Danny Wild: Around the Block (2014)

In Danny Wild’s Around the Block (2014) discrete images are packaged up and reproduced as flow. Dimensions are rendered flat, yet they are layered. Distinct timescales are interlinked, while also giving narrative the slip. I am thinking about the American architect Greg Lynn and his articulation of a “smooth” theory of architecture. Smoothness, he writes “does not eradicate differences but incorporates free intensities through fluid tactics of mixing and blending.” Expanding on Deleuze and Guattari’s theory of the fold, Lynn’s aim is to argue an alternative position in the longstanding deadlock around the two poles of unity and contradiction within architectural theory.

The unities and contradictions of a suburban block are turned into collage, which is turned into diorama, which is turned into a cul de sac. Here then we turn to detournment, the Situationist’s protocol for walking the streets. There we find Danny Wild with his camera. The shape of the cul de sac forces a turning. And turning predetermines volatile change — a known thing can and will morph into something unrecognisable. We have seen this in the case of Ramsay Street, our most famous cul de sac, which has delivered over 30 years of surprise twists.

Brick work, garden plants, carports, front lawns, powerlines, garbage bins. These are the kinds of free intensities that Wild makes smooth. Laid out in flat, postcard-like shapes, as if cut out from a newspaper, it’s as much the intricate affiliations of surface that create the smooth effect as it is the video’s visual spin, a streaming alliance of colours and shapes. As the single Australian flag in the video reminds us, unity is a troubling position to take. Contradiction, meanwhile, can easily be just another kind of holding pattern. So as viewers we are turned to a different, smoother mode of thinking where place remains particular as well as part of a greater sum. Emily Stewart

Sydney-based Danny Wild is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and curator who explores routine and repetition through audio, video, performance, installation and intervention. Since completing a Bachelor of Digital Art at the Australian National University in 2013 he has curated screenings, events and exhibitions nationally and internationally, exhibited in the Sydney Biennale, Tokyo and New York and is a founding member of audio-visual collective Zonk Vision.

1 November 2017