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absolute#5 : mark fell and ernest edmonds 2005

shown at the australian centre for moving image (acmi) august 2005 as part of the white noise exhibition - abstraction in moving image and sound works.

absolute#5 is the latest in a series of collaborative works with ernest that started in 2003. it is an interactive work that uses image analysis from cameras placed around the gallery; data from these cameras is fed into an algorithm that produces patterns of colour and multi speaker sound.

works in this series have been exhibited at siggraph (la), graphite (singapore), the powerhouse museum (sydney), the millenium galleries (sheffield) and published on dvd through conny dietzschold gallery sydney and cologne.

more information about this series > edmondsfell

notes about the project

The idea of integrating sound and vision in art goes back at least to the early 1700s with Louis-Bertrand Caste’s ‘Colour Organ’. Many have been inspired by Baudelaire’s poem ‘Correspondence’, in which he speaks of “…Perfumes and colours, answerable sounds…Joining to form a deep, mysterious whole…”.. In this work, the idea is to operate with structures that can mediate between sound and image, so that a unified work can be produced that integrates both. Thus a single unified abstract structure is used to generate both an aural and visual whole - to produce the integrated ‘synaesthesic’ work.

Absolute #5 extends this search for a whole by adding interaction. Although it is a system that generates its own behaviour with or without an audience by following internal rules, the work also responds to activity around the space: speed, presence, density, colour and so on.

The computer offers something quite new in respect of enabling interactive artworks to be made. The questions come down to quite normal ones for the artist. How to think about and how to make the work? How is one to make interaction engaging and how does that influence our understandings of ourselves?

In this sense we begin to consider interaction as material in art, in the way that both time (duration) and space (form) became central components of video art and abstract painting. These explorations in how to take apart, re-order and radically reconstruct narrative/perspective render meaningless our attempts to ask, “what happens in this story” or “what is this an image of”. So too the interactive artwork encourages us to ask, “what is my action doing” whilst simultaneously rendering the question (and any possible answer) meaningless. Yet this process offers the most meaningful form of interaction. Like other abstract forms, interaction is not a replica of or story about some other thing in the world, but an experiment in storytelling, representation and in this case "being".


© mark fell, modified February 23, 2010, at 05:19 PM edit print