The publication Tony Brown – Downtime was published on the occasion of the exhibition Downtime that took place at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, in Rotterdam (September 14 – November 3, 1996), and at Württembergischer Kunstverein, in Stuttgart (November 15 – December 14, 1997).

The work of Tony Brown exaggerates the appearance of the mechanical and the ambiguity of artificial functions. As metaphors of social and psychological processes, his installations deal with themes as diverse as personal and sexual identity, the impact of machines in the contemporary environment, the image of the city, and the patterns of social change. Brown uses the techniques and media of cinema and theater to construct environments and objects, which include an element of danger, a possibility of catastrophe.

For the exhibitions at Witte de With and the Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Tony Brown had produced a new work echoing the computerized techniques which overflow our world. In Better Living through Remote Access, Brown was exploring and expressing implications of the communication technologies that allow for transformation and dissolution of people’s identity. This theme, inescapably intertwined with the use of new media, was outstripped and reinspired by the reality of his times’ techniques.

As a complement to the show at Witte de With, Brown had created a parallel exhibition in a virtually animated space, using the possibilities of the Internet as a medium for artists and cultural institutions. Both his projects turned the spectator into a voyeur of the seductive powers of computerized communications.