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Working the Screen 2000

Works in progress: pt1 (A-G)

Adams, Armstrong, Brown, Benson, Bai, Christou, Corompt, Crooks, Gibson & Richards

Richard Adams
Clem’s Big Scary World

This is possibly the world’s first surreal encyclopaedia on CD-ROM made by a paranoid 93 year-old from Bluebottle Beach on the NSW Central Coast, and possibly the last one too. The big challenge was for one determined pensioner to produce a title with as much material and educational credibility as something like Microsoft’s Encarta. Now Microsoft will no doubt have to hire another 500 researchers to ensure their title stays as informative as Clem’s Big Scary World.

Clem was born in Bluebottle Beach 93 years ago and has never, ever left the place. His hobbies include toast collecting and worrying about a giant tsunami wiping out his town. This CD-ROM is his first brush with technology since buying his trusty old toaster in 1956.

Matthew Beer of Big Stick Productions ( provided the graphic design, most of the programming, and many of his own images. Richard Fox and Adam Hinshaw assisted with programming, Alex Davies assisted with sound, Robert Adams and Louise Fox provided Clem with his research.

Release July 2000. Australian Film Commission. Website early September: [expired]

Keith Armstrong

Keith Armstrong, t_lounge Keith Armstrong, t_lounge
t_lounge substantially reworks a low-budget interactive installation called transit_lounge (1) originally produced for Brisbane’s Metro Arts foyer in mid 1999 (RealTime 32 page 29). t_lounge’s installation space allows audiences to have important but indirect effect upon a dual screen continuous non-linear narrative. The work features 10 characters performed, at times simultaneously, by Lisa O’Neill.

This ongoing practice seeks to develop an ‘open’ framework for site specific ‘new media space’ design which fosters participatory, creative processes between audience and artists. Aiming to avoid direct causal interactivity, it acknowledges systemic or ‘ecological’ operations, and promotes a strong aesthetic and intellectual response.

Keith Armstrong is a Brisbane-based artist with a long history of producing site specific, new media installation and performance works for public places. His major collaborative works have been shown extensively in Queensland in places such as the historic Spring Hill Baths, Platform 1 of Brunswick Street Railway Station and the Metro Arts foyer. Collaborators: Lisa O’Neill (performance direction), Guy Webster (sound), Gavin Sade, Annette Muller, Sean Young, Callum Lui.

Artspace, Sydney, August 10- September 2.

Paul Bai
Greetings from Chinatown

Greetings involves 9 postcards which will be featured on the MAAP website in September as e-greeting cards. The work focuses on the collapse of physical distance between people made possible by modern communication technology while the cultural and social distance remain the same.

The challenge has been to use Macromedia Generator to turn the artworks into electronic greeting cards on the webpage, so people can write text on the e-cards and send them to others on the net.

Paul Bai arrived in Australia in 1988 and studied fine art at the Queensland College of Art. In his work he examines the cultural and political roles of the Chinese in contemporary Australian society. He has had exhibitions at Gallery 4A and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane City Gallery and a public installation in Brisbane city.

Arts Queensland. Site launched as part of MAAP2000 Festival September 1 - 17,

Tracey Benson
Tracey Benson, Dotty’s tour of Oz Tracey Benson, Dotty’s tour of Oz
Dotty’s tour of Oz

Dotty’s tour of Oz is an online mystery maze, an Australian landscape through which the user travels as a lost tourist, Dotty, a Judy Garland-like figure trapped in an eternal childhood. The technical challenges are in expanding the web version into an interactive CD-ROM game.

Tracey Benson is a multimedia artist and curator whose work has been presented in the USA, England, Ireland, Netherlands and Russia. She recently exhibited work in the Experimenta Media Arts online gallery, N5M3 (Netherlands) and MAAP’99. She has been artist-in-residence with the project at Cooloola Shire Gallery and lectures part time at the University of the Sunshine Coast in the computer-based Art and Design faculty. Collaborators (CD-ROM): Danny Guinsberg (multimedia artist), Ross Barber (sound artist), Linda Carroli (catalogue writer). [email protected]

Completion September 2000. Evolution can be viewed at www.bigbananatime/dotty.htm [expires]

Paul Brown

chromos shows the complete expansion of a set of 4 marks over time. The work is created on-the-fly and so does not show any repetitive behaviour and is different every time it is viewed. It exists on the screen of a computer as either a web-based Shockwave piece or a free-standing CD-ROM application. chromos also includes a set of 8 prints known as The Book of Transformations. To date, the work has consisted of tedious hand-crafting to create the display engine. Ways of building on artificial intelligence or artificial life processing in order to give the piece some behavioural intention are being investigated.

Paul Brown is a New Media Arts Fellow of the Australia Council and artist-in-residence at the Centre for Computational Neuroscience and Robotics and the School of Cognitive and Computer Sciences at the University of Sussex. He is based in Queensland. Collaborator: Gavin Sade (lingo code).

Completion late 2000. New Media Arts, Australia Council.

Anthony Christou

The goal for this crazy, deconstructive and surreal cartoon is to create 3 movies at least 5 minutes long that break the boundaries of what people imagine cartoons to be. The movies are Flash animations for the internet, some 3 dimensional and some 2-dimensional.

Anthony Christou is an emerging visual artist who works in digital media and is a Flash website designer.

Completion December 2000. The storyline and characters can be viewed at [expired]. A series of animations deconstructing Yenam are at [expired].

Martine Corompt
Wild boy

Martine Corompt, Wild Boy Martine Corompt, Wild Boy
This installation combines sculpture, animation and a pop song, drawing on the yearning and sense of loss that is the hallmark of the sad pop song/ballad. Exaggerating this sentiment, the singer is an animated singing head in the form of a ‘wild’ half human/half beast. This 2 dimensional character without a body and presumably also without a soul, is all the more tragic for its Frankensteinian predicament, being ‘brought to life’ (via animation and song) without history, purpose or consent.

Martine Corompt’s work combines elements such as drawing, video, sound, sculpture automata and, sometimes, computers. Works include Sorry (1996), PetShop (1998) and Dodg’em (1999) which is touring Perth, Brisbane and Sydney this year. She currently works at Media Arts RMIT, lecturing in Experimental Animation and Interactive Installation. Collaborator: David ‘HoneySmack’ Habberfeld.

Wild boy will be exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, November 23 - Dec 16, 2000.

Daniel Crooks
inside-out; control

Daniel Crooks, inside-out; control Daniel Crooks, inside-out; control
The aim with this installation is to use the data streams (the rhythms and patterns) of our environment as the direct means of spatial and temporal camera control. The flow of a river modulates the pace of a track-mounted camera. The temperature of a decaying animal controls the frame rate of its own timelapse. The endless flow of numbers tapped and rerouted offers new perceptions of the processes by which they are generated.

The major technical challenges are primarily due to budget constraints. Cheap, custom developed options are usually a little more tricky to get up and running than the expensive, off-the-shelf variety. Learning a programming language is harder than paying someone else who already knows it.

Daniel Crooks trained as an animator and graphic designer. His short films, video and interactive work have won several major awards, including a Dendy Award, an ATOM Award, and the City of Stuttgart Prize for Animation. Following an Australia Council New Media fellowship at RMIT in 1997, Daniel’s work has become increasingly focused on temporal manipulation and motion control, exploring the nature of time, space and environmental actuation.

Exhibition early 2001. New Media Arts Fund, Australia Council.

Ross Gibson, Kate Richards
Life after Wartime

Ross gibson, Kate Richards, Life After Wartime Ross gibson, Kate Richards, Life After Wartime
Life after Wartime is a CD-ROM which brings to light the legacy of a city’s recent past. A story engine produces countless montages of thought and feeling from mysterious forensic photos, evocative captions and musical sound effects. As we follow our curiosities and compulsions, we piece together larger patterns of stories and historical notes that offer ways to account for the photographs. The challenge is in using archival material so that it suggests its own interpretations; straddling documentary and fiction; creating fast, malleable faux 3D space as a metaphor for the consciousness of the story-recipient.

Kate Richards is a freelance multimedia producer and artist. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is currently a Research Fellow in New Media at UTS. Ross Gibson is a writer and media artist who is currently the Creative Director of Cinemedia’s Screen Gallery, Victoria. Collaborators: Kate Richards (producer), Ross Gibson (writer/director), Greg White (programmer), Aaron Rogers (designer), Chris Abrahams (composer).

Completion, August 2000. UTS Internal Research Grant; Australian Film Commission.

RealTime issue #38 Aug-Sept 2000 pg. 4-5

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

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