So, it is dark outside and I was sat quietly thinking what I am about to write. The dog suddenly leapt up and started barking. I nearly left my seat. The reason: there is a sheep in the garden. At least she had something to bark at this time. A few days ago she did the same, but there was nothing there at all as far as I could tell, which is probably worse.
I did a video piece a while ago (cowboys) and today was looking at uploading it to my axis page. The trouble is, it doesn't seem to work as intended on the web. As such, I am not sure that there is any point in uploading it at all - the same reason why I only have a still of it on my website. Having said that, a still does it no justice whatsoever. A dilemma.
We have probably all been there - you go into a gallery, and encounter a DVD that has stopped, or an obviously kinetic piece that isn't; or one that is eternally twitching, but probably not doing what the artist intended; or the bulb has failed in a retro film projector, etc., etc. What is the form for these occasions? Do you tell someone, only to feel obliged to hang around while technological order is restored? Do you ignore it and feel slightly cheated? Do you ignore it because you suspect that if you did hang around to see it working you would almost certainly be disappointed? And what does the artist do, before during and after?
I know of one instance recently where, as I understand it, a (presumably well-meaning) invigilator had managed to stop a piece functioning. Fortunately the artist was made aware and was able to address the issue before too much time was lost. Having subsequently seen video of the piece in question I can tell you that it was certainly worth waiting for.
So: is it better to take the risk and convey something - anything - of the work to someone, or should the work be reserved for the conditions which show it at its best?