Host 8: Observatory, a new commission by Host Artists’ Group for the Art Sheffield 08 city-wide contemporary art event, is a participatory, networked, system for the visualisation and evaluation of artistic production in the absence of a product.

The installation consists of twenty-one models of artists’ workspaces, containing lights of changing intensities which are ‘charged up’ by reports of activity or latency supplied by the twenty-one participating artists. Each light is set to a level of intensity that corresponds to the artist’s own perception of their work/production rate. If the artist is running at full power, then so will the light; if in a period of latency, then the light will be dimmed. Artists are able to change their ‘setting’ from remote locations.

In addition, the participating artists are able to supply progress reports to the space via email. Artists are able to send messages about what work they have been doing, and how their activity has been progressing. These voicemails will be read out in the space intermittently at low volume by a computerised voice.

Host 8: Observatory has been commissioned by Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum for the Yes/No/Other Options Art Sheffield 08 festival. Curated by Jan Vervoert and Jeanine Griffin.

Host 8: Observatory is on view at the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield, from 16th February 2008, and an iteration of the audio component of the piece is audible in Bloc Projects, Sheffield, from the same date.

Host Artists Group are Matt Butt, Michael Day, and Neil Webb.