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Melinda Rackham, carrier Melinda Rackham, carrier
Melinda Rackham

Carrier is an experimental website investigating viral symbiosis in the virtual and biological domains, focusing on the hepatitis C (HCV) epidemic. A Java applet, named infectious agent, navigates the viewer along a unique site pathway, dependent upon the viewer’s interactions.

The major technical challenge on Carrier has been for Damien Everett and John Tonkin who have worked on the stable implementation of both Java and sound on the site, which has required many alterations to the original concept because of Browser, Browser Version and Java inconsistencies between the Macintosh and PC platforms.

Melinda Rackham, an artist and writer residing on the east coast of Australia, has been working online since 1995 in her domain Her earlier sites, line and tunnel have been widely seen both in Australia and overseas. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at COFA, UNSW. Completion 31 July. New Media Arts Fund, Australia Council.

Kate Richards

Kate Richards, Elementia
Kate Richards, Elementia

The interactive CD-ROM Elementia is an allegory for our obsessive search to reconcile matter and spirit. The tale unfolds through Anax Helio’s private collection of Elementian maps: cartographs bizarre and eerie, urbane and greedy, of metal and stone and skin and luxite. Elementia is an experience inspired by Bahktin’s chronotope: “A time/space, a fictional setting, where time thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible.”

Interactive multimedia is especially demanding in its conception as both “architectural” space and time-based media. The artist needs to create discrete sequences that can connect to multiple others, and yet are integral to an overall scheme. Thinking in this modular way is easier than developing rigorous concepts and themes across linear media, and yet more difficult if one doesn’t want to create a mere patchwork. Once this is solved, “process” is still fairly uncharted terrain. We have a way to go before art IMM will have the well-tested production and technical processes of linear media.

Director/producer, Kate Richards; programmer, Ryan Sabir; designers, Chris Caines, David Lawford, Ayca Smith.

Kate Richards is a multimedia artist and producer, and an Honorary Research Fellow in New Media at University of Technology, Sydney. Current projects also include: Life After Wartime (CD-ROM), as producer, with writer/director Ross Gibson.

Completion December 1999. Australian Film Commission.

Pretty Aprons
Alyssa Rothwell

Alyssa Rothwell, Pretty Aprons
Alyssa Rothwell, Pretty Aprons

From the creator of the award-winning Three Mile Creek, Pretty Aprons allows you to ‘sew’ your way through stories and explore the lives of rural women. Narrated by a young girl, you are asked to help sew aprons as Christmas gifts for all the ladies she knows.

The emotional engagement that narrative in film can offer is something I try to include on CD-ROM. Maintaining an audience’s sense of immersion in the interactive non-linear format of the stories, and using layered sound to provide a cinematic quality, are constant challenges due to the physical limitations of the medium and the computer screen.

Coming through dance and the visual arts, Alyssa graduated from the Centre for Animation and Interactive Media, RMIT in 1996. She has exhibited internationally, was a winner of an ATOM award in 1997, and represented Australia in the New Talent Pavilion at MILIA, Cannes in 1998. Between lecturing in multimedia at UNSW and producing her new CD-ROM, Alyssa freelances as a new media artist. [expired]

Completion late 1999. Australian Film Commission.

The March of the Photobots
Dave Sag, Mike Cooper

Dave Sag, Mike Cooper, The March of the Photobots
Dave Sag, Mike Cooper, The March of the Photobots

The idea: small ‘artificial’ creatures consisting entirely of colour are fed an image which they use as a basic foodstuff. In a matter of days they will gather in large ‘caterpillar balls’ which act as a whole, sucking all colour and light from the image. Dave is evolving the work into two projects, one called V-Aura, a wearable networked photobot environment, and one called The yard, which is an online persistent playground for Java based life.
Dave developed the concept and wrote the specification for the bugs’ initial behaviour. The scientist, Mike Cooper, coded the photobots in Java and devised the viewer for examining the bugs in detail.

The challenges faced. Technical: the photobots can learn without having any memory, thousands of them will run within a single web page. Theoretical: conflicting theories of intelligence, machine learning and memetics. We succeeded in building creatures which can learn without having any memory of their own.

Entrant in the mcmogatk 1999 Arts on the Net exhibition, Japan. Self-funded: cheap to make, just takes ideas and a little time. The March of the Photobots exhibition is up in prototype stage at [expired]

My Room Le Grand Canal
Philip Samartzis

My Room Le Grand Canal is a DVD-ROM-based project examining the specific flow, texture, space, tone and dimensional qualities unique to the city of Venice. The project will expansively draw upon these qualities in the development of a physiological, spatial and psychological portrait of a city which simultaneously acts as an anthropomorphic metaphor.

The technical aim of the project is to explore the potential of the DVD format by combining Dolby digital surround sound with full motion and full screen digital video, and digital imaging and graphics in an expansive audio visual presentation. Another aim is to combine both analogue and digital processes in the abstraction and manipulation of sound and image, so that strategies may be developed which will create a rich and unified experience of action and space.

Philip Samartzis is a Melbourne-based sound artist. He recently co-ordinated and curated the Immersion series of 35mm Dolby encoded surround sound performances. He also recently collaborated with Martine Corompt on Dodg’em, a driveable surround sound installation presented at Gallery 101, Melbourne.

Completion December 2000. Developed in co-operation with the Studio for Room Acoustics, IRCAM, France. New Media Arts Fund, Australia Council.

blue in the bluebird
Jennifer Seevinck

Jennifer Seevinck, blue in the bluebird
Jennifer Seevinck, blue in the bluebird

blue in the bluebird is a computer animation loop of 6 minutes, intended for gallery installation. Concept and animation by Jen Seevinck and sound by Tim Kreger (see interview in RealTime #32).

After modelling birds in 3D computer space these were animated in specialised animation software, Houdini, as flocks. ‘Forces’ in cyberspace were modelled to animate both individual birds and the flock. Successfully integrating these layered, fluid movements inherent to the conceptual structure within the limitations of computing and rendering large data streams was a challenge.

Originally trained in architecture, Jen Seevinck has worked in theatre design, independent filmmaking, dance and digital media. Her research interest in ‘cyberplace’ complements her computer animation work and collaborations. After teaching and submitting her Masters in Electronic Arts at the Australian Centre for the Arts and Technology, ANU, she has moved to Deakin University to continue lecturing in animation and multimedia.

Completed June, 1999. Will be installed as part of the contemporary media exhibition Probe in Beijing, October 1999.

Scar tissue
Jason Sweeney

Scar tissue is a sound installation/online performance/net audio project investigating the veneer of background music, everyday noise, speech and electronic hum—one that questions systems, confronts the codes and digits, infiltrates the surface of sound construction, by breaking into the codes of the media lying at my disposal.

During a residency at Banff in Canada I will investigate, pull apart, reassemble, argue, discuss and research the nature of sound/music/noise as a tangible, changeable, permeable and highly volatile entity—taking a scalpel to technology, confronting the problems of techno-accessibility and viability of sound and performance in an online environment. The lo-fi vs hi-fi possibilities...

As an artist I work across disciplines of audio/sound art, the internet, performance and writing. My work interrogates the processes and implications of technologies of the past, present and future, technology that simultaneously throws itself in my face, without invitation, triggering me to push back and question its intrusion.

Completion mid-2000, Australia/Canada; to be developed at Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada as part of an Australia Council New Media Arts Residency.

Sensory Overload
Kevin Tham

Kevin Tham, Sensory Overload Kevin Tham, Sensory Overload
Sensory Overload is an experimental, promotional, multimedia CD-ROM for Senses Interactive Pty Ltd. Filled with an array of animations, text, sound, video and special effects, it utilises the latest in digital video technology to create a fully realised Video Interactive (VI).

In attempting to create a full screen moving, Video Interactive, we have had to completely re-learn and rethink the way we usually create multimedia. We are utilising a combination of Director, Videoscript and Custom code to enable full screen video interaction, working out seamless video menu loops and transitions, multi-layered video scripting, quality compression and data rates, multi-video masking and animated video rollovers.

Kevin Tham, New Media Designer/Interactivist, Bachelor of Design degree, College of Fine Arts, UNSW. Trade shows and conferences, software packages, broadcast TVCs, CD-ROM Magazines (This! Zine Issues 0,1), CD Case Studies, CD Tourism interactives, interactive banking, corporate and government sales presenters and demos.

Spatial Emergence
Paul Thomas

The concept behind the project is the transphysical city, an exploration of the spatial intervals and boundaries between autonomous architectural structures. If one was to view the buildings within the city as words, then the street could be seen as a sentence. The spaces, or pauses, between the words give the sentence added meaning. Due to telecommunications, architectural infra-structures no longer need to remain in their present form. The ability to renegotiate perspectival constraints is vital research for artists at this point in time. The work is completed in its CD-ROM form but is also linked to its own developing website: [expired]
Technology has assisted in articulating the range of emergent spaces subtly operating within every metropolis, exposing and revealing them. The challenges to visualise this were many, for instance understanding various software packages and creating video, sound, still images in an interactive format. As well there was the challenge of making the work crossplatform and having the CD-ROM link to the internet to access the website as well as download images.

My art reflects a conscious and unconscious construct of dislocation. This sense also appears in my work as social and cultural critic. Works include Media-Space (1981-86). [expired] CD-ROM project funding: New Media Arts Fund, Australia Council.

A Grand Unified Theory of Self
John Tonkin

John Tonkin, A Grand Unified Theory of Self
John Tonkin, A Grand Unified Theory of Self

A Grand Unified Theory of Self is a study of complexity theory. Interactive data analysis and visualisation tools will correlate personal details (amount of sleep, consistency of faeces, heart rate at moment of orgasm) with global indicators harvested from the web (Microsoft’s stock index, barometric pressure in Cairo).

I write software using languages such as C++ and Java. For this project I will need to develop Java-based data storage, analysis, charting and visualisation software. This will draw from source code and reference material available on the web, and involve consultation with research scientists from the Supercomputing Lab, ANU. The medium will be an interactive (Java based) online website but will also be exhibited as a more technically sophisticated installation with realtime 3D graphics and live data feeds.

John Tonkin began making computer animation in 1985. Animations include air, water parts 1, 2 & 3 (1993-95) and these are the days (1994). meniscus (1995-99) is a series of works exploring ideas relating to subjectivity, scientific belief systems and the body ( -expired).

The project is the major component of John Tonkin’s Australia Council New Media Arts Fund Fellowship. Completion mid 2001.

Sarah Waterson, Anna Sabiel

how can I touch you if you’re not there…
memo is an experiment about taking a performance installation environment and its incumbent physical experiences into a virtual environment. Conceptually memo draws upon ideas of physical memory and image triggers that are felt or interpreted in the body.

Through a VRML scaffold structure, memo presents short vignettes of image-based movements triggered by the users or, more accurately, the cursor’s proximity. memo is also an audio environment with specifically located sound. The user is immersed in a virtual ‘instrument’, their movement triggering a unique soundscape and mix depending on the path chosen. memo consists of multiple nodes branching out from the central scaffold structure. At present there is a VRML textspace with spatially presented hypertext links. Other nodes are planned to extend the present scope of the work.

Sarah Waterson is an installation/multimedia artist whose work deals with possible cyborg futures and the influence of electronic technologies on subjectivities. She is a lecturer in digital media, UWS Nepean and was a participating artist in the Brandon Project, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA. Anna Sabiel is a Sydney-based performance/installation/sound artist. The interaction between body/movement and the production of sound has been a major concern of her work. Works include Tensile (originally devised for SoundCulture 1991) and Internalised Cities series (with Sarah Waterson and Shane Fahey). Currently Sabiel works authoring and designing educational CD-ROMs for the Board of Studies, NSW. [expired] Launched June 99, Artspace, Space Invaders. New Media Arts Fund, Australia Council.

Gary Zebington

Gary Zebington, bodyssey
Gary Zebington, bodyssey

bodyssey is a CD-ROM (metabody phase 2) about corporeality’s meanderings through an ecology of post-and-pophuman ideas. Body forms transmute to thoughts and utterances encountered in a space of technological and wordly wanderings.

One challenge is to coax patterns or schemes of text/body relations from the intertwinings of a number of elements—vrml, responsive text, text-to-speech, speech recognition and non-linear sound. Another is then to let the schemes wander freely.

Gary Zebington arts and programs technological semi-fictions at travelling outposts and rarely encounters steering committees. Fellow bodyssey collaborators are Mary-Anne Breeze (mez), electrostatic artist and hypertext wordsmithess, and Andrew Garton, sound and media artist who creates net and generative works.

Completion 2000. Australian Film Commission.

RealTime issue #32 Aug-Sept 1999 pg. 9

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

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