113 Views

The Waiting Wall

For a week in September, there was the ‘Waiting Wall’. An art instillation by Alan Donohoe and Steven Parker, the Waiting Wall was essentially a large board placed in Brighton Station that showed messages sent in anonymously by members of the public for a short amount of time. A simple concept, with less than simple results.

The board unexpectedly received 2,000 anonymous entries by its second day, and by the end of the week had become a Twitter phenomenon. By September 24th, the Wall had received its 10,000th message.

Inspired by the Jerusalem Wall, at which people pray in hope of being answered by God, this electronic wall reads as an unexpected modern-day equivalent. Many messages have a confessional nature, with one reading ‘sometimes I want to run away from my husband and children and find myself again’. The words are projected in Brighton Station without images or music or actors to embellish them, depicted in a seemingly emotionless and detached way. Messages are submitted electronically, with no face-to-face interaction at all. And yet the results of this artistic method is complete honesty, and issues of family, sexuality, mental health and love all being literally thrust into the view of everyday commuters.

Author Alain de Botton, writer of ‘Religion for Atheists’, inspired the artwork, which was part of the Brighton Digital Festival, which further adds to its sense of ambiguity. Is this work offering an alternative to the religious idea of confessing your sins? Or is it simply a demonstration as to the changing of times and how this affects the art world. After all, this is an art instillation compiled of messages sent using the Internet and social media, as part of a festival celebrating all things digital and technological. While things online and digital are usually associated with a lack of emotion and social contact, the Wall shows how this is not always the case, as messages such as ‘every morning I cannot believe I am lucky enough to wake up next to you and look into your eyes’ show.

Maybe this artwork shows that actually online means of creating art can be just as moving and emotional as painting or sculpting. Total anonymity allows for total honesty without fear of judgment, while simultaneously being cautionary about issues such as drugs and unprotected sex- ‘I always wonder what my life could have been has I not chosen to take drugs that first time’. Messages such as this are given a new sense of gravitas as they are from a real person. By making the messages anonymous, they could be from anyone around you.

Maybe the Waiting Wall will help break the stigma that electronic and online art have in relation to traditional methods of painting and sculpture. Perhaps it will simply continue to offer a safe place for honest confessions that are projected for only a few seconds and are then gone forever. However, the level of reaction and amount of messages it has received suggests that the Waiting Wall marks the start of a change in the way we view both the way we make art, and the way we view the issues that it projects.

Sasha Khan

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
298 views1
Campus News
298 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Arts
5 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
33 views
Arts
33 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
36 views
Arts
36 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
91 views
Artist Focus
91 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
64 views
Interview
64 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
120 views
Arts
120 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
118 views
Arts
118 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
138 views
Arts
138 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
115 views
Artist Focus
115 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
95 views
Books
95 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
130 views
Science
130 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
180 views
News
180 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
175 views
Comment
175 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
154 views
Features
154 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
214 views
Campus News
214 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
231 views
Comment
231 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
153 views
Artist Focus
153 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
108 views
Artist Focus
108 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review
Arts
141 views
Arts
141 views

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

As part of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Undisciplined, Voodoo comes to being as a collaboration between South East Dance and Project O. Project O brings artists Alexandrina…