Visual art: I don't know what's there, because it would take hours to do an inventory

Tomoko Takahashi

LIFT, London

The gallery is piled high with hi-tech rubbish. There's a narrow gangway for the visitor to walk through, taking care to avoid being snagged by lengths of cut plastic and metal poles. The eye rests on a spot, but there's so much to see, so much clutter (coils of cable; clapped-out monitors; boxes of metal bits, plastic pieces, hard lines and soft loops) and complication (plastic hosepipe intertwined with a length of flexible saw blade; intersecting mass-material-texture) that it soon passes on ... to complications new. What the hell is this?

The gallery occupies space formerly used by a computer company which now designs websites on the floors above. Tools and equipment from the redundant basement workshop - which can be glimpsed through a grille in the floor - have been hauled upstairs. Three hulking great machines: a multiple vice, a Clarke's 5/8ins drill press, and a lathe, have been pushed back against the gallery walls, embellished with smaller items, and interspersed with free-standing shelving and filing cabinets stuffed with electric cables, light fitments, pots of paint, and who knows what else. I don't know what else because it would take hours to do an inventory, even if the mind could be persuaded to conduct one.

While the exhibition was being made, the upstairs office found that much of its stationery and written records had become obsolete. So lever-arch files and boxes of business cards have been incorporated into the installation. The relatively uncluttered area at the back of the gallery contains sculptural metal shapes - toppled cash dispensers and other interactive units, stripped of their touch screens and bristling with sticks. A ladder, perched on heavy metal, reaches at a rakish angle towards a displaced square patch in the false ceiling. The whole installation speaks of a bewilderingly fast-changing world, information overload, an oh-so- uncertain future, and an artist laughing amid the bedlam.

began the year producing the extremely large-scale installation which is still on display at the Saatchi Gallery. Since then she's done several more, including a three-week project in Lisbon which ended the day before this one began. She was ill during the four-week making of this show. A piece of packaging incorporated in the work states "20 effervescent tablets for hectic lifestyles and unbalanced diets". It's just possible she's been overdoing things.

Cigarette butts - detritus of her own working process - are scattered around. She slept on the premises during the final week (when she worked from early afternoon to six or seven in the morning), but as her collapsible bed was positioned in the hallway outside the gallery, she has not incorporated it into her art. Underpinning all the exuberant activity is a sense of restraint. It seems less contrived than the Saatchi installation, there's not so much technological virtuosity and the focal points are more fully integrated with the turbulent mass of the rest.

The nose of the drill press rotates horizontally, making noise and vibration in the process, but for periods it stops. The machine is on a timer so that it doesn't burn out, as are a computer printer and a dusty old grinder elsewhere in the work. The sounding and silencing of these machines diverts attention from one part of the installation to another, and is a main organising principle for the viewer. With the drill at rest I bend to examine a fan which has been whirring away, only to realise (with the cool air in my face that echoes the blast from a Toshiba air-conditioning unit when standing further along the gangway) that the noise is from a calculator with a print-out function, buried under a tangle of black flex.

Whenever someone telephones the building, two extensions embedded in the installation ring, as they did throughout the work's making, linking the artwork with the present business upstairs. The white phone is on a shelf with a wooden mallet pressing down on the receiver, a sign of the annoyance the ringing caused the artist, perhaps, and a hint to the visitor not to pick up the receiver.

What do we have in this installation? The question can now be answered more succinctly.

Bold and all-embracing site-specific work. The cutting edge (and circling grinder) of corporate art. An entirely untrustworthy ladder.

`': sponsored by Icon Medialab at LIFT Gallery, EC2 (0171 729 3445) to 29 August

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders