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.

An Introduction to the Theory of Eclipses

eclipse (n. countable and uncountable)

1. An alignment of astronomical objects whereby one object comes between the observer and another object.
2. A seasonal state of plumage in some birds adopted temporarily after the breeding season.
3. Obscurity, decline, downfall.

An Introduction to the Theory of Eclipses has its premiere screening and won the Staff Favorite Film Award at Another Whole in the Head – Warped Dimension FilmFest 2022, run on-line out of San Francisco, 14-15 May, 2022. It was developed from some animated sequences I made for our 2022 Adelaide Fringe show UGLY – A NOT Fairytale, in which one of the characters was Eclipse, played by Michael Jaxon Carson. The original concept was inspired by Inori-Prayer-, a short video made by WOW Inc to promote their projection mapping system.

The animations here were very complex to make. The faces are made by an artificial intelligence system (Generated Media, Inc) that was trained on a huge library of images of real faces. This is the same system I used for a previous video: The Life We Live Is Not Itself. However, I composited real eyes (mine!) onto some of them. The … Click here for more.

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… and after-image at Tranås At The Fringe International Arts Festival

Two of my videos The Life We Live Is Not Life Itself, made in collaboration with Tasos Sagris and Whodoes, and after-image are official selections at the 2021 Tranås At The Fringe International Arts Festival running 16-24 November 2021 in Sweden. I was interviewed film festival curator, Laura Bianco, about these videos, how I made them and theoretical or scientific underpinnings. Both videos explore the notion of uncertain narrators, with shifting voices, perspectives, and time lines in environments that are disturbingly a little off-kilter and disorienting. Indeed, as I explain in the interview, nearly every scene in each of the videos has been composted from multiple elements: almost nothing is as it seems in real life.

The Extreme Politics of Adaptive Endosymbiosis

This is the Post-Anthropocene. This is a dystrophic climate of floodtides and wildfires. This is a coercive politics of surveillance and self-mutable technology. This is a degenerate ecosystem of engineered life forms, synthetic symbionts, neo-genetic humans dependent on novel microbial metabolisms. We adapt to extreme heat, extreme wind, extreme salt. We harvest oxygen. We feed on iron and sulphur. We are bound by physics and chemistry. We must follow the rules…

Endosymbiosis is the evolutionary phenomenon whereby one organism lives within another for the mutual benefit of both. Our mitochondria that provide us with our all energy need via the oxidative metabolism of sugars are derived from endosymbiont bacteria. Chloroplasts that convert sunlight to energy in plants are also derived from bacterial endosymbionts. At some stage in the future we may be engineered to host bacterial symbionts that can metabolise iron or sulphur or nitrogen to supplement our dwindling energy sources.

The Extreme Politics of Adaptive Endosymbiosis presents a combination of high-definition 10K video, industrial audio, and live vocal performance developed specifically for the giant LED screens of The Lab, Adelaide, South Australia. Source material includes my videos depicting dystopian cities, damaged habitats, and readapted life forms; massively re-processed audio … 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.

accidentals (recalculated) at Bologna in Lettere 10th edition

… the probability that accidents do happen, if you slip and fall, fly too close to the sun, if your car runs off the road, if you cut your finger, miss a secret assignation, catch (or not) a slip of the tongue, when words fail, when all you have left is abstraction, operators, a lasting approximation, a mathematician’s code … 

I’m really delighted that my video accidentals (recalculated) has been selected for the International Review of Poetry, Videopoetry and Video-Art for the special on-line 10th edition of Bologna in Lettere, screening on 4th August 2021, curated by Enzo Campi.

This video started out life as a more-or-less standard poem. But then I realised that I could replace many of the verbs, prepositions, conjunctions and other linguistic elements with mathematical operators or symbols used in algebra, statistic,computing and engineering. The implementation of these operators and symbols in the piece is all internally consistent, so that a given symbol always means the same thing. Video was the ideal way to integrate the new text with the original poem via the voice-over. Most of the images were filmed in and around my home in South Australia.

The Ferrovores at the 9th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens

The 9th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens is on-line this year. The program is large, diverse and guaranteed to be amazing. I’m delighted my video The Ferrovores is part of this.

This is now the 5th consecutive year I’ve been part of this Festival. Hopefully, next year we will be able to visit Athens again for the 10th Festival.

The Ferrovores – The Iron Eaters – explores a future where we subsist on rusted iron, using metabolic pathways symbiotically acquired form bacteria.

“this time, this place… beyond open circulation closed reciprocity… closed hydration spheres wrought cast smithed… this is what we are what we eat … “

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