The piece evolved irregularly dependent on the number of viewers, and the level of exploration of the space at any given time.

handle with care

Certain elements of the work related to items listed in two stockbooks which were found in the Warehouse and which date back to the turn of the century (such as whole sheep, pork bellies etc). Others were drawn from a more universal engagement with man and mechanisation and more particularly the nature of the space itself – the passage of goods, the passage of people, and the passing of time.

handle with care

The work was commissioned by the Museum of Science and Industry Manchester to open the newly refurbished 1830 Warehouse and was on display for 12 months from 1993-1994.

With thanks to Fanuc Robotics for the loan of a robotic arm.