“In Dia Exit, 40,000 slides, that artist Steven Jouwersma collected in exchange for apple pies, are destroyed. In front of the Tschumipaviljoen (Groningen, NL, ed.) is a pole with a red button. If someone pushes this button, a slide is projected. Curiosity for the next slide sends the projected slide into a shredder. 40,000 slides are to be seen again, only once, subsequently they will be turned forever into a pile of grit.” 1.
This artwork, like D’Agostino’s TransmisionS: In the Well (which is much more critical of technology), creates a consciousness in the viewer that technology is constantly develloping. By shredding the already projected diapositives (slides) it shows that every technological development has a certain lifespan.
In another way Dia Exit resembles Relocating the Remains by Keith Piper, as both works explore the collective past of the audience. They both use the outdated medium of diapositive slides, but more importantly, they both use discarded pictures. These picture, once held dear to their owners and creators, have lost their value and have been replaced by digital versions. Thereby the slides and their content have become disembodied and therefore no longer have any value.
Moreover, the artwork accents humanity’s voyeuristic disposition. Out of curiousity for the next image, one is willing to destroy the image that’s on display. Not only does this show our great interest in the lives of others, but also our destructive craving for the unknown. Part of what makes this art work and create meaning is the interaction with its audience. Like John Cage wrote in A Year From Monday the audience is just as guilty for the crime of art as the artist himself (AEM 215).
1. Source: http://www.tschumipaviljoen.org/artefact-610-nl.html (transated from Dutch, ed.)