Where There's Smoke, There's Fire


The concept is simple, its implications fascinating: lighters implanted with wildlife research transmitters are 'lost' in select pubs throughout Limerick, Ireland. After they're found and pocketed by unwitting pub patrons, artists Volkmar Klein and Ed Lear track and analyze their patterns of movement. The resulting exhibition, Traces of Fire, documents the lighters' migratory patterns using maps, photographs and soundscapes. The madness is definitely part of the method here - what questions about our self-image as urban dwellers are raised by the act of applying biotelemetry to human social behaviours? What does masking the human carriers' identities and focusing on the devices themselves reveal about our relationship with objects and the physical environment? The installation runs at Limerick City Hall through May 23, as part of ev+a's 2004 Imagine Limerick show - public smoking ban be damned. - Peggy MacKinnon