Friday, June 24, 2011


Stereo Sequences is on now at ACMI, a series of mesmerising video works down in their cave-like exhibition space. This show draws analogies between sometimes incogruent contemporary leisure activities - BMX acrobatics, pole dancing, break dancing, graffiti - in an examination of the nature and impact of art iconography and its easthetic resonances. The work feels at times like a self-portrait, at other times, like video performance...Gladwell's observations and participation within contemporary culture makes me think that his work will stand the test of time and become, in its own way, a contemporary artefact of its own moment.
Gladwell's work has been described as 'performative landscape', and it is this aspect that I am drawn to in thinking about my own ideas for an interactive project next semester. The circular video sequence in black and white (below) was particularly hypnotic and so evocative to the experience of the motion. There were 6 or so other videos similar to this one, where viewers are invited to sprawl out on the floor underneath and watch. The choice to invert the footage, (all the others were much darker than pole dancer) bestowed the image with a certain simplicity that highlighted the mechanics of each performance..... the black and white being an aesthetic I want to use in my approach to the interactive piece I have proposed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

New Music Video for Glasfrosch

Glasfrosch Album Launch; Sunday June 26th at The Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy, supported by Mandek Penha, and Sean M Whelan & Isnod.

Friday, June 3, 2011

An Interactive | Major Project Proposal

With the aid of motion capture technology, I would like to create a screen-based interactive where visitor’s movements and proximity affect the performance of the persona(s) on screen.  My intention is to create a work that reflects upon the nature and value of electronic interactivity, and requires the audience to consider the urban interactions we engage in on a daily basis. 

I want to consider the juxtaposition of placing both character and audience in a state of expectation; both waiting on the other to instigate a performance, this state being a performance in itself. Spectral like figures stand silent, attempting to interact, then turn away. This fleeting moment leaves an unearthly, haunting sensation; do we ever really connect?

Music Video for Glasfrosch

Heading indie/pop/experimental band Glasfrosch, Justin Ashworth has given me creative reign on the visuals of his opening track Green. The song’s ambient, glitchy, looping melodies and vocal layers speak to organic themes and
elicit low, dark resonances. Green is loosely based on the ubiquitous act of waiting, and becoming lost in wondering as you wait. 

Glasfrosch in part owes it’s name to the german word Grasfrosch, as they use surreal images of frogs, ponds, sea-creatures and other watery curios to describe the band’s identity. I wanted to retain and extend this visual theme by setting the narrative in an environment that reflects this intention.

Some visual keys and screen-grabs of work in progress....

Ephemera's Launch

Few things in life are less efficient than a group of people trying to write a sentence. The advantage of this method is that you end up with something for which you will not be personally blamed.  - Scott Adams
Ephemera was the result of 4 weeks of intense collaboration between the group of digital artists that make up the Animation and Interactive Media Postgraduate Studio.
It’s not an easy task to develop an independent and original visual language while working within the theoretical space of the computer, albeit maintain a cohesive vision while collaborating with a large and diverse group of skilled artists. A nice serendipity developed through the project, where team members operated in a way that mimicked the actual function of the human brain; a state where a section of brain is impaired in some way and another section will take over and perform that function inherently. Ephemera is in many ways, a solution to the question of how to approach spatiality and conceptualise space in a way that is sincere and speaks to the original intent.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I was lucky to score last minute session tickets to agIdeas now annual design conference tonight. Beautiful opening animations formed part of the interactive platform speakers used courtesy of xyz studios (their site is well worth a look.)

Speakers were all fantastic to say the least, but a standouts included Stephen Dupont with his achingly beautiful collection of hand-crafted books. Particularly his Raskals series (right) and the 100 polaroid portrait project he undertook in Afghanistan, Axe Me Biggie.

One of the guys from jungleboys spoke about pursuing the ideas and work you want in the corporate world of advertising by taking risks; dubiously illustrated by their first mutual bunny humping venture...;)

Dean Gorissen spoke to his John Brack-like illustration and writing work...

Adam Hunt has a curious knack for scriptwriting and making people laugh; I realise now I've seen so many of ads on TV; We all laughed so hard way back when the Telstra Broadband ads were circulating showing a father explaining to his son that Emporer Nasi-Goreng had to build the great wall of China to keep the rapidly soaring rabbit population in check, needless to say the tagline that kids get real information from broadband, not their parents, is truly disturbing, but no-one cared...the script was fucking brilliant! His site is a nice little subversive project no doubt fueling some of his more commercial work. Taking some-one else's quote aptly, as advertisers will, he said "Risk is an essential part of creativity." 

Of course, Iain McCaig was the final speaker, ever his energetic self, he showed many of his sketches from the star wars trilogy, and it was nice to hear him speak so frankly about the work he produced for George Lucas and the work process that was adopted in the studio. George Lucas' stamps denoting various forms of satisfaction has attained legendary status, but it speaks to the finality that a big production like Star Wars must have in its production-concept stage.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Collaborative Project | Ephemera

With a concept document lovingly compiled, this week sees us going into production. I found this quote somewhere as I was penning the directors statement and thought it was particularly evocative and appropriate to our project as it speaks about holistic immersion within digital spatiality.

“By changing space, by leaving the space of one’s usual sensibilities, one enters into communication with a space that is psychically innovating... For we do not change place, we change our nature.” 
- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, 1964

Ephemera re-imagines the landscape of the human brain, immersing the participant in the fleeting membranes of our imagination and notions of play. Facilitated by 1st person fly-through mode, the project encourages participants to fluidly explore this landscpe through a series of neuro-passages and curio-chambers that aim to evoke rather than illustrate. Ephemera examines notions of perception and the interplay between self and world reminiscent of Alice’s fall down the Rabbit hole. Culminating notions of neurology and technology; Ephemera celebrates imagination and exploration within the cartesian space of the digital sphere.

Ephemera Project Blog and Site.

Form & Image | Vector Chaos

Explore the image with mouse to see it randomly refresh, over and over. With fewer elements, more specifically tailored, could be used to generate print design.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Time & Perspective

Loops for the Environment; thinking about the endless cycles of population growth, global levels of pollution, extinction of species and water usage. Statistics (correct at the time of writing) taken from Worldometers. View this interactive on megaswf.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Concept Development

PROJECT BRIEF | Space + Environment
Dimension, Proximity, Depth, Perception, Aesthetics, Composition, Navigation, Paths, Connections, Parameters, Planes, Grids, Directionality, Interaction, Mood, Metaphor, Symbol, Landscape, Narrative, Immersence, Organic, Algorithmic.

Space is one of the defining elements of digital media; artists must engage with the issue of spatiality, and are challenged by creating a sense of environment within the theoretical space of the computer. Designer and educator, Muriel Cooper, described "..landscape [as] an environment for information." Animation, Interactive art and Computer games must all, on some level, consider spatial representation and negotiation. They must all establish an environment that is a believable world, context or framework influenced by its own rules of parameters and object interaction.

Space within digital media, has many varied manifestations and may be approached on a basic level, as with the notion of space implied by web based hyperlink text and the non-sequential possibilities it poses, to the more complex ideas of representing space in a 2d or 3d environment; navigation of this space is pivotal to the representation, whether that be in the form of scrolling navigation, portal navigation or navigation into the planes of virtual algorithmic space.

American Media Scholar, Henry Jenkins, advocates the notion of 'narrative architecture' when approaching spatial storytelling, particularly within the 3D space of game design. Story and environment are inherit to both linear and interactive works; space may be used as a vehicle for storytelling, or merely a backdrop, where there is little or no interaction between the space and the viewer. The aesthetic treatment of space and environment may be used to embed narratives, imply narrative concepts or imply genre. Digital space may be used to reference real space, or conversely, to construct a world that is autonomous, with it's own sets of logic and conditions.

Explore the potential of the representation of space and environment to convey meaning and narrative in an animated or interactive workUse the term narrative loosely; you may simply want to evoke the process of 'meaning-making' and explore notions of semiotics within your piece. 

Interactive responses will need to consider the varied methods of spatial representation; it may be useful to look at the way Georgia Leigh McGregor identifies spatial environment in Videogames and use these as a starting point for the focus of your piece. There are many ways that space can inform gameplay or narrative by challenging a player, creating obstacles and directly influencing the actions and behaviours of a player or viewer. You may want to focus on the negotioation of a space, wherein the environment and means of navigation pose a challenge to the viewer or player.

Animated/Linear responses need to address how space may be aesthetically constructed and portrayed, and how, in turn, environment can articulate narrative. It may be useful to think about the way Jean Baudrillard discusses the use of images, signs and symbols and their culmination in a simulation of reality. Consider his ideas of perceived reality and how we can either embrace or pervert notions of symbolism and metaphor to manipulate a viewers experience.

In both interactive and linear works, you will need to consider the temporal behaviours of your piece. Navigation of a space takes time, the amount of time will dictate a viewers perception of the space and its dimensions. Examine the way temporal navigation of space may be used to heighten a viewers experience; difficult navigation of space may lead to frustrated gameplay or browsing, however this frustration could be the vehicle for an installation piece that explores our perception of space and our abilities to project ourselves into that environment.

Sound needs to be used in a way that enhances the space it originates from, remembering that Humans use their sense of hearing to understand space. Sound works together with the other senses to help people navigate and construct understanding of forms, objects and distances. You may want to consider what happens to space beyond physics and explore the notion of designing a space strictly based on sound quality. Sound presents an opportunity to explore space via our auditory senses, evoking emotions and feelings, and exploiting an additional dimension in order to create meaning.

The chosen media is up to you.

Linear submissions need to be quicktime movies at 25 fps, 1280x720, audio at 44.100 kHz.

Interactive submissions will have varying formats/technologies, but where possible use the linear specifications.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Space + Environment | Sensation + Immersion

I wanted to refer to a paper I wrote discussing the practices of Canadian artist Char Davies and American artist Charles Csuri. The research I carried out on both artists is relevant to week 7's theme of Space and Environment, as both artists create work that is based on how they implement space and utilise the theoretical space of the computer. It also touches on notions of Sensation and Immersion, particularly in relation to the interactive works of Davies. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Storyboard | The Shopping Strip

“The Shopping Strip” details the emotional exchange of an old couple who are suffering the loss of a son. The plot is particularly concerned with the wife’s empathy towards both her husband and an ephemeral shadow taking the form of a homeless man.

While the main thrust of this story is about emotional tension and dialogue, there is a distinct element of mystery, embodied in the shadowy figure itself and the implication that this character could be the couple’s son.

I have tried to emphasise the metaphoric form of the shadow by crafting scenes in heavy shadow, and have given prominence to shadow/chiaroscuro in this piece overall. 

I also wanted to play with the physical disparity between husband and wife, placing them side by side in frame to illustrate in some ways the almost comical aspects of this dissimilarity, but also to highlight the notion of the old adage that opposites attract. I’ve also highlighted their phsical and emotional polarities in mid shots where the couple faces each other in profile, visually seperated by the table. I have tried to emphasise the wife’s desperation to elicit a response from her husband by showing her hand on his in extreme close ups and the expression that can be derived just from body language as the husband pulls away from her.

In order to draw the 3 act piece to a cyclical end; the camera pulls out to return to wide shots of the shopping strip as the couple and the shadow become lost in the bustle of everyday life.

Daily Sketch | Atmosphere