Yes, there is an ACMI

News has leaked from the tight ship that is Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) of a couple of exhibitions that might be well worth the journey for eager digital culture vultures outside Melbourne. But expect to be confronted.

Persistence of Vision (March 21-May 5) is the first part of ACMI’s major exhibition Remembrance + the Moving Image. Encompassing some 30 installations, the exhibition offers viewers a series of memory jogging experiences from a variety of vantage points: “eavesdropping on the anonymous lives and restless spirits that haunt the phonelines, televisions and sleepless nights of the city” (Jem Cohen, Black Hole Radio, US); “alone in a room with 9 naked figures…pale forms without identity or voice”(Gina Zcarnedki, Versifier, UK); playing visual detective to an eyeful of silent exchanges, glances and tiny clues gathered from home movie footage (Traces, Naomi Bishops and Richard Raber, UK).

Curator Ross Gibson (see his new book reviewed, p4) writes in the show’s press release, “Remembrance is about activating memory. When visitors encounter installations such as Ivan Sen’s Blood, Sadie Benning’s Jollies or Bill Viola’s The Passing, they will feel the artworks infiltrating their nervous systems, tangling with their moods…Visitors are encouraged to plunge into the imaginary worlds the works conjure: these works move through the visitor as the visitor moves amongst them, feeling the power of memory-in-action coursing through them.”

The impressive list of participating artists—a not at all predictable new media arts lineup—includes: Mona Hartoum (Lebanon/UK), Sue Ford (Australia), Geshe Sonam Thargye (Tibet/Australia), Alexander Sokurov (Russia), Andrea Lange (Norway), Joyce Hinterding (Australia), David Haines (Australia/UK), Scott Horscroft (Australia), Peter Forgacs (Hungary), Robert Arnold (US), Emily Weil (US), Frank Scheffer (Netherlands), Les LeVeque (US), Andrish Saint-Clare (Australia), Steve Reinker (Canada), Big hART (Australia), Chris Marker (France), Tehching Hsieh (Taiwan), Dennis del Favero (Australia), Kate Murphy (US), Bill Seaman (US), Debra Petrovich (Australia) and Mary Lucier (US).

Jeffrey Shaw

Place Urbanity, Jeffrey Shaw’s new interactive installation (read the interview with the artist in RT41, p18) surrounds the viewer in a large projected images of Melbourne suburbs and is also showing at ACMI. A robotic platform mounted with camera and video projector allows the visitor to rotate the projected image within a surrounding 9 metre diameter projection screen while they navigate virtual space. As the platform rotates, so does the projection, allowing the viewer to explore a 360 degree panorama. And as you immerse yourself in any of the 15 suburban locations—the predominantly Vietnamese strip of Victoria Street in Richmond, the Jewish community in Balaclava—you encounter a member of that community who tells you a joke. Shaw is the current Director for Visual Media at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany. With another Australian new media artist, Dennis del Favero, he is heading up the new I-Cinema at Sydney’s College of Fine Arts, another significant new media venture. Watch these pages.

In an informal meeting last month, Victoria Lynn, Director of Creative Develpoment of ACMI, wowed the RealTime Editors with a preview of what the centre will spring on audiences over the next year and beyond. At long last, it looks like new media arts in its many manifestations, national and international, will reach the audiences it warrants in ACMI and beyond.


Electrofringe 03

October 1-6 will see the 6th Electrofringe in Newcastle NSW gathering together new media artists, sound and noise makers, gamers and activists for a hands on, all in talk-tech-play fest. Co-ordinators Gail Priest and Vicky Clare are now calling for expressions of interest from new media artists, curators, producers and people interetsed being state consultants. See www.electrofringe.net for more details.

RealTime issue #54 April-May 2003 pg.

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1 April 2003