terry flaxton
Since 2006
Works in United States of America

Wikipedia Entry:

I've been noticing, whilst engaging in making sculptural works that involve virtual imagery, that there is a liminal space that comes into focus when the work is 'successful' - that is, engaging of an audience. This usually involves evoking concentration and delight, but only after disconcertion and recognition. Simply put in my Pero's Bridge installation for instance:


Which uses the sounds of the Bristol Docks from 50 years ago, (and then was made in to a 5.1 surround sound mix then amplified through 5 speakers) and played at dusk, I noticed that people when they realised that there was a sound surplus to the environment they were in were initially disconcerted (some stopping dead in their tracks so that the people behind them bumped into them) then when they recognised what was happening, a broad smile broke out on their faces. Then they sought out the source of the sound and I could see they found this a delightful experience. After a little while they concentrated on what was happening and began to receive what I had set up for them to receive in the experience, the significance if you like and the meaning - which if we really approach the unapproachable, recognize as the 'art' in the experience. So - the virtual and the real co-exist, one layered upon the other - and I call this emergent virtualism which for me is the way forward.

Looking back I have had work in many festivals and galleries:

Won awards such as Montbeliard and Locarno:

and been nominated for Bafta, Grierson and Prix Italia Awards.

Go here for many clips of my work (including my work as a Director of Photography):

Which, incidentally, is an area I would like to share with others. I am an experienced in 35mm and High Definition

Here's a quote about my work as an artist:

Steven Bode, A Directory of British Video Artists, Editor david Curtiss, Arts Council of England, John Libby Media/University of Luton Press

"Terry Flaxton has been an impassioned, indefatigable presence in British Independent Video for almost two decades. During this time he has assembled an impressive body of work encompassing powerful, polemical documentary (produced as a member of ground-breaking outfits Vida and Triplevision) and highly personal, poetic video art.

What unites these separate strands of Flaxton's video making is a strongly held belief in the medium's ability to change our image of the world - or at least that resrtricted view of it obtained through the television screen. In Flaxton's eyes, a faith in video's transforming potential burns undiminished. More to the point, in Flaxton's hands, much of the medium's radical promise goes some way towards being fulfilled.

A gifted lighting cameraman, whose skills are extensively sought both inside and outside the industry, Flaxton brings a consumate polish to everything he shoots, exemplified equally by the verite Prisoners (1984) and the visionary The World Within Us (1988). A similar finely-honed sensibility distinguishes later pieces, like The Colour Myths (1990 - 1995), which draws heavily from an up-to-minute-palette of digital effects. Attempting the kind of rhapsodic fusion of image and language that few of his contemporaries could contemplate, let alone execute, Flaxton's later works have tended to divide opinion; but there is no doubting their vigour, integrity and sheer visual panache."

And here's a review of an installation:

Professor Martin Rieser, Digital Imaging, Bath Spa University, July 2005

The Dinner Party

Flaxton's Dinner Party is a video installation with a difference. On entering the room the audience is confronted with a real table, laid with plates and cutlery. Suddenly, virtual hands reach out and begin to eat and conversations start. The audience can sit and participate alongside these virtual presences and construct whatever group interaction they choose.
This release of fantasy is very different from that of earlier works exploiting the same situation. I am thinking of Judy Chicago's formal feminist feast 'The Dinner Party' (1979), which highlighted women's history with a mixed media depiction of famous women, and Diller and Scofidio's 'Indigestion' (1996), an interactive video installation where two characters met across a dinner table and only their animated hands appear on screen, their witty dialogue gradually revealing a murder mystery.
By creating a more open situation, where they can participate on equal terms, Flaxton invites the audience into a deeper imaginative engagement with the installation, and people feel they have the permission and playful freedom to comment on and react to the oblivious guests. As such it has far more in common with constructed narratised play encouraged by a media artist like Paul Sermon in installations such as 'Telematic Dreaming'. Flaxton has created a minor masterpiece in the clarity of his vision and the exploitation of the disconnect between two competing realities occupying the same space.
In a world where artist's video installations can all too often be either obscurely portenteous or mundanely repetitive, it is refreshing to encounter a slice of the everyday and an invitation to join in or observe, without pressure or humiliation. When shown previously in the UK, whole families have enjoyed the experience and left feeling enriched and enlivened.

Art Objects to follow but much of my work can be accessed at::