The right time, the right place

Michelle Terran in Time_Place_Space 2

Listening to the plaudits from participants, the first Time_Place_Space hybrid performance workshop seems to have been a success, so much so that the second is announced to take place from Sept 21 to Oct 5. Time_Place_Space is a unique opportunity for Australia’s contemporary performance makers to test their ideas, visions and plans against those of their peers and mentors from home and abroad. The vital element, says co-curator and Performance Space Artistic Director Fiona Winning, is the 2 weeks of isolation that the workshop provides in a rural setting and without pressures of public showing and fast tracking. “We’ll be in Wagga Wagga again, hermetically sealed, enjoying a very potent time, honoring a precious opportunity but not being too ambitious about what can emerge. The model will be similar to 2002 with some artists overlapping and maybe one of the previous facilitators.” Winning and co-curator Sarah Miller (Artistic Director, PICA) are keen to get more experienced participating artists at all stages in their careers into the mix for 2003, “so that it’s not just the dynamic between facilitators and artists that’s at work but between artist and artist.”

Winning explains that “the focus of Time_Place_Space is on performance—hybrid performance. The live body is an essential part of everybody’s work, but some of the participants aren’t performers or performance makers but have a link with it through installation, film, design…”

The 3 overseas facilitators in the first Time_Place_Space were UK-based. Winning says that was incidental but admits “the appeal is of a strong live art community and practice in the UK. It’s diverse and interesting and has good teachers and facilitators.” She says there’ll be a broader international presence in future. The first to be announced for 2003 is a Time_Place_Space coup: Toronto-based artist Michelle Terran, a leader in collaborative digital performance and installation works with a focus on mediated relationships. As she writes in her artist’s statement this is about “the paradox of amplified intimacy to somebody who is far away, mediating or hybridizing spaces (physical and internet space, physical and screen space, public and private space, local and global space) and experiencing what happens in between.”

A visual artist who has moved into the digital, Terran describes her practice as involving “live performance/installations using technologies that address issues such as social networks, presence and the interplay between (media) spaces. My work covers live installations, online performance, telepresence, live art, video, networked collaboration, lab spaces, art and social play.” Terran’s vivid and playful work is informed, she writes, by gaming since “gaming is less about work as work and more about work as play. The artworks produced are less about physical manifestations and more about the language and rules involved in social interactions. A system is set up which then has the possibility of being activated, or played.” For example, the work titled _interference_interaction entails a game board mapped onto an city zone utilizing wireless cameras, video receivers connected to televisions found in local businesses and bicycles.

For images, yellow bicycles were rigged with wireless cameras and used by anybody entering the play space to record the path they take as they move through the area. Live video from the moving cameras was distributed over several monitors throughout the city zone. Video receivers were attached to television sets at local businesses, making it possible to view the action from inside a bar, gallery, furniture store, bank, coffee shop and/or restaurant. The cameras transmitting on the same frequency interfere with each other, causing live on-the-fly editing of the video on the monitors. Interference in flow between people and hardware and the effect of cross signals resulted in a continuous spatial-temporal state of change.

Another work, AFK was “a series of online performances involving sending a SMS message in front of ‘public’ webcams within the context of the local landscape.” Grrls Meet in Different Ways Now is described as an “ongoing online visual jam using hybrid mixes of ICQ, IVisit, Nato and KeyStroke” with a Norwegian collaborator. Examples of Terran’s works are documented at www.ubermatic.org/misha. The artist has an impressive curriculum vitae of Canadian and international residencies, commissions and collaborators, and has worked on a project similar to Time_Place_Space at Canada’s famous arts hothouse, Banff Centre for the Arts.

Time_Place_Space is an important initiative from Performance Space, PICA and the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council designed to support hybrid performance artists to develop their practice and particular works. RT

Time_Place_Space 2, curators Sarah Miller PICA, Fiona Winning; Performance Space and Julianne Pierce ANAT with the support of the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council. Wagga Wagga Sept 21-Oct 5, 2003. Expressions of interests are now being accepted www.performancespace.com.au

RealTime issue #53 Feb-March 2003 pg. 33

© RealTime ; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 February 2003