This collaborative project between Wiradjuri Artist Scott ‘Sauce’ Towney, astronomer Trevor Leahman, Cementa Biennale Kandos and EIRL WSU comprised original astronomy objects by Towney embedded in astronomical visualisations by Leahman.
Single Channel HD video duration 7’40 sec stereo audio. Reverie was selected for The Director’s Cut, The Blake Prize 2015.
Reverie is a single channel video made in 2015 at the international artist’s residency Intercreate – SCANZ in New Plymouth, NZ. The residency theme was “Water and Peace”. Reverie draws on Islamic and indigenous spiritual traditions of non-figurative pattern-making from nature, as an aid to contemplation, lucid dreaming and meditation. Comprising video shot at the mouth and at the head waters of the sacred Oakura River in the Taranaki, NZ, and percussion by drummer Jeff Wegener, Reverie deploys gently changeful rhythms and dynamics, embodying the infinite self-similarity yet constant variance of watery forms as they unfold across time.
The work operates on affective, pre-cognitive levels. The subtle but constant variances of water – influenced by turbidity, surface tension, light refraction, wind, angle – contained and refracted within the kaleidoscopic form, are intended to evoke a stimulating yet meditative experience – a short term detachment from one’s surroundings, in short a reverie.
At the same time, water is a universal metaphor for consciousness, perception and feeling. Water features in many cultures as a symbol for abundance, transformation and depth potential, from the clearest fresh running stream, to the darkest ocean valley, manifesting in the stories and shapes of water gods, goddesses and creatures – some personifying the dangers of visiting ‘the depths’, others celebrating the brave spirit of those who do. Some – like Neptune of the western pantheon – represent both the beauty and intensity of grand illusion, and the crashing depths of dis-illusion. With its soulful combination of constancy, ubiquity and infinite variance, water is used to self-communicate our state of consciousness.
Recalling the myth of Icarus, A Drone Opera charts the wonder and potential of a magical new technology, the attendant moral panic and the hubris that sabotages the initial promise. Drawing on the secretive subculture of DIY drone-makers, researchers and hackers,
A Drone Opera explores the role of drone technology and its complex and contested status in public life.
Multi-channel installation from the Life After Wartime suite.
Seven channels of video in a Neo Georgian house in Sydney’s Rocks.
Commissioned by the International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA) Sydney and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA)
An installation comprised of an array of computer controlled lights, haze, rubber crumb, rock salt.
“Gondwana” is a galaxy of the imagination created using astronomical visualisations from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Mt Stromlo, Canberra. It is a playful riff on astronomical data, scientific research, cosmology and allegorical discourses.
Realised in a games engine by James Hudson of Nocturnal, with an immersive interactive interface using handheld navigation and augmented reality ‘heads up’ display.
Astronomical visualisations are combined in aesthetic, striking and original ways. The galaxy is complete with fictional constellations imagined for the southern skies. My aim is to explore the premise that the universe is complex and ecological in the sense of a generative system – it is outcome and process. The universe is not just an engineering equation but is informed by creative intelligence, ordering principles, patterns, significance and aesthetics. Does it posses a kind of intelligence with aesthetic qualities as well as mathematical ones? What can folk sciences and naive ontologies offer current astrophysical problems? How can we come to terms with a universe that is expanding and accelerating, from each point in it? I am working experimentally with astronomical visualisations (3d), scientific language, cosmology (current theoretical dilemmas of mythical proportions) and folk sciences (Aboriginal and classical), to explore the gaps and connections between science and spirituality, fact and speculation. Exhibited at DreamWorlds – Australian Moving Image in Beijing and regional China 2010. http://www.dreamworlds.com.au/
Developed during a residency at the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU with help from Professor Brian Schmidt and James Hudson from Nocturnal.
Based on the early 20Cth physics axiom by Heisenberg, wake is the 2nd iteration of Richards’ project The Uncertainty Principle. A first version of 32 Meditations… was exhibited at ‘Outside Isea’ in Belfast in 2009, in a shipping container.
All ports have an isomorphic relationship to each other – they are connected by the flows of people, goods, stories and songs. These geopolitical links create a worldwide network that transverses oceans, continents and hemispheres. Every port attains the universal feel of an inter-zone, a liminal interface of comings and goings, yet still retains its own character.
In wake visitors enter the shipping container and see footage of world famous ports – Belfast, Singapore, Montreal, Sydney, New York, Vancouver, Bangkok and Barcelona. Shot by the artist from boats and ships, these miniature viewpoints create an affective connection with the network of ports round the world. The shipping container is a metaphor for all the people, goods and stories that have crossed the seas over the years.
Brad Miller initially developed augment_me during a research residency at Artspace in 2004. As part of that research, he interviewed a number of young people about identity and materialism, leading to further research on the self in relation to additions or supplements. It seems that the self must be augmented, must be adorned and the reason the self must be augmented is that it is seen as inadequate for the tasks at hand. Thus began the process of materialising a critique of desire and augmentation using his own self as the locus of concern.
augment_me is comprised of a responsive database of images, sound and videos, accumulated over the past 8 years. Forming sequences in response to audience movement and position, these data ‘moments’ are animated by the augment_me software according to a set of rules applied to a live video camera feed, and then sequentially embedded into a strip of images presented horizontally. These ‘moments’ and their aggregation track relationships with people, places and moments of the everyday, intrinsically measuring change or transformation to produce a kind of memory machine — an attempt at resisting external ideas of what might be augmented.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth interpreted in Second Life
FOUL WHISPERINGS, STRANGE MATTERS brings Shakespeare’s world renowned and extraordinarily influential play Macbeth into a virtual worlds environment. This is an appropriate, timely use of pop culture as an adaptive bridge between classic texts and new media technology. The poetic use of metaphor, image and symbol that permeate Shakespeare’s language can be brought to 3D life using the online world as a discursive design space where visitors experience the motivations and emotional journey of character, and explore and make personal sense of the universal themes of Shakespeare. In Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters a prelude at the arrival grove sets the tone for the visitors’ exploration of seven scenes depicting Macbeth’s journey. Visitors engage with the participatory potential of Second Life to remake, co-create and mash-up Shakespeare. Foul Whisperings, Strange Matters’ inworld roleplay studios enable visitors to take part in group play and workshops that are exploratory, spontaneous and performative. A virtual world is a flexible, living, real time environment where things can change, appear and disappear and visitors can interact with real agency. Foul Whisperings is a fabulous cutting edge example of the potential of online media to breath life into old texts, taking classic narratives to new realms of possibility with diverse, unexpected and educational outcomes – off the page onto the virtual stage! DOWNLOAD A PDF ABOUT THE PROJECT