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ACE Open @ Lot Fourteen

- AUGUST - 

ACE Open takes over Lot Fourteen’s Activation Space Screen throughout August, presenting a new program of contemporary experimental moving image artworks from six dynamic South Australian artists: Georgia Button, Bradley Darkson, Sasha Grbich, Sue Kneebone, James KurtzeKaspar and Schmidt Mumm.

Presented as part of SALA Festival in partnership with ACE Open.

salafestival.com
aceopen.art

You can view this months artists on the big screen in the Activation Space at Lot Fourteen, North Terrace.

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Space of In-Betweeness (2019, 5min 6 sec)
Georgia Button – SA

Synopsis: My understanding of ‘place’ has been influenced by complex personal experiences. For me, place is associated with ideas of nostalgia and longing, but also restlessness and anxiety. My artwork examines how digital video might reflect and evoke these sensations. I have explored the relationship between viewer and screen, the notion of witnessing a camera ‘perceiving,’ and the sense of intimacy created by drawing attention to the camera’s tactility. Writings by film theorists, Jennifer M. Barker, Guliana Bruno, Jennifer Deger, and Laura Marks, enabled me to dissect these ideas and provided a framework to analyse various moving-image artworks. The outcome of this practice-led research is a 5 minute, single-channel digital video with sound, presented as a looped projection. I have used continuous pull-focus to capture scenes from my family’s farm. The focus moves between domestic interiors, indistinct forms, and agricultural spaces. Diegetic sound shifts in and out of clarity, in synchronisation with the visual material. Through this work, I have sought to evoke sensations including searching, struggling, restlessness, and longing.

Artist Bio: Georgia Button is an emerging, South Australian based multidisciplinary artist, working primarily with video, sound and installation. Her current works examine sensory aspects of various lived experiences, investigated through the materiality of particular camera techniques. She creates work between her residence in Adelaide and her family farm in the Mid-North, South Australia. After completing the first year of a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) at Flinders University in 2016, Georgia transferred to Adelaide Central School of Art, in order to pursue moving-images in a visual art context. Since graduating, Georgia has spent 2020 capitalising on local art opportunities amidst the global pandemic. This includes preparations for exhibiting work at Ace Open, SALA festival, FELTspace and Adelaide Film Festival, as well as mentorship opportunities with Nicholas Folland and Soda_Jerk.

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? 9 months

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? My understanding of ‘place’ has been influenced by complex personal experiences. For me, place is associated with sensations of restlessness, nostalgia, longing, and limbo. Space of In-Betweeness examines how digital video might reflect and evoke these sensations. I have explored the relationship between viewer and screen, the notion of witnessing a camera ‘perceiving,’ and the sense of intimacy created by drawing attention to the camera’s tactility. Like my broader studio practice, this work is rooted in material investigation, and a deep engagement with a singular camera technique which might draw parallels to certain lived experiences. Space of In-Betweeness draws heavily on the ideas of moving image theorists, Jennifer Barker, Laura Marks and Giuliana Bruno. My investigation has also been inspired by artists who share my desire for engaging with the tactility of moving images through video art and installation, such as Pipilotti Rist, Steve McQueen and Richard Mosse. My ultimate aim as an artist is to use the camera and the screen as a lens through which viewers can reflect on the common sensorial intensities that affect us.

The footage in this work was filmed on Nukunu land (Mid-North, South Australia). I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land, the Nukunu people, and pay my respects to elders past present.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork? This work was driven by the materiality of the DSLR camera used to shoot it. The pull-focus technique was something that I began experimenting with in the early stages of this project. When reflecting on that initial test footage, I began to draw connections between my conceptual concerns, my materials (the camera), and the theory that seemed to make sense of the ideas I was grappling with.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? While this work is deeply personal and does not seek to comment on local culture – the imagery within the footage is distinctly South Australian. Anything that depicts developed Australian landscape - be it cities, faming land, mining land - inherently carries the heavy weight of complex colonial and Indigenous Australian histories. For this reason, it was an early decision in this project to steer clear of the wide-shots often seen in romantic cinematic depictions of the Australian landscape, as I feel like these shots diminish the history of violence within our landscape. This work is responding to the sensations that I associate with home, which are not romantic or idealised. I think that in the way this work seeks to examine my own experience wrestling with notions of memory, home, place and belonging, it may also speak to other rural and regional Australians who may be grappling with similar notions.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art? For me, expression through art has come naturally from a very young age. As my practice develops, I’ve been far less inclined to approach art as a means to express clear messages – but rather, to examine ideas or experiences. In fact, I’ve found that if there is a clear message in my work, most of the time I’ve missed the mark. I am far more interested in giving the viewer the space to dwell on an idea or sensation.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? This work is more about the ‘how’ than the ‘what’. To me, the audio and visual content in this work are secondary. The primary device in this is how the footage was shot, how the audio was recorded, how the two have been edited together. Personally, the technical methods used to record this work speak far more to my experience of home and land than the actual footage does.

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old light (refraction) (2019, 1min)
Brad Darkson – SA

Synopsis: The video work old light (refraction) stems from research into different modes of knowledge and the time scales in which they are situated. Inspired by a news article linking scientific discovery and First Nations Australian oral history, this work distils a 1,200km journey taken by a cabbage palm seed some 30,000 years ago into a single minute.

In relation to the human inability to fully understand deep time, First Nations Bunorong/Kulin writer Bruce Pascoe states “sixty-five thousand years is forever”[1]. This notion resonates with the concept of linkages between deep time and the present moment, as found in old light (refraction). The work encompasses notions of solid and fluid, of static and motion, intimating the multiple ways knowledge is dispersed across space and time. By projecting onto large public spaces interstate and internationally, a temporal shadow of the work is briefly transposed onto the wall and witnessed in a fleeting moment in the bystander’s life.
[1]Pascoe, B., 2014. Dark Emu Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident?.
Magabala Books.

Artist Bio: Brad Darkson is a South Australian visual artist currently working across various media including sound, sculpture, multimedia installation, and painting. Darkson's practice is regularly focused on site specific works, and his current research interests include technology, surveillance, identity, ritualised human behaviour, and the neo-capitalist hellhole we're all forced to exist within. Conceptually Darkson's work is often informed by strong ties to both his Narungga First Nations and Anglo Australian heritage.

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? It was initially filmed during the making of a different artwork, then a couple of years later I was able to use the footage to make this work as part of commission from ANAT. There was a few days of footage to edit and distil into 1 minute.

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? As I was sitting on the footage for a while waiting to use it in the right context I was happy to learn that ANAT were commissioning new moving image works by Nunga artists under the broad umbrella term of ‘New Light’, or to come forth like the first light of day. I hadn’t done anything with the raw footage at the time, but thought this idea of ‘new light’ or moving image worked well with the concept of ‘old light’ or cultural knowledge passed down through hundreds of generations of oral history.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork? I was influenced by the perception that Western Science/innovation “discovered” the origin and journey of a rare palm species across a vast expanse of Australia. The news article I read, that reported the scientists’ discovery had later been confirmed by First Nations oral history, recorded by early German colonial missionaries, also influenced me.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? I hope the artwork highlights a different way of thinking and knowing. I intend for it to encourage South Australians to look at all First Nations cultures, including Kaurna culture, from a new perspective.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art? Step one – embrace financial risk. Step two – regret step one. Step three – return to step one.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? I think this can be different depending on who you talk to.

darkson.art

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Small Measures (2017, 5min 5sec)
Sasha Grbich – SA

With performers Ashley Kirkness, Manako Nemaia, Myra Faamausili, Samuel Nanai, Sam Verlinder, Liz Filimoemaka, Mana Maihia and Qiane Matata-Sipu.

Synopsis: This video and sound work mixes performers, many from Auckland’s Oceanian Choir, who find and voice a note in response to vulnerable environments. The work brings emphasis to acts of listening and attentiveness in relationships with places. The resultant sound is reminiscent of protest, lullabies and laments, while the camera captures contested spaces under pressure at Auckland’s fringe. Small Measures is an artwork with open points of completion, where new iterations of the work are released as new sung performances are contributed.

This presentation of the work was created during a one-month residency at Auckland University of Technology.

A special conversation with performer and Maori land custodian Qiane Matata-Sipu can be heard here: sashagrbich.net

Artist Bio: Sasha Grbich (SA) is a mid-career artist, writer and lecturer who works responsively with places and communities. An avid collector of things, found footage, sounds and stories; she is fascinated by the way art takes part in the politics of everyday life. Sasha approaches artworks as ecologies: unfinished events that perform with audience and in local environments. She lectures at the Adelaide Central School of Art in Video and Performance, Installation, and coordinates the Bachelor of Visual Art and Honours degrees. Grbich is a regular contributor to Artlink Magazine, amongst other critical review publications. In 2015 she completed postgraduate research at University of South Australia examining the operation of art making practice as a series of ‘Performative Encounters’. Grbich was awarded the 2018 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship and through 2019 she was a guest at Maumaus Art School Portugal.

sashagrbich.net

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? This work was made during a one-month residency at Auckland University of Technology.

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? I was interested in making work that payed close attention to fragile ecosystems.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork? No.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? Artwork is the engine-room of culture in South Australia.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art? I developed my practice through education and experimentation in the studio.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? In making this work I asked voice performers to listen closely to urban fringe places and make sound in response. I hope that those who spend time with the artwork have an experience of what it is to be attentive to fragile ecosystems.

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Wandering Doubts (2020, 4min 11 sec)
Sue Kneebone – SA

Synopsis: During March 2020 I was in the historic port of Fort Kochi, India, when the pandemic hit and borders started to close forcing millions to return to their homes. To process this prescient like experience and other recent events closer to home I have been working with video montage as an imaginary way to travel across time, history and place.

The Pepper House cultural exchange residency was facilitated by ACE Open and Kochi Biennial Foundation.

Artist Bio: Sue Kneebone is a visual artist based in Adelaide who has been exhibiting regularly since 2000. She creates mixed media installations and digital montages to draw the viewer in to consider the past and ongoing presence of colonial incursions and disturbed ecologies. Sue has a PhD in visual arts from the University of South Australia and a Masters in Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently a lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art. Her work is in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia and private collections. Sue has been a recipient of the Qantas Foundation contemporary Encouragement Art Award, Australia Council and Arts SA grants. 

suekneebone.com

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? It took me awhile to regain a sense of direction after returning home from a residency in India as the pandemic quickly unfolded in March. During the ongoing restrictions to stay at home I decided to explore ways to combine my art works, video footage and photos to create this moving art work over the last few months.

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? Following India I was to go to Seychelles to participate in the small island nation’s International Biennale of Art, but as that had to be postponed the curators invited the artists to submit what they were working on during lockdown for an interim digital exhibition.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork?This lockdown was the incentive for me to start staging scenes and art works in the digital realm as an imaginary way to travel during this strange liminal time of suspended travel.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? This work continues my exploration into how past colonising and environmental practices manifest in South Australia and what augurs for our future. Layered in this film work are disturbed flocks of birds in urban landscapes filmed in South Australia and India as indicators of environmental imbalance.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art? What drives my practice is finding that artists have the agency to help bring change through new ways of seeing and thinking about history, the environment and cultural identity.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? For me this moving work is an evocation or lament on the spectre of past and ongoing colonising practices resulting in a huge tipping point of environmental and social imbalance.

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Eye TV (2014, 10min)
Jame Kurtze – SA

Synopsis: Eye TV is a mixture of documentary, comedy, video gaming and animation. The filmmaker travels with his cat, Dexter, to different countries, backwards and forwards in time, and through other dimensions.

Artist Bio: James Kurtze is a film and new media artist who works from the Tutti studios. He works across all visual mediums. His main interest is new media art and film. Inspired by comedy, technology, horror, pop culture and video games, he wants his work to make people scared and laugh at the same time. Kurtze has been successful in receiving a number of grants to develop his work in New Media and was chosen to have his work projected onto the Adelaide Festival Centre sails during the 2011 SALA Moving Image Festival. Kurtze has presented at conferences including Arts Activated, NSW 2010, Inventura, Czech Republic 2011, AS WE ARE, WA 2012, IVAA & Gajah Mada, Yoyakarta, Indonesia 2014. Kurtze’s film EYE TV, won the ‘Best Special Effects’ at the 2013 Oska Bright Film Festival, UK and his films have been screened in Canada. He has been instrumental in forming relationships between disabled and non-disabled artists and activists in Australia and Indonesia and has had his work presented in major festivals such as OzAsia Festival and Georgetown Festival. He is one of the founding committee members of Sit Down Shut Up & Watch Film and New Media Festival.

Recently James did an immersive storytelling workshop, called Storyhack, with Simon Wilkinson from United Kingdom on 3D virtual reality.

James in the media: abc.net.au/news/

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? Nearly a year.

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? My life and my cat Dexter.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork? I like animation, computer games and special FX.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? Eye TV is the first film by a learning disabled film maker to win awards for special FX in three international film festivals.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art?  I started at Tutti and went from painting to making films – Watch the movie and you’ll see.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? The world needs to be accessible for people like me.

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IMMI Tutorial (2019, 8min 44sec)
Kaspar Schmidt Mumm/IMMI - SA

Title: 3d Landscape. A place where IMMI reside. Virtual Render. 2017. Animated by Claire Markwick-Smith

Synopsis: A tutorial for cultural digestion.

Artist Bio: IMMI are an unidentified community living in the cracks of society. They are filling their fissure with a new cultural identity. We have a manifesto on our website:

immiimmiimmi.com (password: imemi)

Artist Spotlight

1. How long did this moving artwork take to create? IMMI have been working as a collective for three years. This video is a collage of all the media we have created over that time.

2. What was your inspiration for this moving artwork? This artwork was inspired by the need to communicate, ritualise and celebrate multicultural traditions.

3. Were you influenced by innovation and technology for this moving artwork? Yes. There are a plateau of documentary and crafterly mediums used in this video. From state of the art video cameras and 3d animation to contemporary anthropological language conventions and hand sewn costumes.

4. What role do you think this artwork plays in South Australia’s past, present or future culture? This work demonstrates a collective movement towards an identity for; displaced and alienated cultural practices. A methodology for using our cultural baggage as building blocks for something new. Salvaged culture.

5. How did you discover your talent to express important messages through art? Through family and community. We believe that art can communicate across cultural boundaries. A salad dressing for all the separate and equally delicious ingredients.

6. What is the visual message of this moving artwork? IMMI are forced to hide behind a monochromatic mask that protects them from the judgement of society’s demand for aesthetic coherence. Visually, we serve preconceptions of what cultural identity ‘should be’. We use our visual language to contextualise a ‘single culture’ (i.e the colour blue), but our true aim is to subvert your idea of cultural identity.

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View the June Activation Space Screening Program.
View the July Activation Space Screening Program.

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