The title of the exhibition 'Straylight Cavern' is derived from cyberpunk author and sci-fi visionary William Gibson's Villa Straylight in his novel 'Neuromancer'. The Villa Straylight is a cyber-chateau of sorts, inhabited by cyber-diegheties where anything and everything is possible. Straylight Cavern offers the viewer a realm of possible other worlds and dimensions, inspired by memories of Villa Straylight and it’s inhabitants, but goes on to refer to other science fictional situations where mankind has colonised natural rock or ice formations in order to survive, such as the rebel bunker, ‘Echo Base’, on the ice planet, ‘Hoth’, in Steven Spielberg's 'The Empire Strikes Back', or the androids cave in Michael Anderson's film 'Logan's Run'. From the exterior, only a streamline, almost computer generated graphic interpretation of glacial or rock formation is visible. The interior of the cavern encounters the amalgamation and communion of various artists works and interventions.

Straylight Cavern is a continuum of Richard Priestley’s curatorial approach to his art practice in which he provides the construct of the scenario in which the artists he has selected are to be shown. This approach invites the participating artists to succumb to the effects of the ambiance, politic and genre of the structure upon their work within the intensity of the installation and its interior. Blurring the boundaries of the artwork this approach questions authorship and the recontextualisation of individual works. The structures borrow from set design techniques and, in this instance, is handled by the imagination of Priestley’s ‘second life’ avatar. Portrayed as his adolescent counterpart the overall exhibition becomes an autobiographical intervention.

The genre and subject matter have been selected due to their potential as a vehicle for this collaborative work. A selection of artists invited to participate practice within the field of video and animation, which, in the context of the installation, offer portals into other worlds and dimensions being monitored from the caverns control centre. Milika Muritu will design the construct for the interior of the cavern where two and three-dimensional works are personified within the rock and ice structure of the caverns interior, and imply a sample collection and display process on the part of the fictional inhabitants of the cavern.

Exhibiting artists: Jonathan Baldock, Michael Bell-Smith, Rick Buckley, Aisling Hedgecock, Ian Monroe, Takeshi Murata, Milika Muritu, Angelo Plessas, Richard Priestley and Rafaël Rozendaal.

Above: Glitter Bend, Michael Bell-Smith, 2008, Digital Video, Image Courtesy the artist and Foxy Productions.