Friday, March 18, 2011

Digital Light: TTC

It was nice to see Paul Brown, Karen Casey, Alessio Cavallaro, Justin Clemens, Pia Ednie Brown, Tina Gonsalves, Troy Innocent, Stelarc, Nina Sellars, just some of the many attendants at this afternoon's session of the Digital Light: Technique, Technology, Creation Symposium at Melbourne University. More importantly, it was great to see presentations by Alex Monteith, Van Sowerwine and Lynette Wallworth - three amazing female artists who use different digital technologies.
I'd previously seen some of Lynette Wallworth's work, which explores the use of darkness and light, and  I  thoroughly embrace the way that she  includes in her projects women who have experienced particular and harrowing lifetime traumas. It's almost as if their participation in the project brings them from the terrors of darkness and deep depression into the light. But it's not only light that Wallworth needs to create, she desires dark spaces and  outlined her  constant struggle with galleries often concerned that visitors may be unsafe in the dim environs of her making. She believes, and this is certainly shown in her projects, that we discover more in a cavernous void than we might do in radiance. I was touched by her Evolution of Fearlessness and, somehow the women who reached out to touch the hand of a stranger entering that crepuscular space, resonated on a whole other level with Alex Monteith's Composition with RNZAF 3 Squadron Exercise Blackbird for three-channel video installation (2010), which featured footage of terrain photographed by cameras attached to the machines. It was  poignant moment, since by watching the video footage of the helicopters and the land  transforming beneath them,  there was an impulse to recall the image of that solo helicopter flying over the coast of Japan, which recorded the devastating collapse of the landscape engulfed by the Tsunami and the hands that reached out to assist those unknown to them.
Digital Light continues tomorrow. The first guest is Jon Ippolito (via Skype).

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