Final Warning, 2006
Final Warning, 2006, digital video, 3:52 min
The project, Final Warning, is a series of videos of tyre burnings carried out in the middle of the night in public places. During the time these videos were made my usual form of transport was a bicycle. Riding around the city and suburbs I would take note of discarded car tyres. Returning in the middle of the night I would stand them up, douse them in petrol and set them alight. I filmed the action with a video camera as I circled around the burning tyre on my bike. Is this a video work, a sculpture, a performance piece? Perhaps this work could not really be considered an artwork at all, perhaps it's just a criminal act. There was no clear determination or intention regarding whether the act properly existed in the real world or as part of my art practice. Regardless, I have offered the evidence of these acts as an artwork and consider it part of a comprehensive series of works which investigate potential traces of creativity mined in delinquent behaviors. Consequently it has been shown in a number of art institutions across Australia and abroad including the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide; Canberra Contemporary Art Space; Gertrude Street, Melbourne and Museums Quartier, Vienna.
Most importantly, we are not talking about a simulation. These actions took place without permission and without safety precautions. All the while, for the perpetrator, the motivating anger, the thrill, the excitement, the real danger of the act as well as the considerable risk of being caught and charged with a serious crime, remains actual or real. The action should be taken seriously, precisely because it is not staged. It is a real warning, it is meant and if things don't change the intensity of the warnings will escalate.