Free Traveller

Yuri Pattison


Cell Project Space presents a new body of work by Berlin & London based artist Yuri Pattison for his solo exhibition in the gallery. Alongside video work and sculpture, Pattison will produce a new online work, which will form the basis of the commission and will run throughout the duration of the exhibition then disappear. This new work builds on Pattison’s evolving interest in the Internet as a physical place in relation to usage and the human need to contextualise virtual space, and the metaphors used to do this.

Pattison’s Free Traveller is inspired by various narrative fictions that exist in time from the 1940’s island narrative, The Invention of Morel, by Adolfo Bioy Cesares, reading this from a modern perspective to Visit Port Watson!, the anonymously published travelogue credited by Semiotext (e)'s SF as originating from the (possibly fictitious) 1985 Ohio zine called Libertarian Horizons: A Journal for the Free Traveller and later gaining a cult following in HTML form amongst early adopters of the world wide web. Visit Port Watson! is about a freedom lover's island, Sonsorol, with a history of piracy, and now through the reforms of a new leader it operates as a free port, tax free zone and offshore bank with the income of the islanders guaranteed by profits from these enterprises. Specific to the exhibition Pattison focuses on the Island metaphor in relation to the development of the Internet with it’s promise of an alternative cultural & economic system, interpreting the island in Morel as virtual space and Port Watson as a model of the unregulated Internet.

Various subjective datasets, physical and virtual, will be presented in the gallery using Ikea Vittsjö shelving, which act as a series of readymade templates or frameworks for the content, display equipment & storage devices. Within the datasets are objects and imagery, text and source code relating to alternative economic systems, torrent website the Pirate Bay, Google, free sharing culture and the fragments of global travel.

Parallel to the exhibition is Pattison’s new site available only for the duration of the exhibition on the public IP at Cell Project Space ( on a repurposed Google Mini server inside the exhibition. Originally containing Google’s search algorithm sold as a file indexing solution to companies, they have been adapted by the artist to host a bespoke rogue scraper site, the website’s software utilizing simple implementations of artificial intelligence to search the web for content relating to the themes and inspirations of the exhibition. Utilising a process called spinning the data is translated, retranslated, collaged and combined in new ways – free associating these themes.

As a concluding component of the exhibition Pattison will screen his new video work, watched by Aibo, an entertainment robot made by Sony, programmed by the artist. The video, in someway, nods to the utopianism of Sonsorol. The work is constructed as a collage of loose travelogue material, found footage and self generated video drawing from the artist’s digital archive, ranging from extracts from YouTube user egawauemon’s POV steadicam footage of a dense urbanized vision of Japan to the inclusion of artist’s own hand held camera work during a visit to Tropical Islands Resort, the artificial paradise based 40km outside Berlin are layered with a range of material. Perhaps here the video best describes Free Traveller, modern networked nomads, free to travel but always tethered to the network. The vision of the island utopia is presented as a constructed yet deceptive paradise, a commentary of the exhibition’s presentation of filters, feedback loops, mistranslation and repercussions on worldview that the Internet has imposed on the circulation of information.

Curator Milika Muritu

Dublin born Yuri Pattison lives and works in Berlin and London. In 2014 he created RELiable COMmunications, initially commissioned by ‘Legion TV’, London UK as part of an online project in 2013-2014, which culminated in more recent solo exhibitions in 2014 at the New Museum, New York, USA, as part of the online ‘First Look series'. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘colocation, time displacement’, Minibar, Stockholm, Sweden, 2014 and ‘polymer placeholder pin drop’, Project/Number, London, UK, 2012. In 2014 the artist’s work was included in ‘Snow Crash’ at Banner Repeater, and 'ONSITE, Temporary Artist Project', Southend, UK. 2014. Selected group exhibitions include 'Private Settings', Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, PL, 2014,  'SECONDO ANNIVERSARIO', Seventeen Gallery, London, UK, 2013, and 'Objectness', Outpost Members Show selected by Peles Empire, Norwich, UK, 2013. In 2014 Pattison took part in Wysing Art Centre's 'Futurecamp' series and 'Lunch Bytes' series, CCA Glasgow. The artist is currently working on a publication with Arcadia Missa.

Main gallery

free traveller overview 1
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), video, pages from Invasion of the Moon, 1969: Story of Apollo 11 (ISBN: 9780140522785), anti-static bags, USB media player, 2.5” SATA hard drive, SATA to USB adapter, Samsung 28” monitor, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 2
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), PGP Source Code and Internals by Phil Zimmermann (MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-24039-4), pages from The Invention of Morel (University of Texas press, 1964), UV print on glass, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 3
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), modified Google Mini-0020 Search Appliance (running LAMP server, Wordpress & autoblogging, scraping & spinning software -, CAT-6 ethernet cable, Pirate Bay sticker, 3D printed steel, UV print on glass, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 4
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), bubble wrap, c-type print, magnet, packing materials, something else, CAT-6 ethernet cable, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 5
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), 2.5” SATA hard drive, SATA to USB adapter, USB media player, Tscheljabinsky Sputnik watch, Samsung 28” monitor, UV print on glass, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 6
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), iPhone 4 chassis (NON-OEM), UV print on glass, counterfeit currency, Melatonin, c-type prints, anti-static bags, glass protection lm, LED panel, tape.

free traveller overview 7
IKEA VITTSJÖ Shelving unit (modified), modi ed Google Mini-0020 Search Appliance, anti-static bag, airline headset, PATA cable, pages from Semiotext(e) SF (1991, ISBN 978-0936756431) , iPad 3 Gorilla Glass screen (NON-OEM), c-type print, 3D printed silver, LED panel, tape.

Rear gallery

8. Free traveller : ‘feel like you are actually there’, 2014
Picture in Picture (PIP), outer picture: World Cruise by Yuki Eikawa ( from Blu-Ray (
inner picture: original footage
[+ blu-ray, c-type print, tape, USB] 

9. Aibo overcoming modernity, 2014
programmed Sony AIBO (Artificial Intelligence Robot, homonymous with aibō (“pal” or “partner” in Japanese) entertainment robot, static cling sticker, inflight magazines 

10. Outsourced views, visual economies, 2013-ongoing
video / video & image archive (
images and video sourced from Amazon Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing Internet marketplace.