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RT Profiler 1, 5 Feb, 2014

SCANNER 2014: The Experimenters, Part 2

Sam Haren | Simone Hine & Clare Rae | Cat Hope | IETM Satellite | George Poonkhin Khut | Stephanie Lake | Larissa McGowan | Wade Marynowsky | Nancy Mauro-Flude | Tristan Meecham | Roslyn Oades | starrs & cmielewski | Joel Stern | Lara Thoms | Eugene Ughetti | Malcolm Whittaker | David Williams | Lisa Wilson

See Part 1 here

1) Sam Haren; 2) I, Animal directed by Sam Haren &  Dan Koerner, photo  Jackson Gallagher
1) Sam Haren; 2) I, Animal directed by Sam Haren & Dan Koerner, photo Jackson Gallagher

Sam Haren

2014 will be an interesting year for me and collaborator Dan Koerner as we commence one of the Australia Council’s new Digital Theatre Initiatives, a partnership between our company Sandpit and Country Arts SA. As part of the initiative, Fleur Elise Noble and Rosemary Myers, post and Sandpit will all create new work exploring emerging digital technologies and their potential place in performance making into the future.

I am also developing a solo visual performance work with Dan called Mark: a synthesis of VJ-ing, object manipulation and performance. Mark is a playful dissection of a 1992 Calvin Klein advertising campaign objectifying then-rapper Marky Mark. The project examines the cultural shift in our sense of masculinity that occurred as the male body started being objectified in our mainstream media and consumer culture in the same way women had been for decades.

We are also collaborating with Larissa McGowan on creating a new dance work, Owning the Moment, that will allow audiences to digitally acquire sections of the work, which in turn will then be removed from the live show. We’re really excited to see how this project might work!

Stages, Simone Hine and Clare Rae Stages, Simone Hine and Clare Rae
courtesy the artists
Simone Hine & Clare Rae

Stages is a collaborative project by Simone Hine and Clare Rae. We follow in the tradition of feminist art practice, using our own bodies to examine broader ideas related to the conditions of feminine representation. This is coupled with an interest in the relationship between stillness and motion as it relates to the medium of photography and moving images. Clare performs actions that when photographed rely on the medium's ability to suspend motion. She also creates moving images from still photographs, drawing to consciousness the hidden photographic base of any moving image. Likewise, Simone makes video and performance installations that replicate constructed photographs as well as videos that create a tension between stillness and motion by juxtaposing scenes of action with stationary scenes.

For this project, we will each make a new work in response to a particular site that is devoid of furnishings. Using the same room as a set for both of our work, Clare will produce a series of photographs and Simone a multi-channel video. We will bring our own aesthetic and line of questioning to the chosen space, creating a dialogue between different ways of seeing, understanding and representing the female body. The convergences mark a shared history of art, while the divergences mark our individual responses to the room. This project will be presented at Boxcopy in April 2014, as part of the Queensland Festival of Photography.

Cat Hope performing in Kosice, Slovakia Cat Hope performing in Kosice, Slovakia
photo Boris Vaitovidz
Cat Hope

2014 will be a composing year! I am very lucky to be the 2014 Peggy Glanville Hicks resident in Paddington, Sydney where I will be writing music for great musicians such as percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson, pianist Zubin Kanga, Icelandic ensemble Slatur and the Chicago Modern Orchestra as well as concocting a new noise opera concept with Jack Sargeant and an installation work at PICA. There’s some recording and mixing on the horizon too, including an album with Alan Lamb and Lisa MacKinney. For my Churchill Fellowship I will look into the way digital graphic notation is made and used around the world, and will end the year with some composing time at Civitavella, Italy. I am also excited about a collaboration with visual artist Kate McMillan, Moments of Disappearance, showing at Carriageworks in November. The Decibel ensemble is still bubbling away, with an east coast tour planned and recording works including the piece we commissioned from Alvin Curran last year. I love making, listening to, thinking about and performing music, so I’m in my element. (See our video interview with Cat from 2012)

Back to Back Theatre,Ganesh Versus the Third Reich Back to Back Theatre,Ganesh Versus the Third Reich
courtesy the company
IETM Asian Satellite

The International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) and Australia Council will present the first ever IETM Satellite gathering in Australia taking place during Next Wave in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne (Asian Performing Arts Program). The three-day meeting will bring together 50 Australian artists, producers and presenters for showcases, discussions and networking opportunities with leading performing arts producers and presenters from Europe and Asia. Australian organisations and companies include Campbelltown Arts Centre, Australian Dance Theatre, Chamber Made Opera, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Boho, Darwin Festival and Back to Back Theatre. Following the gathering will also be a lab bringing together emerging innovative artists from Asia and Australia. IETM Melbourne runs 12-14 May and there’ll also be a “caravan” IETM event in Sydney, 15-16 May.

George Poonkhin Khut George Poonkhin Khut
photo Julia Pendrill-Charles
George Poonkhin Khut

2014 sees the start of a significant new stage for my practice with my appointment as a full-time academic at the College of Fine Arts (COFA, UNSW). In this position I’ll be extending my research into arts-in-health, participatory and interactive art, and interaction design through new research partnerships, post-graduate supervision and teaching work. As part of this role I’ll be looking to develop new projects with other researchers to explore how art and design can enhance health care experiences.

The BrightHearts research project with Dr Angie Morrow at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead continues with a feasibility study led by Dr Rachel Skinner and Cristyn Davies to evaluate the effectiveness of an app as a tool for managing pain and anxiety with high school students undergoing HPV vaccinations in South Australia and Western Australia. (See George’s report for RT117’s Art & Wellness feature). In my capacity as co-director of Sensorium Health—the business I’ve set up with interaction-designer and entrepreneur Jason McDermott—we’ll be launching a new creative app for Bluetooth fitness heart rate sensors, and launching Kickstarter campaign to develop our own wearable pulse sensor.

I’m also looking forward to continuing my collaboration with composer James Peter Brown exploring experiences of subjectivity, embodiment and selfhood with our brainwave controlled interactive sound and vibration project that we prototyped last year with the ThetaLab project (ISEA 2013; see Urszula Dawkins review).

1) A Small Prometheus, photo Jeff Busby; 2) Stephanie Lake, photo Robin Fox 1) A Small Prometheus, photo Jeff Busby; 2) Stephanie Lake, photo Robin Fox
Stephanie Lake

My year kicks off with Richard Strauss’ Elektra for Sydney Dance Company and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. I was commissioned by SDC to create the choreography for this epic opera that will be performed at the Sydney Opera House in February. With over a hundred orchestral musicians, singers from the Sydney Philharmonia and eight of the fantastic Sydney Dance Company dancers performing on an elevated stage, it’s work on a grand scale. Using texture, specificity of detail and dissonance we explore the shifting tension between recklessness and delicacy. The dancers don’t play characters but embody the emotional content of the score.

In 2014 I will also embark on the development of a new work titled The Experiment, working with four dancers and in collaboration with audiovisual artist Robin Fox. Initially inspired by the Milgram experiments—controversial psychological experiments from the 1960s—I’ll be working with ideas of obedience and personal responsibility in a piece that positions the audience as decision makers in the outcome of the work they are witnessing. It continues my fascination with movement invention and the interplay of formality and the gritty, chaotic, sinuousness that dance can describe. I plan to present the finished work in 2015.

There is international touring of my recent works, DUAL (see reviews by Varia Karipoff and Keith Gallasch and A Small Prometheus (review by Philippa Rothfield), with some great opportunities to take these works to UK and European audiences. And I’ve had the enormous good fortune to be awarded a Sidney Myer Fellowship for the next two years, which will help support future plans and hopefully allow for some interesting tangents.

1) Skeleton, photo Chris Herzfeld; 2) Larissa McGowan 1) Skeleton, photo Chris Herzfeld; 2) Larissa McGowan
Larissa McGowan

I recently completed the national and international season of my first full-length independent work Skeleton which was presented at the 2013 Adelaide Festival, Dance Massive and Dublin Dance Festival. Skeleton is large-scale dance work exploring the skeletal form set within an explosive vision of pop-cultural icons. (See interview and reviews by Keith Gallasch and Carl Nilsson-Polias)

In 2014 I am in a creative development stage with two smaller-scale works which continue my collaborations with Sam Haren and Steve Mayhew, integrating the dramaturgical process we have established and inviting new collaborators into our process to prompt new ideas.

Owning the Moment is a work for four dancers made in collaboration with Sam and Dan Koerner from Sandpit and composer and sound designer Brendan Woithe. The work proposes that the audience acquire, own and then permanently remove “a moment “ from the work.

Mortal Condition (for two dancers) explores the persona of secondary female characters within the fantasy world of cartoons, movies and video games. Steve is working on this project with DJ Trip and dancer Kialea Nadine Williams. Right now I am working as a dancer/performer on Stone/Castro’s show Blackout being presented in association with the Adelaide Festival 2014 [see Ben Brooker’s interview with Paul Castro in RealTime 119].

1) Wade Marynowsky with the The Acconci Robot, © RMIT Gallery 2012; 2) Fish & Chips, Wade Marynowsky & Michael Candy 1) Wade Marynowsky with the The Acconci Robot, © RMIT Gallery 2012; 2) Fish & Chips, Wade Marynowsky & Michael Candy
courtesy the artists
Wade Marynowsky

In 2014 I am working towards the preview of a major new work, Robot Opera, a series of outdoor public performances with autonomous robots, sound and light. The process involves collaborations with electrical engineers and programmers and a residency with performance company Branch Nebula focused on robotic choreography coming up in 2014 at Performance Space. The first full-scale performance will be in 2015.

In June, I am excited to be exhibiting The Acconci Robot at thingWorld: International Triennial of New Media Art, National Art Museum of China. There will be an amazing number of interesting works there. Then in August, I will have my first major survey show, Autonomous Improvisation, which includes new site-specific work for the Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria. Other works to be included at this stage are The Hosts (see Dan MacKinlay's review), Black Casino, Composition for padded room and The Balance of your bank account is reflected in your face ( During that time, I’ll also have a concurrent show at John Buckley gallery in Prahran.

In September the work Fish and Chips, created with Michael Candy for Campbelltown Art Centre and ISEA2013 (see video and Darren Toft’s review) will feature at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery for the Festival of the Winds. The work was made at Clovelly and involved surrounding fauna, so I hope it will resonate with local audiences.

Nancy Mauro-Flude Nancy Mauro-Flude
Nancy Mauro-Flude

2014 is the year of the Horse so it makes sense to go ‘germane’—I’m seriously tying up loose ends.

I want to engender intimate salon type settings that nurture cultural and political conversations and invite participation from a vast range of people whose practices foster radical, embodied and implicated approaches that push the boundaries of their specific genres beyond tokenism. A starting point for this premise is my participation in transmediale: afterglow in Berlin. I am in the flesh involved in ARThackDAY and performing and exhibiting a new work. (I am even more excited because the last time I presented there in 2011, was via a hospital video stream as I’d recently given birth).

The projects I'm developing are a paradoxical combination of satire and transcendentalism (perhaps otherwise known as pataphysical). In our scramble to be ‘beneficial’ in an expanded milieu, we delimit the set of our potential actions and even more so we constantly cast a utilitarian role to ubiquitous calculating machines.

On the one hand, I am driven by the demystification of technology, and on the other, the ‘mystification’ that lies in and through the performance of the machinic assemblage. This tension between ongoing extremes is my continual drive.

Tristan Meecham, Game Show Tristan Meecham, Game Show
courtesy the artist
Tristan Meecham

I am a performance artist who works with the grand and the ridiculous. I am passionate about connecting community, audience and artists together in events that transcend the everyday. I am an Artistic Associate of Aphids, a company that creates Contemporary Art Projects.

In 2014, my collaborators Aphids, Bec Reid and Insite Arts will continue work on The Coming Out Trilogy, three large-scale spectacles that include Fun Run (2010 Next Wave Festival, 2011 Darwin Festival, 2013 Opening Sydney Festival), Game Show (2014 Festival of Live Art; Arts House) and Miss Universe (2014 APAM).

Game Show premieres at Arts House in March as part of the Festival of Live Art. Each night, 50 contestants with no performance experience will compete live on stage for the chance to take home a grand showcase of prizes: the host’s very own possessions! So if you are competitive, love to win and always wanted to be in a live game show, this is your big chance! We are looking for contestants of all ages, from all walks of life. No performance experience necessary, just a desire to play and win! Register your interest: please click here and/or email [email protected] for more information.

Following on from Game Show I will commence work on the grand conclusion of the Miss Universe trilogy, pitching the performance spectacle this year at APAM. In Miss Universe, I hope to battle the one and only Grace Jones to determine who will be crowned the ultimate performer, the loser never allowed to perform again! Think Mardi Gras, beauty pageants, wrestling and cannibalism! In June, I will travel to the UK as part of the British Council’s Realise Your Dream program to meet with Art Heroes and stalk people with connections to Ms Jones! The Coming Out Trilogy website will launch in March

1) Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, Roslyn Oades, photo photo Andrew Curtis; 2) Roslyn Oades, photo Patrick Boland 1) Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday, Roslyn Oades, photo photo Andrew Curtis; 2) Roslyn Oades, photo Patrick Boland
Roslyn Oades

Over the last 12 months I’ve been developing a new audio-scripted performance called, Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday. Juxtaposing the perspectives of final year high school students and nursing home residents this project offers audiences a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on the candid conversations of those grappling with how to say goodbye to life; and where to begin. The show’s been programmed by Malthouse and Melbourne Festival for an October 2014 premiere, so it’s my main focus. I have hundreds of hours of audio to listen through and then craft into a succinct, hour-long script. Simultaneously I’m attempting to be invited to as many 18th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays as possible. So if anyone reading this is attending a ‘special’ birthday soon please let me know!

My current artistic crush is documentary filmmaker Fredrick Wiseman, whom I only discovered a couple of years ago despite the fact he’s been making films since 1967. I admire the way Wiseman resists traditional narrative devices—voice over, interview or surtitles—in his docos, leaving viewers to witness and process complex ethical dilemmas for themselves. He’s also a master at identifying rhythms and incidental poetry in unlikely places. I often ask myself, what would Fredrick Wiseman do?

starrs & cmielewski

The future is unmanned. According to media reports, 2013 was the year of the unmanned airborne vehicle or drone. The increasing normalisation of drone surveillance and warfare has caught the attention of the general public. During an artist residency at Bundanon we worked with dancer Alison Plevey to explore aspects of the human relationship with drones, mounting a camera on a quadcopter to record site responsive performances in the natural environment. In the resulting videos a young woman exhibits a range of different emotions, including curiosity, agitation, engagement and resignation in response to the persistently intrusive drone. This work is one aspect of a larger project, Augmented Terrain, supported by a Creative Australia grant to develop an immersive video installation that re-imagines the relationship between nature and culture. We are working towards a show at Performance Space Carriageworks later in 2014.

Joel Stern Joel Stern
courtesy the artist
Joel Stern

2014 is going to be a very big year for me personally with some major curatorial projects in addition to lots of artistic activity. OtherFilm (b. 2004) is the curatorial agency I direct with Danni Zuvela and Sally Golding focusing on artists' moving image, experimental film, expanded cinema etc and the place of this in the broader field of contemporary art. We're working towards two major projects this year. The first, Experimental Universe, taking place at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art (6 & 13 Feb), comprises new films, performances and music by contemporary Australian artists responding to Yoko Ono's rarely visited instructional works, Six Film Scripts (1964) and Imaginary Film Series (1968). Fast forwarding to May, OtherFilm will present its 5th festival in Brisbane, featuring site-specific commissions by Australian and international artists responding to the theme Institutional Capture.

Rewinding to March, I'll be in Jogjakarta, Indonesia with my colleague Kristi Monfries to direct the second iteration of the Instrument Builders Project (IBP), an international collaborative program between Australian and Indonesian artists and musicians, in which the artists conceptualise, build, perform and exhibit new 'instrument-based' works together over a period of four weeks. (See Malcolm Smith’s report on IBP1.) I'm also thrilled to say that the IBP will have its first Australia-based incarnation in November over one month at the NGV Studio in Melbourne, featuring a number of amazing Indonesian artists visiting Australia for the first time. Finally, and perhaps most excitingly, Danni Zuvela and I have been appointed artistic directors of the venerable 'sound art' organisation Liquid Architecture, tasked with curating the 2014 festival and driving LA forward into a brave new world. We're honoured to have this excellent opportunity (and responsibility) and will deliver our first festival, The Ear is a Brain, in September and October. Viva 2014!

1) Lara Thoms and Joy Hruby, Wake#2, part of Televisions Festival 2013, photo Lucy Parakhina 2) Film still, Screen Monument, Lara Thoms & Kate Blackmore, part of Ultimate Vision - Monuments to Us
1) Lara Thoms and Joy Hruby, Wake#2, part of Televisions Festival 2013, photo Lucy Parakhina 2) Film still, Screen Monument, Lara Thoms & Kate Blackmore, part of Ultimate Vision - Monuments to Us

Lara Thoms

In 2014 I will continue making work with others, thinking about public art, participation and context responsive practice. First up, as part of Aphids I will be working on the live spectacle Gamewhow for the Festival of Live Art (FOLA) in March in Melbourne, where the audience will compete for a prize package of all of host Tristan Meecham’s possessions. The work includes hundreds of dancers, singers and all of his belongings on display; so it is set to be a big show.

As part of Field Theory I am co-curating Site As Set, a three-year program of site-specific performance in Melbourne. The first year of this program sees four of my favourite artists—Malcolm Whittaker, Bron Batton, Zoe Meagher, Jason Maling—create new public works, as well as my own project which will be a response to the strange world of trade expos. Later in the year I will begin a project looking at people’s obsessive personal collections. I am excited that this year the MCA will also launch a publication about my recent work, Ultimate Vision—Monuments To Us, with writing from Toby Chapman & Anne Loxley and Georgie Meagher. (See our video interview with Thoms in 2012 See our video interview with Thoms in 2012)

Eugene Ughetti Eugene Ughetti
courtesy the artist
Eugene Ughetti

I can think of no rewarding and stimulating professional activity than being engaged in a creative process. Through my work I am in search of ineffable experiences that have deep and meaningful impact on our lives. My next project, Toy Consciousness, is a full-length performance-installation using thousands of mass-produced Chinese children’s toys combined with recordings of machinery in operating theatres at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

Toys are associated with the innocence of children’s play, yet their mass-production in the Third World leads to contaminated waters, pollution and inevitably disease. In Toy Consciousness, the use of toys as a means of escapism and play acts as a metaphor for the wide spread ignorance of underlying suffering in society. The children’s hospital, with its machines for curing illness and toys for distracting sick children, becomes the setting for a story created to be understood intuitively by children and adults alike.

I will create a musical composition for three percussionists using children’s toys to underpin the entire work. Field recordings made at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital will be edited and sculpted into quadraphonic audio montage that paints the picture of a man-made environment inhabited by sickness. This sound world is gradually recontextualised by the use of toys, transforming into a space of play and freedom. Three virtuosic Speak Percussionists will apply the rigor of their classical training and unorthodox playing styles to extract a myriad of musical and textural sounds from the toys. (See video interview with Eugene from 2011)

Malcolm Whittaker, Jumping the Shark Malcolm Whittaker, Jumping the Shark
photo James Brown
Malcolm Whittaker

I am a young man from Sydney who works as an interdisciplinary artist, writer, researcher and performer. I do this in solo pursuits, as a member of performance collective Team MESS and in other collaborations with artists and non-artists. I have a number of new projects in the works for development and presentation across 2014, as well as the re-staging of some existing projects.

Ignoramus Anonymous is a performed-support-group for the ignorant (ie anyone and everyone) that I have developed through a residency with the State Library of NSW. It continues to be presented in the form of monthly meetings at the State Library and Waverley Council Library throughout the year and will also be presented at the Festival of Live Art at Arts House in March. Also in March I have an exhibition of a new durational video-performance work at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney.

In May I will be working with residents of inner-city Sydney who have recently lost their pet dogs to devise a commemorative walk as a performance in which the stories of these departed best friends are shared with an audience. This is for the Performance Space Micro Parks season. A version of the work will also be presented by Field Theory in Melbourne later in the year.

In July at Campbelltown Arts Centre, I am presenting Jumping the Shark Fantastic, an investigation and performative demonstration of the “best theatre show ever.” Then Team MESS embark on a regional tour of South Australia with our participatory television crime-drama BINGO Unit (see Keith Gallasch’s review). Following this, we will be developing a new work at Hothouse Theatre in Albury and Arts House in Melbourne.

David Williams, Open Your Mouth and Let Words Fall Out David Williams, Open Your Mouth and Let Words Fall Out
Jennifer Greer Holmes and Heath Britton
David Williams

As with all of my work over the past decade, I am driven to make evocative and accessible performance experiences that open spaces for public conversations about important public issues. Quiet Faith is a new documentary performance that explores the close entanglement of religious faith and civic life in contemporary Australia.

Groups such as the Australian Christian Lobby loudly insist that all public policy be developed in accordance with conservative interpretations of Christianity, and have been actively recruiting and supporting political candidates sympathetic to these values. But the conservative social values of those claiming to speak in the name of faith are not necessarily shared by all of the faithful. How might these softly spoken voices of the religious and reasonable find a place within public discourse?

By opening up a serious conversation with the religious, Quiet Faith aims to find new ways of developing a shared and respectful understanding of critical public issues. The performance text is constructed from a series of recorded interviews with persons of ‘quiet faith,’ defined as those whose faith does not require them to proselytise or attempt to convert others. The performance gently charts the life experiences and public political visions of quiet believers, intercut with songs of faith selected by project contributors, each sung a capella during the performance.

Written and directed by myself, Quiet Faith also has a fantastic team of collaborators, and will feature an evocative 8-channel surround soundscape from Bob Scott, stage design by Jonathon Oxlade and a physical performance language overseen by choreographer Roz Hervey. This will be an immersive performance experience, with audiences and performers sharing a physical journey that invites active engagement, close listening and contemplation—a surprising and heartfelt journey through a rarely heard branch of the body politic. Quiet Faith will be presented at Vitalstatistix in Port Adelaide in October.

Lake, Lisa Wilson, Timothy Ohl Lake, Lisa Wilson, Timothy Ohl
photo Fen Lan Chuang
Lisa Wilson

My body of work moves across genres and includes pieces for theatre and opera companies, large-scale installations, multi-media performances, company commissions and full-length independent works. I aim to create distinctive and original performance which layers striking visual design, powerful yet intricate physicality and a sense of the human condition.

Lake is my latest full-length work, co-presented with the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, which will tour nationally in 2014 as a Road Work tour through Performing Lines. Lake literally floods the entire performance area to create a visually stunning and highly engaging dance theatre work. A seamless fusion of choreography, visual design, video projection, and original score Lake explores our fascination with and fear of water, a medium that can be at turns breathtakingly beautiful and a force of indiscriminate destruction. (See Kathryn Kelly’s review).

Wireless, my next work, recently received Australia Council funding for a second stage development in late 2014. It’s is a new inter-media dance theatre work about trust, privacy and control and will be made in collaboration with composer Paul Charlier, layering dance, music, design and on-stage interactive technology. The work is being developed with the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts through Fresh Ground.

RealTime issue #118 Dec-Jan 2013 pg. web

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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