Lecture 2: MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies Lecture Series

author: Simon Starling
recorded by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
published: Jan. 29, 2009,   recorded: March 2006,   views: 7456
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA)

See Also:

Download Video - generic video source Download mit4367s06_starling_lec02_01.m4v (Video - generic video source 207.7 MB)

Download Video Download mit4367s06_starling_lec02_01.flv (Video 354.2 MB)

Download Video Download mit4367s06_starling_lec02_01_320x240_h264.mp4 (Video 284.1 MB)

Download Video Download mit4367s06_starling_lec02_01.wmv (Video 863.6 MB)

Help icon Streaming Video Help

Related Open Educational Resources

Related content

Report a problem or upload files

If you have found a problem with this lecture or would like to send us extra material, articles, exercises, etc., please use our ticket system to describe your request and upload the data.
Enter your e-mail into the 'Cc' field, and we will keep you updated with your request's status.
Lecture popularity: You need to login to cast your vote.


Simon Starling is fascinated by the processes involved in transforming one object or substance into another. He makes objects, installations, and pilgrimage-like journeys which draw out an array of ideas About nature, technology and economics. Starling describes his work as ‘the physical manifestation of a thought process’, revealing hidden histories and relationships.

For Tabernas Desert Run 2004, Starling crossed the Tabernas desert in Spain on an improvised electric bicycle. The only waste product the vehicle produced was water, which he used to paint an illustration of a cactus. The contrast between the supremely efficient cactus and the contrived efforts of man is both comic and insightful, highlighting the commercial exploitation of natural resources in the region.

Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2) 2005 has a similar circularity. Starling dismantled a shed and turned it into a boat; loaded with the remains of the shed, the boat was paddled down the Rhine to a museum in Basel, dismantled and re-made into a shed.Both pilgrimages, provide a kind of buttress against the pressures of modernity, mass production and global capitalism.

Starling’s new work One Ton, II 2005 focuses attention on energy consumption: the huge amounts of energy used to produce tiny quantities of platinum. One ton of ore, mined from the South African open cast mine pictured in the images, was needed to produce the five handmade platinum prints exhibited here.

Simon Starling has been nominated for his solo exhibitions at The Modern Institute, Glasgow, and the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona.

Link this page

Would you like to put a link to this lecture on your homepage?
Go ahead! Copy the HTML snippet !

Write your own review or comment:

make sure you have javascript enabled or clear this field: