Sunday, December 2, 2012


I am extremely happy to report that my photographic/text/sound installation The Body and The City with sound design by my son Erin Powell, technical assistance by Mark B. Harris from ABC IT and Steven Middleton, first installed in the Architecture Building at the University of Melbourne in March 2011 is to be exhibited in the medieval CariLucca San Micheletto Gallery in Lucca, Tuscany as part of the XV Generative Art International Exhibition & Conference, 10-13 December 2012. The exhibition and conference is organized by Professor Celestino Soddu, architect, Politechnico Di Milano University. In 1987 Celestino Soddu created the artificial DNA of Italian Medieval towns able to generate endless 3D models of cities identifiable as belonging to the idea. Celestino Suddu's Architecture designs may be found here. My work is one of the four Australians being shown out of a total of 20 artistic presentations. Although my work does not fit neatly into the definition of generative art, the fact that the photographs are interspersed with a poem and this installation is begin and ended with a sound track collected by me of sounds of the city and then re-designed by Erin Powell, demonstrates the use of computers and autonomous systems in the work. Although I cannot place the sound or images here, I have included below the poem that is interspersed throughout the images.

Julie Clarke 2011

The city exsanguinated -
a ruddy gush that permeates our armor, whether delicate or strong.
Everything silent. Eyes flicker, then still.
No pain. I am seized by captive bolt, unconscious to the flood.
Waiting and watching.
Warm flesh on polar crust that will not yield.

What if there really is no outside?
My claustrophobic brain aware of its own parameters, bound in bone and stone.

What is this human?
An old man in winter coat and hat and another, five decades younger who appears as pure speed,
his arms and chest exposed in a blur,
his eyes closed to the other's quiet contemplation.

OK, let it be that! A return to another time.
It must have been raining then on the coast of Brittany?
Your long, warm coat frayed at the hem, soft as the lace on her petticoats.
Dark ships surge whilst neon’s like electric eels flood the bay.

I’ve been there before,
across from the stairs, where people wait already dead,
mere husks of virtual avatars that ornament
stark, white columns.
I’ve been there before,
where repetition is the order of the day and equidistant bodies adorn the steps.
And then, I see it, sentiment or lack of it.
Fixed and elevated like the stake she braces, she looks beyond a metropolis that announces itself in reverberation.
A sea of faces.
The body and the city, a hybrid machine, disgorged from a massive mouth that threatens to swallow.


  1. As I recall Steve, you spent some time re-sizing the photographs for me. So, it's a success for us all. :)