Synaesthetic Syntax – Traumatic Forms of Remembering

Traumatic forms of remembering.

This presentation situates my current immersive expanded animation practice through three phases, spanning 40 years of production strategies.

Phase 1: 2-screen Experiments 50 minutes 1981+
The numbing qualities of urban spaces in Suburban Melbourne and their impact on family life. Flicker, afterimages, chants, rants and repetitions Sonic performances. This was framed by Marshall Mcluhan’s theorizing about probes, pattern recognition and information speed-up. These performances and their visuals were driven and structured around the sonic qualities of the spaces in which they were performed. (Experiments is available on DVD from Artfilms)

Phase 2: 3 and 6 projector and light performances 2000+
The immersive quality of abuse and trauma—to show physically and materially through a manipulation of the apparatus what was invisible in pure digital form. This also evolved into body performance and the utterances of sound poetry to drive both the flicker and manipulating events from both digital projector and analog 16mm projectors, using filters, mirrors, masks and prisms and manipulating the soundtrack area with strobes and torches. (performed in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Shanghai, Tokyo, Karlsruhe (Germany), London and Brighton (UK), Auckland and Christchurch (NZ)

This second phase of work was framed by Vilem Flusser’s “Freedom of the Migrant” and his concept of the “technical image” and marked a dialogue between analog and digital forms. I understood my migration from old to new technologies as an echo/replay/rehearsal of my parent’s physical migration from the old world (Europe) to the new world (Australia).

These performances were also framed by Chris Brewin’s conceptualizations on traumatic memory through a disturbed dialogue between Verbally Accesible Memory (VAM) and Situational Accesible memory (SAM)

Phase 3: 360 degree projections and installations.
This third phase is an embedded response to the Covid situation, which enabled me to screen my materially originating aesthetics into fulldome projection situations without the performative presence of the artist. (Rotunda screened at Jena International Full-dome festival in 2020). McLuhan, Flusser and Brewin’s theorizing remain traceable here. 360 degree projection spaces like fulldome also enabled a further exploration of peripheral vision and shifted the impact on the body of these immersive environments from the performer to the viewer. This research has included the use of time-lapse to contemplate horizon lines in seascape environments and generational replays of Warhol’s analog based screen-tests.