July 8, 2011 § 3 Comments
If the observer effect describes the consequences of observation on the thing observed, the consternation effect is more specific: it refers to the feeling one gets watching video works by the Vancouver-based artist Althea Thauberger—what to make of them?
Thauberger’s art is capable of provoking the extreme discomfort of the sophisticated confronting the naive. This is especially true of Songstress (2001–02), the work that first brought the artist wide attention. Songstress has all the hallmarks of Thauberger’s art practice, which consists of creating portraits of social groups by initiating collaboration with them. The project began with an advertisement Thauberger placed in a Victoria newspaper seeking young female singer/songwriters.