SALA 2022: The Life We Live…

SALA is Australia’s largest and most inclusive visual arts festival, which takes place in galleries and non-traditional arts spaces across South Australia annually, during the entire month of August. Each year, around 8,000 emerging, mid-career and established South Australian artists exhibit in more 500 venues across the state, from sheds, cafés, offices and retail spaces to wineries, schools, public spaces, galleries, major arts institutions and on-line events.

For SALA 2022, I have compiled a collection of my recent videos that explore the unreliable interactions between visual perception and language. In a world of artificial intelligence, what is real? In a multi-lingual society, whose voices do we hear? When language begins to fragment, where do we find meaningful narrative?

I also have an on-line artist talk in which I explain some of the techniques involved in making one of my most successful collaborations, The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself. You will also find links to recent articles I have written about my creative process, the role of translation in video poetry, and how narrative works in short form video.

Click here to visit the on-line exhibition.

Click here to see my on-line artist talk.

The Port Trilogy

Over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed spending time around the Port Adelaide area of South Australia. The Port is steeped in histories: First Nations, Colonial, Modern. To varying degrees, it lays bare the evidence of contests within and between these multi-faceted stories. As a sea-port with changing priorities, its environment is constantly under threat from natural and anthropogenic sources.

I’ve used footage taken around Port Adelaide in two of my most successful videos, floodtide and after-image. In each case, the raw images have been composited with multiple sources and animated to create visual worlds that hover in an uncertain space between the real and the imaginary.

Since 2018, I’ve been privileged to be part of a group of artists largely based in Port Adelaide and have contributed to their group exhibitions at Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide, curated by Tony Kearney: BRIDGE (2018), VESSEL (2020) and HOLD (2022). I’ve now extended and reworked some of that material, along with some new work to create a trilogy of short videos recorded around Port Adelaide exploring the interactions between image and text, between histories real and imagined.


withHOLD

“toe hold… strangle hold… host fast… hold on for the ride of your Click here for more.

The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself wins Festival Fotogenia 3!

Much to my delight, the video I made with Tasos Sagris and Whodoes, The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself won the Avant-Garde prize for the top film in Fotogenia 3 international festival of video poetry and divergent narratives, held in Mexico City 24-27 over November 2021. The whole festival was a magnificent feast of diverse forms and voices. The finalist list included some of the best videos I’ve ever seen. So to come out on top is incredibly humbling. Massive thanks to Tasos Sagris and Whodoes for entrusting me with their fantastic words and music and the Institute for Experimental Arts in Athens for supporting the project.

The video was a major technical challenge that developed out of the collaborative nature of the work. Capturing the feeling of Tasos’ poem and the mood of Whodoes’ music required careful scripting. Nearly all of the footage was taken specifically for this project. An important part of the video includes a series of animated faces that were derived from a library of source images generated by artificial intelligence. Nearly every scene is composited from multiple sources – with a few exceptions, none of the scenes exists at they look … Click here for more.

Videos screen in three Portuguese festivals!

November is a big month for my videos, with screenings all around the world (!!) As part of the mix, I have work showing in three different curated video art festivals in Portugal.

Image Play III – International Video Art Festival curated by Hernando Urrutia runs on-line from Madeira on 4/5th November 2021. It includes epithelium, made with Catherine Truman and Angela Chappell, and SPSS, one of my earlier animated, computer voiced pieces. The first session can be viewed on Youtube here and the second session here.

Transborda III – QTV International Video Art Installation, curated by Alberto Guerriero as part of the 7th Festival of Literature and Cinema in Alcobara, running from 1-21 November. I have two videos here, ISOLATION PROCEDURES and future perfect. The installation here is really beautiful, with multiple screens allowing the viewer to move between different parts fo the program: click here to see an overview of it.

Fonland International Festival of Video Art and Performance, runs in Coimbra from 5-27 November, and screens The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself made with Tasos Sagris and Whodoes.

TRANSBORDA III – Q-TV: the response of video art to the quarantine times

TRANSBORDA III Q-TV: the response of video art to the quarantine times is part of the Festival of Books and Movies – Alcobaça in Portugal, 1-21 November, 2021. Curated by Alberto Guerreiro, the event features a diverse international line-up of video artists. Amongst so many good friends and colleagues, I’m delighted that two of my videos are on the program: ISOLATION PROCEDURES and future perfect. I also have a component in the international collaborative project, Chant for a Pandemic by Dee Hood.

ISOLATION PROCEDURES was recorded during the 2020, mostly on location at Sleep’s Hill, Blackwood, and Belair, South Australia, where I live, under partial lockdown conditions. The audio samples are made from birds, frogs and voices in the immediate neighbourhood. The text samples advice from various government, business and community organisations. “WE ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE… MAINTAIN YOUR SOCIAL ISOLATION…” After the pandemic has passed, the lockdowns persist: this is the new normal…

In future perfect, we see and hear words stripped of their ornamentation, pared back to monosyllabic cores… Are these the roots of language? Or are they the skeletal remains of a lost form of communication? Who is trying to speak here? What exactly … Click here for more.

5 videos officially selected for the 2021International Migration & Environmental Film Festival

The International Migration and Environmental Film Festival is a not-for-profit cultural organisation that raises awareness about migration and environmental issues through the wonderful medium of film. 

“IMEFF is dedicated to presenting the best of international film, documentary, photo, and artwork that captures migration, trafficking, refugees, pollution, habitat loss, climate change, to educate, entertain, inform and encourage conversations, provokes debate about changes, innovation, sustainability and how to make the world a better place for every creature. 

The aim of the festival is to raise awareness, encourage discussion and inspire people on a diverse range of important migration and environmental issues and to reshape a divisive narrative using film and the arts.

During the festival, there are opportunities for officially selected projects and filmmakers / artists to participate in screenings and discussions with the audience from non-governmental organisations, embassies, ministries, high school, and college-level students.”

So I am delighted that IMEFF has officially selected five (5!!) of my videos for Short Film section of this year’s event: colony collapse, floodtide, The Exclusion Principle, A Captain’s and homeless.

The Festival screens on-line 9-16 October 2021.

Colony Collapse at Broto Art-Climate-Science: Agency

My video Colony Collapse has been selected for an international on-line exhibition, Agency, hosted by Broto Art-Climate-Science in Cape Cod. It’s associated with their conference on 15-16 May entitled Greetings, Earthing: How does global citizenship affect our climate response? As part of the conference, I’m also taking part in a discussion on Agency: Arts as Civics Teacher.

Curated by Margaret LeJeune, the show asks “What exists at the intersection of empowerment, the climate crisis, and radical empathy?  What does agency look like in a post-human world? And, can it be ascribed to non-human species, rivers and/or ecosystems?”

As well as my work, the show features Caspar de Gelmini, Susan Hoenig, Sydney Parcell (in collaboration with Ildiko Polony), Nicole Lehne, Se Jong Cho, Daniel Ranalli, Jacqui Crocetta, Espen Tversland, Paloma Marquez, and DM Witman.

Here is the video of our wide-ranging discussion: Agency: Arts as Civics Teacher.

And here is a link to all the talks from the conference:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmUCpgkFxuy171_LFMEzKaQ

Three videos at Bologna in Lettere international multidisciplinary festival

After receiving an invitation to submit work, I have three videos in the 2021 Bologna in Lettere International Multidisciplinary Festival, IX edizione Dissoluzioni running throughout May, 2021. The Festival runs across 12 sessions with 175 authors representing 27 countries. My videos, Warranty & Conditions of Use, The Long Slow Effect of Gravity and future perfect are in the Arte-fatti Contemporanei session, curated by Maria Korporal. Two of these videos Warranty & Conditions of Use and future perfect were selected in the Top Ten Best of Bologna in Lettere 2021!

Shared Reckonings: Catherine Truman at the Museum of Economic Botany

Santos Museum of Economic Botany and The Deadhouse, Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
24 February – Sunday 2 May, 2021

In Shared Reckonings, renowned South Australian artist, Catherine Truman, explores the impact of light on human vision and the growth of plants. The exhibition combines thermoplastics and photo-luminescent powders with exquisite, thought-provoking results. Catherine’s work, which is presented as part of the Adelaide Festival, was created following two concurrent residencies at the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, and the Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology at Flinders University. It was influenced by powerful themes: the catastrophic bushfires that swept the country last summer, climate change-induced biodiversity loss, and the global pandemic.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Catherine for nearly 15 years now on a wide range of projects. For Shared Reckonings, we collaborated on a series of videos which are part of the exhibition. I also wrote a piece for the exhibition catalogue.

“What can we do when surrounded by fire, when the atmosphere on which we depend is choked with smoke and replicating particles, not quite dead, not quite alive, that have the potential to destroy our very ability to take another breath? … This … Click here for more.