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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


A curative dose of spontaneity

Lauren Carroll Harris, pvi collective, Deviator

pvi collective, Deviator pvi collective, Deviator
courtesy the company
Can citizens be playmates? Can cracks in the pavement form a jigsaw puzzle? Where Kaldore Public Arts Projects’ 13 Rooms made performers into living sculptures, Deviator by pvi collective makes audiences into performers playing an interactive app-led game in Sydney’s inner city.

At 6.30pm, outside National Art School, Darlinghurst, we players are given smartphones, headphones and codenames (I’m Susan Orlean from Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation). A GPS-enabled app loads with an iconned map. Our instructions are to play hard, run fast and go far, find the QR codes indicated on the map, scan them and follow their directives to earn points.

It turns out the tasks are imaginative and socially acceptable forms of tiny rebellion. In my rovings, Deviator had me follow a stranger for two minutes (embarrassingly thrilling), write a message on one of many little chalkboards (“I still miss you”), plant broccoli seeds in Green Park (I shiftily took a few for my own garden) and be chased and kissed into submission by one of the games’ gatekeepers (clown-wigged “Motherfcuckers” stationed around the QR codes). In each task I felt like a kid with a secret. I felt like I owned the city.

The details are considered and finessed. A message interface allows us to send out mass communiques to our fellow players, the games are named after children’s games (Twister, Ring-A-Ring-A-Rosie) and QR codes are artfully hidden with a local’s insider knowledge. It’s flat out fun and seriously playful.

In a roundabout way, Deviator is about something more. The rhetoric of the app’s audio and text is of the Occupy Movement. But Deviator isn’t a movement; it’s saying something in itself. The artists’ critique is of the sameness of city life, the PR-powered politicians in lock-step, the pollution and distraction of mediocre media. The artists’ answer is to offer small doses of chaos and spontaneity, fleetingly recapturing public space through collective and softly subversive play.

It’s an abstract freedom that expires after the game’s 45 minutes, but it’s a kind of freedom nonetheless. So often in contemporary art, battles between ideas are waged in a void or white cubes. But art is not a self-sufficient world; pvi collective knows this, and Deviator’s on-street location animates its core ideas. If you’re not engaged, you’re not trying hard enough. Deviator isn’t a blueprint for social change, it’s a way for contemporary art to disrupt daily greyness, and hijacking the language of revolution is an effective, albeit purely polemical, way to do that.

Where the game succeeds best is in making audience members—strangers—into members of a collective. Imagine sprinting down Oxford Street, spotting another pink-cheeked, headphoned player and swapping a conspiratorial grin before running onwards. It’s radical.

Deviator is another vindication of Performance Space’s continued experimentation in off-site and, in this case, on-street programming. Following January’s Micro Parks which invaded tiny patches of forgotten inner west reserves, Deviator enlarges that map. I can’t help but think pvi collective have achieved their stated goal, using smartly and creatively engineered technology that brings people together. It’s a curatorial masterstroke to program this kind of event on a week night at an after-dark, cop-show start time. My friend and I felt like we’d been on a 45-minute holiday, then returned to our regularly scheduled post-work programming. Deviator stung us awake and made our city new.

pvi collective, Deviator, National Art School, Darlinghurst, 11-16 June, presented by Performance Space and ISEA2013;

This article first appeared on the ISEA2013 in RealTime blog

See also our review of the Perth Deviator

© Lauren Carroll Harris; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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