Surrounded by desert, the city-dweller feels small and exposed. There is an uneasiness at such immensity, and intensity, of nature. The desert resists perspectival representation — until it is penetrated by that icon of ‘progress’, the Highway. It arrives pre-packaged with its own vanishing point and sculpturally minimalist aesthetic, inscribing the sandy void with the familiar markings of civilisation: dotted white lines, roadsigns, streetlights and roundabouts.
With these symbols we attempt to tame the desert, to insist on perspective, to prove we are bigger than its expanse. A desert highway need not have cars; it has just to offer potential: to lead us, in our vehicular isolation, to civilisation at high speed, from even the furthest reaches of nature. Which is precisely what makes a highway that runs out so disturbing. What happened, we ask? What does it mean? Do we turn around and go back? Or do we motor onwards? And so off with bravado we head toward the horizon, confident in our technology, yet secretly fearful of being swallowed by the sands.
The symbolism of desertification hangs heavily over our species as our addiction to fossil fuels slowly cooks the planet. Our car culture leaves its mark on the world not just by upwards manipulation of the global temperature, but in these asphalt and concrete monuments to excess that it leaves behind.
In cinema chroma- and digital-key processes are utilised in the service of illusionism. They function as blank screens, negative spaces awaiting the transposition and transformation of images.
Salvatore Panatteri’s chroma- and digital key series, which he began in the 1990s, and which have been exhibited internationally (Minus Space, USA; The Contemporary Centre Of Non Objective Art, Belgium; Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Germany) explore the potential of these technologies as entities in their own right.
For Panatteri, chroma- and digital-keys’ dynamic, abstract and luminous qualities convey a sense of interminable time and space, which differs from the finite time line of film. And in doing so, infinitudes that exist beyond the architonic structure of the frame, beyond the known world are proposed.
On a recent trip to the frozen Canadian North, Stefan Popescu filmed the peak of the current solar cycle. Systematically filming the skies for 10 weeks with a DSLR with an intervalometer, he created a series of animated time-lapse photographs of the Aurora Borealis. Installed as large scale looped projections, they run simultaneously at opposite ends of a large darkened room. The work is not intended to mimic the experience of the northern lights, but rather invoke ephemeral and material nature of the visual in relation to the viewing body.
Ella Condon is an artist who interacts with spaces through photography, sound, video and installation. Her interest is in spaces that hold memories and stories from the past in their physical structure, and how this lingering presence shifts over time.
The artist as disruptor.
The artists’ role in disturbing the water upon which the image is projected, is akin to that of a conductor of electricity.
The artist injects the image with energy, allowing light to refract and create distortions.
The process of creating this work involves the artist embodying the image, through physically interacting with the light and water to disturb it.
Space Oddity (2012) continues Jai McKenzie’s ongoing research into un-built, propositional architecture of the mid 20th Century. Space Oddity features lighting elements and a large hand-made net, the pattern of this net is based on repetitive patterns the artist found in architectural drawings by Superstudio. By working with forms that were never actualised McKenzie activates Superstudio’s models for experience. Similar to minimalist practices of the 20th century, McKenzie employs systems, seriality and sequence to create an illusory plane or structure. However, unlike minimalists who used seriality to remove subjective decisions, here the surface of the net is imperfect and made by hand; instead repetition serves as a means for meditation for both the artist while making the work and the viewer while observing the final piece. It is intended that the viewer get lost in this pattern and open themselves to perceptual observation which is aided by the addition of light. Here light is used to dematerialise form and create an opening for various ways of seeing.
Ryszard Dabek, the instigator of the Re:cinema project will be visiting New York from 2 – 11 Feb 2013. He will meeting with MFA students at Parsons the New School on Monday 4 Feb and Wednesday 6 Feb and advanced BVA candidates on Thursday 7 Feb. during this time Ryszard will be promoting the project and planning for the exhibition and publication outcomes.
A timelapse journey revealing a metropolis seemingly devoid of human presence.
During the Vivid Sydney after-dark festival, this piece was rear-projected from inside the exhibition space onto a large shop window coated with Greek yoghurt in Sydney’s old Rocks district, providing an ephemeral screen by night.
Part of Adam Sébire’s Roads to Nowhere (2012), a solo exhibition of photographic stills & video art shot in and around Dubai after the global financial crisis. Deserted, fully-signposted multi-lane highways cut swathes through the sand, only to end equally precipitously in the middle of nowhere; monuments to excess and the money that ran out.
A MFA candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, Angela is interested in the intersection of psychology and place in film. Her research inspects the nature of spatial relations – particularly notions of home and the spaces not yet travelled. She has exhibited her work in North America and Australia.
Using a selection of materials that range from architectural source books to personal video archives,Traces will investigate the relationship between personal and collective remembrances of space. The city square, the historic monument and well known natural landmarks all reside within our consciousness as symbolic of either home or afar. Through our experiences with film, these places are framed as sites of touristic exploration, hedonism, memorial and desire. Traces will visit these places of spectacle and investigate and reveal the kitsch, cliche and ultimate ruin that they embody.
From the palisade to the screen, by way of stone ramparts, the boundary – surface has recorded innumerable perceptible and imperceptible transformations, of which the latest is probably that of the interface. Once again, we have to approach the question of access to the city in a new manner. For example, does the metropolis possess its own facade? At which moment does the city show its face?
– Paul Virilio
Your Name Here is a recent work by 2012 SCA Honours graduate Emma Hicks.
My work seeks to promote new ways of seeing and perceiving by questioning the concept of categorisation and engaging in the notion of the inexhaustible or infinite and the possibility of endless change. To make, unmake and remake both interior and exterior. My practice often employs the techniques of remix and datamoshing to challenge the contemporary hierarchy of images, which is based on resolution, format and sharpness and looks at the effects these techniques may have upon the traditional eye, gaze and image associated with film discourse.
My interest lies in the creation of images/objects in a state of flux existing inside, outside and in-between.