Points of Entry

POINTS OF ENTRY is an international touring exhibition project of installations and embodied electronic sculptural works using technology, by Australian, Canadian and New Zealand artists.

The works address con­tra­dic­tions and diverse pos­si­bil­i­ties of work­ing with inter­ac­tive tech­nolo­gies. The instal­la­tions range from self-standing kinetic sculp­tures, to what appears at first to be high speed model cars, but on closer exam­i­na­tion are machi­nes that move so slowly they take will decades to move a small dis­tance. A char­ac­ter­is­tic of all of the works is their phys­i­cal nature; some are sculp­tural, while oth­ers focus on phys­i­cal and spa­tial inter­ac­tion.

POINTS OF ENTRY, the title of the show, implies options and pos­si­bil­i­ties for audi­ence engage­ment with the works. While the con­cept of inter­ac­tive art is sug­ges­tive of choice and free­dom, it is use­ful to con­sider the extent of these choices. The ques­tions remains: within the dig­i­tal domain of pre­con­ceived com­puter works, pro­grammed vir­tual art and inter­ac­tive sculp­tures, how much actual free­dom, how much con­trol over our choice remains? Each work in the show takes a dif­fer­ent approach to these prob­lems, some use sim­ple inter­ac­tions, or have pre-programmed behav­iours, oth­ers sub­vert the con­ven­tions of what we term “inter­ac­tiv­ity”. Cura­tors: Nina Czegledy, Robin Pet­terd, and Deb­o­rah Lawler-DormerArtists involved: Aus­tralia — Sophea Lerner, Greg Bourke Leigh Hobba, Andrew Bur­rell Canada — Joce­lyn Robert and Daniel Jol­liffe, Jon Baturin, Simone Jones and Hope Thomp­son New Zealand — Sean Kerr and Kim Fogel­berg, Vir­gina King, Yuk King Tan, Alex Mon­teith

The artists/the selected works fol­lows:

Canada

Ground Station

a col­lab­o­ra­tive instal­la­tion by Joce­lyn Robert and Daniel Jol­liffe

ground-station
Yamaha Disklavier, video pro­jec­tor con­nected to G4 Mac com­puter.

Ground Sta­tion pro­duces music in real time by fol­low­ing the cur­rent azimuth, ele­va­tion and sig­nal strength of thirty-two Global Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) satel­lites. GS is in a sense an audi­ble reflec­tion of the activ­i­ties of the GPS net­work it watches. Whereas GPS was devel­oped as a posi­tion­ing tech­nol­ogy to aid in war­fare, Ground Sta­tion (GS) inverts the tra­di­tional use of this data by watch­ing the posi­tions and move­ment of the satel­lites them­selves. As satel­lite posi­tion data is fed into GS, it is processed by an algo­rithm designed by the artists that fil­ters and transcodes this into musi­cal nota­tion. This unique, con­tin­u­ous musi­cal score is then played live through speak­ers, or in cer­tain ver­sions of the work on a Dysklavier piano.

In effect, Ground Sta­tion works by bor­row­ing data from the US military’s Global posi­tion­ing satel­lite net­work. There are thus two sets of authors for the music GS pro­duces: the artist-programmers who cre­ate and con­tex­tu­al­ize the work, and the mil­i­tary infra­struc­ture that main­tains and over­sees the GPS net­work. The con­nec­tion between these authors is a def­i­nite one: GS is com­po­si­tion­ally depen­dent on the data it receives from the GPS net­work, and in turn on the military’s own uplink sta­tions that con­trols the satel­lites. The cen­tral role of Schriever Air Force Base in the music pro­duced by GS is indi­rect yet sig­nif­i­cant, as this music depends on satel­lite tra­jec­tory, which is under direct mil­i­tary con­trol. With­out this ground con­trol, the music pro­duced by GS would even­tu­ally fade and cease, in par­al­lel with the decay of the satel­lites them­selves.

Sys­tems aside, Ground Sta­tion was not con­ceived to cham­pion tech­nol­ogy or the pos­si­bil­i­ties of computer-based musi­cal com­po­si­tion. As col­lab­o­ra­tors we have lit­tle inter­est in the aes­thet­ics of the ‘music’ pro­duced by the piano. Rather, its goal is to pro­duce music as a kind of cul­tural arti­fact of the time and place we live in. Musi­cally, GS relies on the sup­po­si­tion that musi­cal com­po­si­tion is a pro­duct of the time and place in which it is pro­duced, rather than its for­mal or syn­tac­ti­cal qual­i­ties. A piano played under the rocket fire of wartime Beirut, for exam­ple, and Ground Sta­tionís piano-manifested satel­lite data are both musi­cal com­po­si­tions that reflect specif­i­cally upon the social state of the cul­tures they are cre­ated within.

Ground Sta­tion sets out to make vis­i­ble dif­fer­ent cul­tural approaches to tech­nol­ogy, and to make audi­ble the invis­i­ble data that con­nects these approaches. In this sense Ground Sta­tionís per­for­mance is not one of music but an aural trans­la­tion of the cur­rent tech­nol­o­gized soci­ety that we inhabit.

Joce­lyn Robert is inter­ested by the instant, the space between noth­ings, the ban­a­lytic arche­ol­ogy. Audio artist, video artist, instal­la­tion artist, etc artist, he first stud­ied as a phar­ma­cist, then as an archi­tect. He worked in archi­tec­ture until 1989, then he switched to full time art. He col­lab­o­rated with Diane Landry, Bruit TTV, Arbo Cyber, and oth­ers on dif­fer­ent per­for­mances and instal­la­tions, and pro­duced sev­eral solo works as well. He showed his work here and there while you were look­ing else­where. He pub­lished sev­eral cds of his own audio work, on ReR records, Obz and Ohm Edi­tions, par­tic­i­pated to another 20 with dif­fer­ent artists, showed inter­ac­tive instal­la­tions in gal­leries, pub­lished texts in books, inter­views in mag­a­zi­nes, etc etc etc. Last Feb­ru­ary, he won the first prize in the New Image cat­e­gory of the Trans­me­di­ale Awards, in Berlin, with his computer-video instal­la­tion L Inven­tion des Ani­maux. In 1993, with Pierre-André Arcand, Christof Migone and a few oth­ers, he founded Avatar, an audio artists-run cen­tre in Que­bec City and acted as pres­i­dent and artis­tic direc­tor of the cen­tre until 2001. These days he can be found in Cal­i­for­nia, study­ing in a lit­tle stu­dio between trees. He can be reached at jrontheroad@hotmail.com, and more infor­ma­tion on him and his work can be found at www.stanford.edu/~jrobert

Daniel Jol­liffe (Ontario, 1964). A media and visual artist since 1989, Daniel’s work is a syn­the­sis of sculp­tural prac­tice and elec­tronic tech­nolo­gies. His works take an orig­i­nal approach to the inter­ac­tion of the body and tech­nol­ogy, cre­at­ing phys­i­cally inten­sive expe­ri­ences which chal­lenge con­ven­tional notions of point and click inter­ac­tiv­ity. His inter­ac­tive works and tech­nol­ogy based art projects have been shown across Canada and the United States. He was until recently co-director of the Dig­i­tal Earth in Van­cou­ver, B.C. which in 2000 pre­sented ZDM: A Theme Park of Elec­tronic Cul­ture. He has taught work­shops intro­duc­ing artists to elec­tronic prac­tices both over­seas and across Canada. He is cur­rently com­plet­ing a degree in Phi­los­o­phy at the Uni­ver­sity of Vic­to­ria, British Columbia.

Doukhoubor communal bath age 5”

a photo based instal­la­tion by Jon Baturin

communal-bathDoukhoubor com­mu­nal bath age 5” is a mod­u­lar envi­ron­ment using sen­sory trig­gers, sound, heat and photo-based imagery. We see — sense — almost feel — warm bod­ies, thighs, bel­lies, flesh. Inner and outer. Young and old. Ecsta­tic and mor­ti­fied.

Com­mu­nal bath” occu­pies a phys­i­cal space (small) and psy­cho­log­i­cal space (large). It is tac­tile. Inti­mate. Com­fort­able, snug. A place for under­stand­ing — for belong­ing. Not a place to fear or a place to be feared.

I was 5. My mother was dying — had died of can­cer. We trav­eled to Grand Forks B.C. to spend heal­ing — and griev­ing — time with our Doukhobour fam­ily. There was rit­ual song and rit­ual prayer. Hugs and whis­pers. (Rus­sian & Eng­lish) Endear­ments and tears. warm laps.

The com­mu­nal bath-house. A place of tra­di­tion and lore; of fam­ily and of pre­cious bonds. A place for renewal; for hope and for res­o­lu­tion for my father. A place to share me. A place for spirit, for worth, for mean­ing. A place to embrace when god deserts. A place — when sense of place has gone. I was five. I knew none of this.

My Father shared steam, sweat, talk, grief. He cried copi­ously. Our tears were deep water. Clean water. They fit this place. I learned that well. Sat quiet. Sat low. Uncles and aunts, cousins. fam­ily friends. boy flesh. girl flesh. Man flesh. Innies and out­ies. Bel­lies and thighs. Met them all. (Met them often). Gen­tle hugs. Whis­per­ings. Quiet pleas. “health/ dis­ease.…” “life / death.…” “…death…” “…death…” “…death…” lots and lots and lots of death.… too much for one aged 5.

So much older now. Yet I reside there still. see it again. See it often. The dead. Uncles and aunts, cousins. friends. boy flesh and girl flesh. Innies and out­ies. Bel­lies and thighs. Dan­gly bits. Death. Mor­ti­fi­ca­tion. Ever-present tragedy. Unre­quited sor­row and — on occa­sion — unan­tic­i­pated joy.”

Jon Baturin is Assoc­iate Pro­fes­sor and Pro­gram Direc­tor (Pho­tog­ra­phy and Explo­rations) York Uni­ver­sity, Toronto Canada . He has in his recent photo-based and dig­i­tal work col­lab­o­rated with visual artists, social activists, poets, nov­el­ists, actors, musi­cians from North Amer­ica, Eng­land, China, Aus­tralia, Brazil and the Caribbean.

His pho­to­graphic and dig­i­tal works have been shown exten­sively includ­ing:

  • Lim­i­nal Body: Aus­tralian Cen­tre for Pho­tog­ra­phy (2000 Syd­ney Olympics)
  • Dig­i­tized Bod­ies: Vir­tual Spec­ta­cles: Lud­wig Museum of Con­tem­po­rary Art (Octo­ber 2000 Budapest, Hun­gary) Mestna Museum Galer­jia (Feb­ru­ary 2001, Lub­jiana Slove­nia)
  • …About ENDS (the hope project): Gallery 44, June 2002, Toronto Canada)

Studies in Compulsive Movement: Anxiety Box No.1

by Simone Jones and Hope Thomp­son, 2002

anxiety-boxStud­ies in Com­pul­sive Move­ment: Anx­i­ety Box No.1 is an inter­ac­tive audio sculp­ture with two ani­ma­tion flip­books. Each flip­book trig­gers a sep­a­rate audio sound­track when picked up and acti­vated by the viewer. The flip­books con­tain ani­mated draw­ings of a repeated body move­ment.

Through the jux­ta­po­si­tion of the audio sound­tracks and the ani­mated images, the work exam­i­nes the rela­tion­ship between psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal com­pul­sion. Lastly, both the flip­books and the audio tracks have the poten­tial to loop end­lessly (com­pul­sively!) the work is com­pleted by the inter­ac­tion of the viewer’s the action of acti­vat­ing the flip­book mim­ics the repeated nature of the mov­ing images and loop­ing audio sound­tracks.

Simone Jones makes elec­tronic sculp­ture and video. Hope Thomp­son is a writer and film­maker. Stud­ies in Com­pul­sive Move­ment: Anx­i­ety Box No.1 is their first offi­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion.

 

New Zealand

Dot_IV.

instal­la­tion, 2001, by Sean Kerr (in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kim Fogel­berg)

dot-ivThe instal­la­tion plays upon the beauty of sim­plic­ity. The work shares Lye “direct phi­los­o­phy” being cre­ated entirely within a com­puter with no exter­nal sam­pling.

Dot_IV. reflects my fas­ci­na­tion with musi­cal struc­ture and the asso­ci­a­tion of sound, images and repeat­ing loops,” says Kerr.

Sean Kerr is a Lec­turer in Inter­me­dia, Elam Fine Arts School, Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land, Auck­land and prac­tices as a Pro­fes­sional Visual Artists and Free­lance Cura­tor.

Antarctic Heart

instal­la­tion, 2001, by Vir­gina King

antarctic-heartKing draws an anal­ogy between the human pres­ence in Antarc­tica and the way she works, the anom­aly of her del­i­cate works cre­ated by using noisy, aggres­sive machin­ery. Sus­pended macro­carpa sculp­tures are massed together, evok­ing the com­plex­ity and diver­sity of their forms in real life as revealed by the elec­tron micro­scope. The works move, turn­ing slowly, their move­ment induc­ing a hyp­notic effect on the viewer. The sur­vival of life forms is the fun­da­men­tal theme of the work, described by Gilbert Wong as a pos­i­tive state­ment about the tenac­ity of life in the extremes. By exag­ger­at­ing the scale King allows us to make other con­nec­tions, to allude to her pre­vi­ous works, some of which also make ref­er­ence to microor­gan­isms.

Sound and light con­tribute to a sense of the sub­ter­ranean and the mys­ti­cal a leap from sci­en­tific data to the inde­fin­able world of the spirit. The flu­o­res­cent sur­faces of the works are bathed in eerie ultra vio­let light and the dark­ness of the space hints at the jour­ney to Antarc­tica. Ultra vio­let light makes ref­er­ence to research that has been con­ducted on its effect on diatoms.

In the video, King has lay­ered and dis­solved elec­tron micro­scope images that are com­puter coloured and ani­mated with footage she filmed on loca­tion in the extra­or­di­nary Antarc­tic land­scape. These are inter­spersed with images of the sculp­tures and the pres­ence of life forms, their real­ity and their new rep­re­sen­ta­tion, is in stark con­trast with the dra­matic vis­tas.

Vir­ginia King has been exhibit­ing in solo and group exhi­bi­tions since 1978. In 1999 she par­tic­i­pated in the Paci­fic Rim exhi­bi­tion Vol­ume and Form Sin­ga­pore í99. Her sur­vey exhi­bi­tion Tideline-Sculpture: a ten year sur­vey was pre­sented at Whangarei Art Museum. She has made two pre­vi­ous art videos: Pas­sage, 1995 and Styx (Sticks), 1997. Both videos have been included in the Video pro­gramme orga­nized by the Mov­ing Image Cen­tre as part of the Asia Paci­fic Tri­en­nale, Bris­bane Art Gallery, Queens­land, Aus­tralia. In 2000 Styx/Sticks was pur­chased by Bris­bane Art Gallery for pub­lic view­ing. Vir­ginia lives in Auck­land and works full time as a sculp­tor.

The new Siteseer

instal­la­tion, 2002, by Yuk King Tan

new-siteseerUsing rock­ets whose bod­ies con­tain small cam­eras Yuk King Tan has devel­oped a series of “land­scape” images taken from the mis­siles down­ward tra­jec­tory. The pho­tographs and the art­work dis­cuss the issue of bor­der, ter­ri­tory and the divi­sion of land.

The loca­tion of the “take-off” and most of the pho­tographs were sit­u­ated at the edge of the Tamaki Drive between Mis­sion Bay res­i­den­tial and the sea. The under­ly­ing inter­est of the project is the inter­sec­tion between land and har­bour, his­tory and devel­op­ment, home and habi­tat. An activ­ity like launch­ing a small rocket breaks the usual flow of the daily traf­fic sug­gest­ing a slight shift in con­ven­tion and norm. Evok­ing the sub­tle men­ace of mil­i­tary sur­veil­lance and a humor­ous retake on tourist pho­tog­ra­phy the work sub­tly ques­tions how we may per­ceive land and home.

Yuk King Tan was born in Aus­tralia and is a grad­u­ate with a BFA from the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land. She has had solo exhi­bi­tions across Aus­tralia and New Zealand and par­tic­i­pated in group shows world­wide. Her work has received media reviews in Aus­tralia, New Zealand and Europe.

24 frames reframed

instal­la­tion, 2002, Alex Mon­teith in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dar­ren Glass

24-frames-reframedThe instal­la­tion of this work (which is still in pro­gress and will later become part of a body of works) presently involves a sin­gle video pro­jec­tion. The pro­jec­tor is fed its image from a video switcher (the kind they use in video sur­veil­lance for secu­rity) which reads sig­nals from 4 videos run­ning simul­ta­ne­ously. This switcher enables the view­ers to select and sequence one after the other any or all of the sig­nals being sent from 1–4 of the video decks. The speed it switches between views of the dan­de­lion is vari­able.

Alex Mon­teith is cur­rently study­ing for Doc­tor­ate in Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts, The Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land, New Zealand. She has worked and shown her films and videos exten­sively and received pres­ti­gious awards world­wide.

 

Aus­tralia

The Glass Bell

instal­la­tion, 2002, Sophea Lerner

the-glass-bellA house haunted by a ghost, a lake haunted by a for­got­ten bell, dreams haunted by a lan­guage you have never learnt to speak… Based on some of the sto­ries the artist’s grand­mother took with her when she left the vil­lage in Fin­land where she grew up. A poetic reverie on lan­guage, mem­ory and sep­a­ra­tion The Glass Bell explores the role of sto­ries as place­hold­ers for the unut­ter­able, for what falls between lan­guages and places when we leave.

Here you are on the sur­face of lan­guage, skat­ing on thin ice, what you are say­ing, the words, are not your mother tongue. You have never learned to speak her lan­guage…”

the-glass-bell-2The Glass Bell has been exhib­ited in three forms: As a radio­phonic broad­cast for The Lis­ten­ing Room, Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (ABC), devel­oped dur­ing a Aus­tralia Council/ABC Audio Arts fel­low­ship in 1998 then first shown as an inter­ac­tive audio­graphic water instal­la­tion devel­oped col­lab­o­ra­tively for Nextwave Fes­ti­val 2002. This cur­rent ver­sion does not include the col­lab­o­ra­tive inter­ac­tive ele­ments.

Cred­its:

  • Text, Images, Sounds Sophea Lerner
  • Trans­la­tion Kaarina Rau­ramo
  • Cello & impro­vi­sa­tion: Ion Pearce
  • Viola & vio­lin: Natasha Rumiz
  • Per­cus­sion & impro­vi­sa­tion: Tony Lewis
  • Voices: Annikki Har­ris, Vir­ginia Bax­ter, Eila Him­mel­re­ich, Sophea Lerner, Zoe Smith
  • Edit­ing and arrange­ment: Sophea Lerner
  • Sound engi­neer: John Jacobs
  • Prin­ci­ple sup­port­ers: The Aus­tralia Coun­cil for the Arts, Nextwave Fes­ti­val, Film Vic­to­ria
  • also sup­ported by: Muu Media Base, Per­for­mance Space, Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Syd­ney.
  • Whilst the inter­ac­tive water­screen is not included in this ver­sion spe­cial thanks go to code artist Ryan Sabir and designer Kieran Larkin for their con­tri­bu­tions to the project as a whole.

Sophea Lerner is an Aus­tralian sound and dig­i­tal media artist spe­cial­is­ing in inter­ac­tive audio. Her work includes sound per­for­mance, instal­la­tion, film sound and exper­i­men­tal radio fea­tures. She has done lots of dif­fer­ent jobs, most of which have involved get­ting sounds and/or machi­nes to do unex­pected things. She cur­rently lec­tures in media & sonic arts at the Sibelius Acad­emy in Helsinki.

Machines for Time

sculp­ture, 2001, by Greg Bourke

machines-for-timeA series of three aero­dy­namic mod­els, which are fic­tional pro­to­types for high-speed trans­port, with an aura of speed to them. One of the objects for instance, is a fully artic­u­lated machine that moves at a rate of 1 cm a year, this slow­ness is in con­trast with its high speed look­ing design. The objects are not meant to work, and per­haps will never be built to full scale, how­ever the con­struc­tion of the mod­els is con­sid­ered, refined and pre­cise.

Greg Bourke is study­ing media arts at the Uni­ver­sity of Tas­ma­nia. Ear­lier ( 1998) he grad­u­ated with a diploma in design and desk­top pub­lish­ing. In 2000 he received The Dean’s Roll of Excel­lence from the Uni­ver­sity of Tas­ma­nia. In 2001 Bourke exhib­ited in the “Mars Attack” exhi­bi­tion at Hobart, Tas­ma­nia.

Red (V.3)

instal­la­tion, 2001, by Leigh Hobba

red-v3Red is the sec­ond in a tril­ogy of works, Red, White and the Blues (1997–2001).

Red is a response to a jour­ney from the Edge of Aus­tralia to the Cen­tre. Two rocks from the bed of the old­est river on the planet, click together in response to an audi­ence approach. A record­ing of a brief, light shower of rain falling into the river, plays into the space. Some audio manip­u­la­tion of the “click” res­onates through the space. The rocks were selected for their sound from all the pos­si­bil­i­ties one has when wan­der­ing down a dry, rock strewn river bed. They are ancient rocks – the click is a clock– the “time­less­ness” of the old­est con­ti­nent and the process of change through weath­er­ing this clock against our fleet­ing inter­ac­tion with the planet. The process is con­nected to mechan­i­cal based inter­ac­tion (sole­noid and electro/mechanical trig­ger eg pres­sure mat or light beam) which also trig­gers the sound soft­ware — this wraps the metaphor — time­less nat­u­ral ele­ments — inter­ven­tion and con­trol as a con­tem­po­rary con­di­tion.

Leigh Hobba cur­rently lives and works in Hobart Tas­ma­nia. Since the 1970s his sound and video instal­la­tions were exhib­ited widely across Aus­tralia and abroad. His inter­dis­ci­pli­nary prac­tice includes instal­la­tions, videos, per­for­mances, cura­to­rial work and he has also pub­lished widely, Notably Hobba curated “Pulse Fic­tion” (1995) an exhibition/survey of art and atti­tudes affected by the first wave of artists access to media tech­nolo­gies and strate­gies of media based art works through the 1960s and 1970s in Aus­tralia and Imme­di­ate” (2001) — Instal­la­tions that address issues in New Media prac­tice.

Here

instal­la­tion, 2000, by Andrew Bur­rell

hereThe work “Here” presents the viewer with an inter­nal dia­logue, both sin­gle sided and con­ver­sa­tional — cir­cu­lar in nature- with no begin­ning or end. This dia­logue is con­tained within two small draw­ers and accessed audi­bly by the viewer each time one or both are opened. Per­haps here really is a place we can­not leave?

Each of the two boxes have a drawer that upon open­ing allows one half of a con­ver­sa­tion to be played. Only when the viewer real­izes that the voices within each box are in con­ver­sa­tion and has both draw­ers opened at once, will they hear the com­plete dia­logue.

Andrew Bur­rell grad­u­ated from the Syd­ney Col­lege of the Arts with an MFA in 2000. He has had solo exhi­bi­tions as far back as 1992 and par­tic­i­pated in sev­eral group shows across Aus­tralia. Since 1999 Bur­rell has been inten­sively involved in the Polar Cir­cuit project in Lap­land and spent a res­i­dency lead­ing up to Finnish exhi­bi­tions at Inari, Lap­land in 2001.