Ella Barclay


Access Remote Fervour


“Access Remote Fervour explores the interplay between the physical world and the immateriality of ideas, data, spectres and echoes. Taking inspiration from the ways humans store and transfer information – from written text in ancient Mesopotamia to giant underground server farms – the work considers the ethereal nature of data and thought.

Tanks of water feature in the darkened gallery. Mist swirls across the surface, gently rising and revealing human forms swimming across the glowing surface. Luminous echoes of the figures appear in the tanks. The human forms seem caught in a limbo between worlds, in an eternal cycle of formation and dissipation. Access Remote Fervour suggests the eerie presence of a consciousness within the watery capsules, a life-force without physical form trapped in a state of threshold. With their protruding wires and organic fluid, the tanks have the look of a crazed science experiment, like an amniotic pool for a Cronenbergian digital birthing. They feel both digital and supernatural, pointing to something of the human soul caught in the electronic transfer of data and light. A Geist in the machine.” By Erin Coates, 2016

2 channel looped video with sound by Nick Wilsdon, acrylic, water, electronics, aluminium

2 tanks each 230 x 20 x 90 cm

duration 6 mins and 7 mins


Ella Barclay makes installations in sound and light that channel the techno-romantic. With shape-shifting bodies floating in misty seas, nano visuals of fibre optics, and large-scale server networks, Barclay brings to light the physical spaces that data occupies and speculates a future of human-machine relationships.

Barclay’s 2016 exhibitions include That Which Cannot Not Be, Vox Populi, Philadelphia; I Had to Do It, UTS ART, Sydney; Bodies Go Wrong, Orgy Park, New York; Almost, Instant 42, Taipei; and Light Geist, Fremantle Arts Centre. Her 2015 exhibitions include Elemental Phenomena, Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane; Subject to Ruin, Casula Powerhouse; and If You Dream You Are Naked, You Are Not Aware That You Are Dreaming, 55 Sydenham Rd, Sydney. In 2016 Barclay was a resident artist at the Australia Council Studio, London; Instant 42, Taipei; and Casula Powerhouse, Sydney. She holds a BA (Honours) from the University of New South Wales, an MSc Digital Media from the University of Edinburgh and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Technology, Sydney.


Top - photo by Rebecca Mansell © the artist. Bottom - screenshot of video by Ella Barclay © the artist