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7-16 June 2013

 Da Contents H2

July 24 2013
Past-present tensions
Keith Gallasch, Naala-Ba (Look Future), Carriageworks and ISEA2013

July 3 2013
Data noise & the limits of dance
Keith Gallasch, Myriam Gourfink & Kaspar Toeplitz, Breathing Monster

June 26 2013
Nailing the virtual
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, The Portals

Night work
Keith Gallasch, Embodied Media, Night Rage

Palpable virtualities
Keith Gallasch, Paula Dawson, Holoshop: Drawing and Perceiving in Depth

The big connect
Somaya Langley, The Portals

Transformational walking
Anne Phillips, Long Time, No See?

June 18 2013
Musical multiverses
Gail Priest, Polysonics

Rainbow over ISEA
Keith Gallasch, Electric Nights

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Zydnei, Troy Innocent

June 17 2013
If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?
Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

June 16 2013
In the digital age, love your stationery obsession
Urszula Dawkins, Durational Book

Painting by algorithms
Keith Gallasch, Ernest Edmonds: Light Logic

June 15 2013
Home, sweet home
Urszula Dawkins, disSentience, Sleeth, SelgasCano, Tin Sheds

Pop up pleasure zones
Gail Priest, Electronic Art Pop-Ups, The Rocks

June 14 2013
Aural ecologies, mechanical and musical
Urszula Dawkins, EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

June 14 2013
Heck, baby, I shoulda seen it comin…
Urszula Dawkins, The Very Near Future, Alex Davies

More than meets the eye
Virginia Baxter, Keith Gallasch, Point of View

New tools and old skool grammars
Gail Priest, Macrophonics II

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: The very near future, Alex Davies

Start by leaping off a small stool
Urszula Dawkins, ISEA Closing Keynote Address: Julian Assange

June 13 2013
A curative dose of spontaneity
Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

M e d i a a r t t h e n a n d n o w
Darren Tofts, Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

Olfaction, decay & speculation
Gail Priest, Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris, Ian Haig, Nandita Kumar, Verge Gallery

Riding the theta waves
Urszula Dawkins, Theta Lab, George Poonkhin Khut and James Brown

Run for your lives [2]
Keith Gallasch, Running the City, COFA, UNSW

To re-map and reclaim
Lisa Gye, Mapping Culture [panel]

Turning the media back on itself
Lisa Gye, Mark Hosler, Adventures in Illegal Art

June 12 2013
Outside the labyrinth…looking in at someone waving
Urszula Dawkins, SoundLabyrinth, Mark Pedersen and Roger Alsop

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

Run for your lives [1]
Keith Gallasch, Marnix de Nijs, Run Motherfucker Run

June 12 2013
The uncanny in the gallery
Keith Gallasch, Mari Velonaki, Simon Ingram, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Artspace

June 11 2013
realtime tv @ ISEA2013: EchoSonics, UTS Gallery

The science and art of tangible things
Urszula Dawkins, Synapse: A Selection, Powerhouse

Touch me there
Gail Priest, ISEA Artist talks: Siu, Baumann, Velonaki

June 10 2013
Being Stelarc
Gail Priest, Stelarc: Meat, Metal, Code: Engineering affect and aliveness

Life and death, and the membranes inbetween
Urszula Dawkins, semipermeable (+), SymbioticA

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Catching Light, Campbelltown Arts Centre

June 9 2013
'Pure' experience, in the round
Urszula Dawkins, Pure Land, iCinema

Data lives
Gail Priest, Genevieve Bell, Mark Hosler, Paolo Cirio & Alessandro Ludovico

realtime tv @ ISEA2013: Velonaki, Ingram, Gemeinboeck & Saunders, Artspace

June 8 2013
Knowing your place in Cartesian space
Gail Priest, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0]

Stars and starlings, pixels and picknickers
Urszula Dawkins, Ryoji Ikeda, datamatics [ver 2.0] & test pattern


If a system fails in a forest, is anybody listening?

Urszula Dawkins, If a system fails in a forest…, 107 Projects

Future Calls the Dawn Chorus, Jenny Gillam, Eugene Hansen, Dr Kron and Daniel Shaw Future Calls the Dawn Chorus, Jenny Gillam, Eugene Hansen, Dr Kron and Daniel Shaw
photo Urszula Dawkins
If a system fails in a forest… (as the saying sort-of goes) and we’re not there to hear the crash, will we even know it’s down? How much do we notice the ‘systems’ we’re immersed in – machinic, biological, time-based – anyway?

At 107 Projects in Redfern, If a system fails in a forest… both comments on and investigates some of the systems we spend our lives immersed in, and cleverly forms its own cross-referential system at the same time. The rough-and-readiness of the gallery space – pervaded with a disturbing smell, but more on that later – only adds to a raw quality that jumps from work to work like subtle sparks.

Moving round the room, roughly anticlockwise, a shifting logic gradually unfolds. First, two video works: Scott Morrison’s hysteric Oprahagogo – in which I watch, myself agog, a hyperactive Oprah audience in throes of open-mouthed ecstasy; and Loren Kronemyer’s Myriad – a fast-motion video of ants drawn to sugar trails, fleetingly ‘spelling’ the words THE TRUTH EMERGES FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS. Looking back and forth from one screen to the other, I know which species I’d rather interact with.

Next a long wall mounted with black and white plastic ‘bird alarm clocks’ blinking their synchronised LED displays at me; the incongruous, slightly Darth-Vadery gloss of the bird forms unsettling against stencil-style alien heads adorning the wall. These ubiquitous clocks of Future Calls the Dawn Chorus (Jenny Gillam, Eugene Hansen, Dr Kron and Daniel Shaw) supplant nature’s wake-up call; the wires trailing down the wall leave me wanting to connect.

I break sequence here to enter WildPark’s Trans-Emotion Room; a roughly constructed cubicle where two large pairs of shoes are nailed to the floor in front of small stools. Visitors face one another and place their feet into the shoes; the work responds to the warmth of their ‘connection’ with coloured, changing light thrown up from tracks along the edges of the floor. Finding myself ‘alone in a forest’, I test the system pigeon-toed, twisting one foot into each pair to make it work.

Tara Cook’s Transapparent and Tom Hetherington’s Cave Light both turn the gaze back to the self. In Cook’s work, a screen mounted at head level next to a curious potted palm seems to not be switched on, creating a dark-glass, shadowy view of my own face until a barely-visible band of white light appears to crack the screen open vertically, briefly, and then fade away. Nearby, Hetherington’s work is watching me – as I approach the screen it plays back stop-motion images of me over the past few minutes: taking my shoes off for the WildPark work, checking out another work, and finally standing close to read the didactic panel. After leaving Hetherington’s work and returning a while later, it does the same thing again, triggered this time by my touching the screen. How does it know what to play back? – I’m sure someone else has been over here in the meantime, but it’s the images of myself it plays. How? Cook and Hetherington both unsettle with these works: with Cook’s, I wonder is there more? am I missing something? – wanting the system to give me an answer. With Hetherington’s I am left questioning too; in this case with the uncanny feeling that stems from there being almost ‘too much information’.

Between these two works, and neatly opposite the wall of digital clocks is Sneaky Time, a ticking, analogue clock that, rather than booting you out of bed in the morning, moves only when you blink. Ozge Samanci and Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi’s quaint, ticking clock doesn’t seem to work when I try it – but I do gain a sense that yes, time is not only something that controls us; it also sneaks past when we’re not looking; our relationship to it is ultimately slippery.

And so to that smell – a stench, really, like acrid, burning rubber, which permeates the entire gallery. It emanates from another cubicle, housing Tega Brain’s What the Frog’s Nose Tells the Frog’s Brain: it’s a tidy electrical apparatus or meter that shares the cubicle with a kettle on a low plinth. Perhaps the title alludes to the ‘frog in boiling water’ analogy that’s been used to suggest humans’ incapacity to know our environment is killing us until it kills us. The smell is generated according to the level of power use in a building – this building, presumably? Pervading everything, it’s the ominous presentience of climate catastrophe.

If a system fails in a forest… touches on several of the themes I’ve seen running through ISEA: esoteric technological/human interactions; the translation of data to visceral, sensory phenomena; surveillance as a playful pointer to our increasing acceptance of ‘being watched’. Ours is a ‘forest’ where we often don’t see the wood for the trees: it’s as though this past week has shown us an influx of artists ‘into the woods’, to record, interrogate and express in countless ways across Sydney, what might otherwise make no sound.

If a system fails in a forest…, Tega Brain; Tara Cook; Jenny Gillam, Eugene Hansen, Dr Kron & Daniel Shaw; Tom Hetherington; Loren Kronemyer; Scott Morrison; Ozge Samanci and Blacki Li Rudi Migliozzi; Wildpark – Yiwon Park and Peter Wildman; Curator Scott Brown, 107 Projects, 13–23 June;

This article first appeared on the ISEA2013 in RealTime blog

© Urszula Dawkins; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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