Cornford & CrossThe White Bear Effect ››

Examining the spectacle and hyperbole that accumulates around sport, Matthew Cornford and David Cross’s commission is displayed on a state-of-the-art LED screen, familiar from major sporting arenas.

Showcased on it (each image flowing in rapid succession) is a highlights reel of golden sporting moments – game-changing, record-breaking achievements now preserved in a kind of limbo, to be endlessly replayed in video’s ghostly hall-of-fame. So compulsively repeated that what was once special about them is quickly eroded, the ambiguity of the experience is heightened by the viewer’s too-close proximity to the screen; blurring the line between figuration and abstraction, and leaving what is almost an afterglow.

Named after ‘the white bear effect’, in which the attempt to eliminate negative images in favour of positive ones paradoxically causes those unwanted associations to return, the piece illuminates how the thrill of sport, like the feeling of being ‘in the zone’, is fleeting. Existing almost wholly in the moment, despite our best efforts to capture or distil it, it remains elusive and impermanent.

Screen provided by LED Screen Hire Events UK Ltd.

Cornford & Cross

Cornford & Cross met at St Martins School of Art in 1987 and have worked collaboratively ever since. Their work is based on interacting with diverse groups of people that to date have ranged from architects, aviators, chemists, computer scientists and economists.

Dr Richard Ramsey

Ramsey's research examines how the human brain processes dynamic social information from the environment, such as other people's actions, eye-gaze, knowledge and beliefs in order to coordinate behaviour. To do so, he uses a variety of methods, which include behavioural measures of performance (e.g., reaction times and error rates) and state-of-the-art functional brain imaging techniques