THE ISLAND is an international collaborative project initiated in summer 2010 by a group of artists based in Leeds (UK) and Halle (Germany). After a year-long process of exchanges between the two geographically separated groups, an artistic ‘ping-pong’ game has ensued, centred around questions such as: What is the island? Where is the island? What does the island consist of? Can an island come into existence through collective imagination? Can it be democratically designed? Is it a place of utopia or dystopia? Through the testing of different digital and analogue means of communication including blogs, YouTube videos, messages in bottles, postcards and public web cams each group fills this imaginary white patch on the map which is THE ISLAND and communicates the outcome to the other; in turn, the second group responds, and the process is repeated.
THE ISLAND culminates in a set of two exhibition installations on the opposite sides of the North Sea, running simultaneously in Leeds and Halle and linked by the virtually projected image of the other exhibition space. By establishing a live albeit restricted communication line through the means of internet-based technologies, visitors of THE ISLAND are confronted with a place which inevitably refers to somewhere other than itself. Through this encounter, visitors are made to become Islanders themselves, and partake in the ping-pong game binding THE ISLAND together.