Monday, October 21, 2013
Thursday, July 11, 2013
From Broken Hill to Cairns to Broome, sometimes an art remanifestation, sometimes pure observational research documentary I am participating in the see-saw awareness of the environment that surrounds us. FROM THE RAINFOREST MIND TO THE DESERT MIND was screened back in their places of origin, carrying virtual environments into displacement, rainforest in the desert and desert in the rainforest. Now heading to Broome for 3 weeks of filming with Marrugeku Theatre making a performance documentary with indigenous performers called LISTENING TO COUNTRY, all windows and doors open, working on dance, visual and choreographic representation and the presence of spirits that inform the land.
TANKS ARTS CENTRE installation https://vimeo.com/70768923
TANKS ARTS CENTRE installation https://vimeo.com/70768923
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Saturday, February 16, 2013
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Artifact Cartoons is an image based research of the environment which begins with the phenomenology of the camera. The aim is to resolve video entities which are reformations of the actual environment and are turned into hybrid bodies which express animate life in virtualism. Video objects which have related simultaneity in research are composited to create simulacra of natural forms, eg. dust particle: digital particle, though we are now left immersed in the phenomenal horror of dislocated nature. “Flesh is the matrix that gives rise to the perceptions between perceiver and perceived.
We are in a web of perception,
determining from the inside.”
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Wednesday, October 03, 2012
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Sunday, July 15, 2012
Another development with Narelle Benjamin and dancers Kristina Chan and Sara Black; one being part of a natural world and the other trying to transcend a domestic environment. A dual 16:9 floor projection delineating the fibrous folds between worlds. The line is not a concrete entity but a space, a wall is like a fan, composed of parts that can spread woven by a plane, a projector of wind. What was perceived as a solid wall is a thin vector when seen from another view. The door folds flat and we can enter sky or the underground. Setting boundaries only enables the many relative possibilities of transgression.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Development presentation: Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor's Centre, 6pm, 26th April 2012.
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Saturday, November 05, 2011
Supported by Campbelltown Arts Centre's Artist Initiates Residency Commission
10th-19th Nov, Mon-Sat 11am-3pm Shop 51 Minto Mall, Pembroke Rd, Minto.
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Friday, September 23, 2011
Lots of bezier masks for Erth's new show iBunyip, a pretty open door introduction to some of the indigenous spirit creatures in Australia. Applying big brushstroke photographic bush and effects overlayed onto Steve Howarth's foam and inflatable sets. Working with the master Phil Downing on Quartz Composer and open frameworks genius Matt Gingold on Kinect camera tracking and motion registration. Check it out at Carriageworks for the next 2 weeks in the Children's Festival, then Q-Theatre Penrith and Campbelltown Arts Centre.
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Saturday, August 13, 2011
Vivaria is touring in Mobile States, opening at Artshouse (Melbourne) 4-7 Aug, now at Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart) 11-19th Aug, Adelaide Festival Centre 24-27th Aug, Performance Space (Sydney) 30th Aug-10Sept. The setup at Sidespace Gallery in Hobart was irregularly arranged like a garden so there was distance between screens and no more than two could be seen at once. This was a good feeling with the presence of other video angles behind you and in the periphery so single screen viewing was not dominant. It had the effect of walking down the street with many aspects only partially visible in a landscape and made transcendent by the ominous presence of solo performers keyed into the scenes. Multiscreen peripheral experience is translated here as eyes of compact mpeg cameras showing a panopticon of virtual environments, usually described by the handheld cameras of tourists. Portal in New York on the other hand is showing a single screen, linear version of my originally multiscreen The Cracks on the rooftop of Regina Rex Gallery. Below is another short excerpt derived from a Springbrook residency with Ladyfingers, discarded but reused for Portal curator Janis Ferberg in her ongoing online exhibitions, using the web as exhibition environment in tandem with real space. http://portalforvideo.com/portfolio/sam-james/
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Friday, June 24, 2011
At Eastern Bloc, the launch of a new gallery with directors Wade Marynowsky and Nathan Hrebabetzky I made a small series of mobile phone scale videos, designed especially for pre-iphone models. The Encryption Keys began as a series of 'fate' videos; non-figurative moving imagery which acted as a kind of portable video talisman for phone culture. Each are a meditation using elements in relation to each other, such as a cluster of dead sticks against a growth of straight sticks in the ground: an animism of everyday objects removed from the chaos of literal vision. They were selected randomly by numbers so the receiver did not control the image they received.
(Format: Micro SD card or .3gp download or Bluetooth)
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
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Sunday, April 03, 2011
"Forseen" Parramatta Riverside Theatre - 6-9th April
Bangarra Theatre 15-16th April 2011Projections Sam James, Sound Huey Benjamin/ Chris Abrahams, Lighting Karen Norris
The Darkroom (Narelle Benjamin)
and Debris (Frances Rings)
The Darkroom (Narelle Benjamin)
and Debris (Frances Rings)
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Friday, November 05, 2010
In Nightshifters, curated by Bec Dean I made 'The Cracks' - 7 small projections masked onto specific holes and features of the Carriageworks walls. The abstract surface ‘characters’ of the cracks and holes of the western foyer of Carriageworks lie watching us silently, solidly, the wallflowers of the entertainment industry. I am cutting out the dream characters of the wall paint and morphing them into simple animations. This work samples these cloudgazed shapes and animates the brooding essence below. Codified messages are passed on, through stencilled texts of the building and the coaxed friendships are engaged with the animistic suggestions of performer, Georgie Read.
Thurs 4- Sat 13 Nov, 8pm-11.30pm
Performance Space @ Carraigeworks
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Sunday, October 10, 2010
Judith Wright Centre (Brisbane) 11-12 Oct, Blue Room 26 Oct - 13 Nov(Perth)
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Thursday, September 09, 2010
Paul White and Kristina Chan are hugely courageous dancers and project a superhuman quality with choreography of Narelle Benjamin setting a high bar of contortionism. One-way mirrors serve as a rear projection surface to animate their unconscious. I could have blasted the mirrors with total oversized, syncronised documentary, then cracked the mirror and dissolved into the netherworld like an Orphean conspiracy.
'Spring Dance' at The Studio, Sydney Opera House, 7-12th Sept 2010
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Sunday, August 08, 2010
A doomsday, asteriod field using 22 of my past video projections from live performances. Using twelve screens and four projections this is an experiment in finding a confluence between a selection of recollected hot spots of live performance combining distorted archival documentation and a reanimation of projection images that once accompanied other works. The result is a heavy state of loaded experiences oscillating and regenerating amongst themselves.
With artists Ms&Mr from August 13th - September 10th, Artspace Sydney, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
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Saturday, July 10, 2010
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Friday, June 11, 2010
Vivaria presented as part of 'Gesture Dance' curated by Erin Brannigan (Aust), Janine Dijkmeijer (Netherlands) and Pascale Moyse (UK) with other video installations by Kate Murphy, Su Healey and Adam Synnott, Sean O'Brien and Isabelle Rocamora,
spread across several site specific spaces and in-house faculty screens at the Uni of NSW Kensington.
Vivaria is a cube structure of a multitude of obscure spaces from Tokyo and Berlin with dancers Peter Fraser, Georgie Read, Linda Luke, Martin del Amo and Lizzie Thomson. Their mechanised tableaus are interchangeable, like shuffling a deck of cards.
Also Screening at Cinedans Amsterdam, 8-12 Dec 2010
Dates: June 15-19 Daily 10-5pm
Venue: Io Myers Studio, Australian School of Business, Robert Webster Building.
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Monday, April 26, 2010
Wrong Prom, Carriageworks - 5 May/Flashdance, 23 June/Blues Brothers, 28 July/Grease, 25 Aug/Chicago 2010
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
In progress dance video, shooting through a crystal ball mounted on the front of a dslr. Concept and choreography, Narelle Benjamin with dancers Emme, Martin del Amo and Julie-Anne Long, filmed at Fraser Studios in Nov 2009. Shot, animated and composited by me to an initial choreographic-edit sketch by Narelle. It will probably be adapted for projection some time this year...
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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
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Saturday, November 28, 2009
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Thursday, July 02, 2009
Getting close to the end of editing this labyrinthine project...'VIVARIA' on the residency in Kreuzberg. Its five weeks time-out to work on the post production of a four screen video installation to be watched from the centre. It has a feature film's worth of compositing in it.., at the moment in Berlin its better to be outside and riding a bike.
- Working in 1080p with 1280x720p h.264, distorted 1024x768 mjpeg and deinterlaced 1080i HDV. Sometimes this makes an entire timeline go black after rendering. But the 1080p gives a nice crisp, animated stutter on speed adjusted clips.
- Wow the days are slipping by, not sure how to fit in the coffees and beers. Stuck doing manual rotoscoping, 2000 manual keyframes in a 1.5 minute video clip, 2 days just to do that...
- The complexity of editing 4 channel video should not be underestimated. That is, the relation between one edit and another in a single channel, multiplied by the relations between each of those in another three channels (linearly), multiplied by the relations between the corresponding events between each channel (spatially).
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Sunday, May 03, 2009
My ninth work with Tess de Quincey, this performance installation is based on the writing of Thomas de Quincey
(Confessions of an English Opium Eater). This work has a programmed avoidance of cognitive structure though there is a sensory framing of Tess' four mind states; outside, internal hallucinatory, murder and vortex. Ian Stevenson's sound is randomized on Max making quotes from the text lingering and constantly in flux. Two 6000 lumens projectors, side on in 16:9 are pointing towards a central labyrinth of tule. Mixed live on two Numark Arkaos mixers.
9th-16th May 2009
Track 12, Carriageworks
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Monday, February 16, 2009
Delve into the unconscious... and never return. Forget wishy-washy SUBconscious video projections, this heavy duty hallucinogenic work holds you underwater until you drown, and then the show starts. My Darling Patricia's next performance puppetry work is set in traverse with delicate textured burnt gauzes and projections on nighties in a perspex shed. There are a few challenges with the projections on such fine material in confined spaces and being in traverse, but there's a lot of attention to detail so it should be a great and haunting work. Co-directed with the inspired Margret Cameron (VIC) and Chris Ryan (NSW).
5th -14th March 2009, Performance Space, Carriageworks
24th - 29th March, Arts House, Meat Market
5th -14th March 2009, Performance Space, Carriageworks
24th - 29th March, Arts House, Meat Market
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Thursday, January 29, 2009
If you're thinking of using Qlab this is what you're looking at. These are my corrections notes JUST from the plot. Zoom in to the A4 pages! 5 times the amount of work than updating dvds - tedious and time consuming. The 2Ghz Intel Mac minis were only just barely able to do a cross dissolve, pathetic! Still, if you have to hand the av over to another operator, this is the way to do it. A BIG loss is no live operation, its all automated.
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Sunday, January 04, 2009
This is LARGE scale, scary puppetry from the mind of Scott Wright (Erth) co-directed by Wesley Enoch. Eye scorching, heavy duty, saturated imagery will be buffeting the scrims and textured cyc's - there will be screams of terror. For ages 8 and up. I've been working with triple layered composite mattes cut out of photographs from the Hunter Valley. Monstrous rocks, terrifying trees, spirits, dreams, night storms and supernatural swamps... puff, puff. Motion particle generators, luma keyed puppet multiples, filmed shadow puppetry, explosions, real videoed particle transtions... 9 weeks of intense making cut in as much detail as I have time to motion track it all. Some of the masked landscapes have come out similar to Sydney Long's paintings of opiate and impressionistic spirit dreams. The pain of this show is the 56,000 hours to program and prepare video for Qlab.
SYDNEY FESTIVAL, Riverside Theatre 15-21 Jan, 2009
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Sam James has been a filmmaker and projection designer for performance since 1995. His focus has been to collaborate with new media, dance and theatre projects to develop integrated, paradoxical languages in live performance. He has been a regular contributor to Performance Space for ten years also filling a role as video documentor for many independent dancers there. His approach to the moving image is to unveil paradoxes between media and the live presence and being seduced but complicit in the manipulations of the stage. Most of his work involves animation of abject subconscious, environments and objects, playing with and against the performer. He trained in architecture and film and has been a set designer and made successful super 8 and 16mm films such as Nun's Night Out (winner best dance film, Australian Dance Awards 2006). He has screened dance films in Cinedans Amsterdam, MOVES Manchester, VideoDansa Barcelona, Dança em Foco Rio de Janiero, Tansfilm Wetbewerb Berlin, Video Danza Buenos Aires, MediaTerra Athens, Reeldance in Australia and NZ and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, New York. Although he spends most of his time working on small, independent developments he has regularly contributed to the major festivals in Australia, from Adelaide to Perth to Alice Springs.
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Friday, November 28, 2008
Led by Hans Van den Broeck (Ballet C de la B) : a three week development at Performance Space with intensive camping/filming at the south of Sydney. Psychological breakthroughs were happening second by second with Hans' tough manipulations and from the periphery, improvised video is forced to to a more rugged level. It must be recorded, but it must be new. It is the catalyst of dream and memory, but at a different time, the mere playing card in a play of real life. The basis of the exercise/experiments lead to a constant, churning invigoration of presence in time, memory and interactions between individuals. Our participation leads one to question whether we are part of this, or whether we are playing roles in a group hypnosis, witnessed by an audience, also partly hypnotized. The daily updates and reformation of material by Van den Broeck makes the artists unable to hold onto 'unauthentic structures' and the improvised thread must be climbed fast before gravity can break it...
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Friday, November 07, 2008
A minimal and transformative work by Tess De Quincey with dancers, Linda Luke, Lizzie Thompson, Victoria Hunt and Peter Fraser. Simple for me was simple, objective, working with Tess' video shoots of trees in wind, water near her house and Robin Fox's oscilliscope, using the feeds of Chris Abraham's sound. A very collaborative cross-over, intersection of three states, air, electricity and water... three screens with diffusion cloth repositioned in three formations in the round. The av component was based on using remote, mobile projectors with mac minis cued by Qlab and Quartz Composer and three down projectors in the rig. We almost had independent power on the mobile projectors too but inverters would have been too big, powering large 6000 Lumens projectors. All in the essence of the elemental footage, my editing was sparse and manipulation practically non-existant. Tess' selfless shooting eye already showed what needed to be seen.
Performance Space @ Carriageworks 6th -16th Nov 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
I can't tell the difference between dream and reality, the streets full of colourful alien co-travellers, stuck in microcosms that I only momentarily encounter, like heavy raindrops in an endless tropical storm. Night showerers are shuffling in yukates in the ryokan, where I'm staying. I'm shooting MPEG backgrounds and foregrounds, waiting for the super-haze to steam off into the less flat afternoon, evening glow, then contemplating middle grounds to flip them beyond child's drawings. In the mornings drinking iced-coffee, eating mayonaise sandwiches and falling back out into endless discovery. When do you come back in? Not sure how to put this all together, I've got too much but not enough.
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Monday, August 11, 2008
Sorry to post yet another black and white picture.. can't seem to get colour into these projections! Tone and expressionism always seems to be stronger without the realism of video colour. Coming up is Peter Fraser's 'Tarkovsky's Horse' as part of '2 SOLOS' with Peter and Linda Luke, part of The Weather Exchange. Abstract, elusive, pure choreographic imagery by Peter blends into a flashing, pseudo super-8 front projection with great idiosyncratic sounds by Natasha Anderson.
Melbourne (Dancehouse 15th-17th Aug), Sydney (Campbelltown Arts Centre 21st-22nd Aug, Performance Space, 'Liveworks' 25th Aug-7th Sept)
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Monday, August 04, 2008
Russell Milledge, Rebecca Youdell and Nick Mills invited us to the On Edge Festival in Cairns to do the 5th version of Improlab. Jim Denley, Amanda Stewart, Tess De Quincey and myself. With a new approach I poured dozens of mpeg videos captured in the space and the near surroundings into a modified, compacted digital setup, one small hdv camera firewired to Arkaos and the Numark mixer and crossed them with a single live feed of the present space. A relay between live and prerecorded. Each Mpeg went stale after only one day. Starting with uglier conceptual images in the first performance (tourist development and deconstructive shots of bumping in, running schedules, taxi receipts) and returning to a sanctuary of aesthetics on the third performance, burning together Tess's subtle movments, twisted vines, sprays of water, remnants of flooding, lichen, wind blown shadows, tiny fish in mud. That was us, tiny fish in the vast mangrove, on the edge of an infinite blank page.
On Edge Festival, Cairns @ JUTE Theatre, July 31st - August 2nd 2008.
Realtime Review THE STUDIO
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Thursday, June 19, 2008
There is a little man inside machines who turns the meters but they are always slightly faulty. The record of time progresses forward but loses order in the present. The present jumps to anything which has occurred in the past, but because it always moves in regularity we respect its accuracy as a rough measurement of time. Also showing other recent animations from Prague and Glasgow and Calcutta. At Electronic Church, 223 Greifswalder Str, Berlin in Prenslauer Berg, 19th June 2008, 9pm.
With great old and new travel sounds by Gail Priest.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008
You need to be more than a Bengali poet to put Calcutta into words. This residency with dancers, Tess de Quincey and Santanu Bose was an exploration only of the tip of an iceberg. Iceberg is not a metaphor to use for Calcutta. I am trying to extract high resolution, progressive motion jpeg videos into slow moving graphic energies and cryptic combinations of chaos. An expression of the impossibility of framing in a complex urban environment. We did 2 performances with dance and video at Uma Gallery to audiences of about 40 per night. With some positive responses we passed through unscathed, a mere blip on a fizzling Calcutta radar.
(getting around in Cal)
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Thursday, February 28, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Erin Brannigan has curated a selection of recent dance films presented in a variety of formats in the Studio Foyer of the Sydney Opera House. In this I have 'Midnight Dancer' with Martin del Amo, excerpts of 'Simulated Rapture' with Rosie Dennis and excerpts of '5' with Victoria Hunt. They are on interactive touchscreens designed by David Corbet, limited to 2 minutes, with headphones. I'm going to check them out when we bump in INTO again on Monday 14th.
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Friday, December 28, 2007
This is a dance work about schizophrenia, again with Choreographer Narelle Benjamin. I imagined I would have unlimited imagery for a work about mental illness but no, there's a huge responsibility making a substantial work about it. It is attempted through multi planes of image making, then fracturing them together, based on a real person's experiences. Its important for an audience to see the whole picture to relate to the mental state, but its been a while since I've felt schizophrenic, so this work can only be an external view into a whole and complex existence. I am trying to think that we are all schizophrenic in our relationship with the urbanized world but I can't tell if I am in that state or have adapted and desensitized myself from it. Again we are using a black scrim front projection for states and ghostly presences and a rear projection onto a 2 x 1.5m One Way Mirror for positive and reflective psychic states. Its an example of a symbiotic expressionism in dance and projection that cannot be logically explained.
INTO @ Riverside Theatres 8-12th Jan,
The Studio Sydney Opera House 15-20th Jan 2007
Dancer: Kathryn Dunn
Sound: Huey Benjamin
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Friday, October 26, 2007
This is a new work directed and performed by Deborah Pollard and three firemen. It traces memories of the Canberra Bushfires in 2003 pivoting on a live overhead camera projection of the floor plan of Deborah's family home which was destroyed. The voice overs of her family members articulate the vivid detail of the moment but we show little of the actual event in images. There are two strands of imaging the event, the cold, technicality of re-drawing the house plan in live camera and a subconscious projection of a masculine principle and its relation to trauma and grief. This is embodied by a life size model of a horse, the three yellow clad, anonymous firemen and the projections of doorways and windows leading into forests, the doorway into the heart and guts of the horse and the parallel of the suburban and the wilderness meeting in tragedy. I'm looking forward to a 3 day break at the end of 12 weeks constant work.
Performance Space @ Carriageworks
26th Oct - 4th Nov 2007
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
After almost 6 weeks this 3 minute video directed and performed by Rosie Dennis
is almost at the end of the tunnel. Its shot and edited on hdv, the process just able to eek out of my G5. Produced by the ABC and Channel 4 in the UK. New teams, numerous people in the chain of events, epileptic editing restrictions and grading limits... so complex, its back to the inefficiency of film and tv. I've become so used to getting up late and going to film some mpegs by myself and shifting images around randomly. Some of the editing in this was random, a lot of it was single frame adjustments left and right to get movements to jump cut nicely. Rosie made some radical edit shifts which made the sense of the choreography leap forward. For me, shooting in a brightly lit, brand new office building, its a film where there's nowhere for the filmmaker to hide. Everything is exposed, transparent and very 'video'. It is serving Rosie's quality of performance though I think, and taking it to a new place developed by chopped-up editing.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
This performance, directed by Nikki Heywood and devised by Matt Prest, Lizzie Thompson, Michelle Outram, Costa Latsos, Siobahn Murphy with sound by Jason Sweeney, projections and design by myself, unlike many other projects, allows us to search without the need for answers. I am constantly trying to tie things up and tie them in but apart from sound and image resonances, the work resists analysis. Although it is based on the performers' real experience, ambivalence reigns, an unrelenting, unconscious sculpture... phew... humbling... beyond conscious, before construction...
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007
An Inter Arts Grant, Gail Priest and I produced a one week development with 2 showings at Carriageworks, Performance Space.
I designed two large 16:9 screens with some expensive front and rear projection diffusion cloth, suspended in Track 12. Technically analogue, feeding into three vision mixers but from a combination of live camera objects (Nick Ritar, Cicada, VIC), Isadora (Scott Morrison, NSW) and Arkaos with a Numark mixer (myself) developed two, 45 minute sequences in which we each crossed over with sound artists, Gail, Jason Sweeney (SA), Peter Newman (NSW video also) and Ai Yamamoto (VIC). We had a great week, trying to produce something that wasn't the usual solo-artist-type event where we would overlap and create new partnerships. The plans of setting up half outside was impossible because of the floods going on out there, so we had immersion inside.
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Saturday, May 19, 2007
A ten minute dance/projection piece in BODYTORQUE with the Australian Ballet, Sydney Theatre, May 2007.
Choreographer, Narelle Benjamin and myself use our formula screen design - Black Scrim downstage with high contrast black and white 'ghosted' objects with a background on White Cyc. 7 weeks of time lapse video of 4 different roses growing and dying at the beginning of winter. They flower in a derelict room, three dancers from the ballet company articulate a man's early death and his surrealist signals from the afterlife. Music: 'Drive By' - The Necks.
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Friday, May 04, 2007
Apart from me reversing the polarity on electrical devices, the laptop has done some fast rendering through a showing of Nargun and the Stars (Erth) at Carriageworks and a development of "Miss and Miss Elder" with Julie-Anne Long. In M + M Elder, Julie-Anne goes on a long shopping expedition with her projected sister to Westfield Eastgardens. There these elderly sisters have enjoyable hallucinations but it leads one to question whether her sister's projectionism means she is a figment of the imagination. It is a project looking at lonliness and invisibility of old people in a busy world.
PERFORMANCE SPACE @ Carriageworks 9-13th October 2007.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Improlab performed for four nights in Melbourne in the new space at 45 Downstairs, Flinders Lane.
This space is beautiful, old wrinkled floorboards, a brand new rig with nice new profiles and fresnels. One whole wall of old windows next to a narrow lane full of weeds. The receptions in Melbourne were very warm with lots of interest and feedback.
Every night we ate in Chinatown. It was a good chance to bond and develop this work further - the forth incarnation.
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