Leonard Traynor

Dublin Institute of Technology

By Paul McAree

Hour Long Emotions, 2015

There's a glitch in the system. A niggling sense that everything is wrong. Stop and stand still in the middle of the cacophony. Feel the world slow down and start to enter a freeze frame where finally you can smell and see the niggle, almost reach out and feel it. There's a nest of cables on the ground, a disorganized cluster of boxes and a gutted amplifier, a bastardised network running along the wall to a naked speaker sitting atop a weighing scales. There's no sound here, just a pure, violent sound wave. It makes the speaker flap and vibrate, a pained, repetitive, oscillation. The reverb action makes the needle of the scales vibrate, and along with it a sense that it is the physical dynamic of sound, and not weight, that is creating the pressure on the scales. All is upside down. Elsewhere, monitors drape themselves over a ladder, there's a flickering image, a woman's face, caught in a moment we know nothing about. Do we know her? The resolution of the image, the pose, suggests 'the Internet' and thus narrows down this vision of hell to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Her face moves, just a little, and again she's caught in her own personal nightmare. This is no Bill Viola, with his aspirations of angelicism. No, this is all our nightmare, being trapped in our own ever decreasing network of everydayness and interconnectedness. There’s a line from a song by Godspeed You! Black Emperor which keeps coming to mind thinking of this work: We’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death. Traynor’s practice successfully juxtaposes the suggestive emotion of the image against the clinicly detached technology in an attempt to understand both, and our relationship with them. The work investigates some of the zeitgeist issues of our times – namely the erosion of personal space and emotion into depersonalized social media, and the erosion of meaning and values attached to the images we see.