Michael Pinsky

Michael Pinsky’s (b. 1967, Scotland) 2008 Winter Lights commission Title Author Genre took the form of three animated neon sculptures, each constructed from three signatures placed in three Liverpool neighbourhoods: Garston, Kensington and Kirkdale.

The sculptures entwined symbols and signatures specifically created by each community with existing graffiti tags present in each area. The title of these works referred to a system of textual navigation being usurped by other cyber-search systems, which utilised a process of tagging by the user. Within the work issues of authorship were increasingly blurred, since the artist had appropriated forms already existing in the public realm and reframed them. The process of transforming these marks into neon motifs, creating illuminated sculptures, changed the perceived functions and implications of these designs, pushing the ambiguous relationship they had with their community. For some visitors these may have only seemed to be an abstract or calligraphic shape, but others would have recognised its content and may have even been the author of its form.

Community engagement was an essential element of this commission. Liverpool Biennial worked with each Big Table neighbourhood in developing the final design for the artwork, and residents took part in workshops developed with Michael Pinsky, artist Jemma Egan, ZAP Graffiti and Liverpool Biennial.

Michael Pinksy at Liverpool Biennial 2006

Title Author Genre, 2006 
Mixed media installation 
Exhibited in various locations

Supported by

Garston Cultural Village
The Liverpool Culture Company Limited (2008 European Capital of Culture programme)