20th Century, 1998
Michael Samuels was chosen from a shortlist of three artists on the basis of his response to both the architecture of the site and the usage of the building.
First Point was designed as a multi tenanted office building to serve the growing needs of the businesses operating within and adjacent to Gatwick Airport. The building is in constant occupation throughout the day and Samuels’ electronic kinetic work reflects that with its constantly changing information.
Samuels devised 20th Century as his memorial to or interpretation of all the greats of the 20th Century, including music, arts, sport, politics, film, business, science etc and the reason why they have been selected; in addition he opened up the discussion to the internet and invited contributions from the wider public. In 1998, use of the internet in this way was still in its relative infancy, putting Samuels’ work in the forefront at that time. The end result is a mix between the predictable (but sometimes for unpredictable reasons) and the eclectic, creating a perse and challenging work that provokes discussion and debate. The work is constantly evolving and changing, as it is updated.