Monday, 27 August 2012

Essay: Psychedelia Now

excerpts from
--> Moody, Sebastian “Psychedelia Now” (2012) Art & Australia Vol 49/4 pp616-623

Researching this exhibition I was struck by American cultural critic Dave Hickey’s curious observation that psychedelia is more feminine than masculine, one of the reasons he believes that the original psychedelia was never sanctified as a significant ‘ism’ in the history of western art.
--> Hickey elaborates that other transgressive movements such as surrealism and abstract expressionism are ‘easily fovgiven because they celebrate masculine interiority...
However for the purposes of this essay, rather than taking Hickey’s general claim as a starting point, I have mapped significant parts of this aesthetic through examining the practices of four contemporary Australian women Artists: Noël Skzrypczak, Natalya Hughes, Nicola Morton and Belle Bassin. Each of these artists comes at the legacy of psychedelia from a different angle and by placing them together they start to illustrade the wider contemporary trend.
Nicola Morton’s performances also weave idiosyncratic pop sensibilities in a way that alludes to mystical truths with a kind of faux naivety. During 2011 the Brisbane-based artist travelled to Indonesia where she collaborated with female Amercan artist Simbi Dare on a number of performances including Dreamtime Aksi Revolusi, How I survived a Kuntilanak Attack (Transforming Women on Women Rage) and  The Shamanic Death of Capitalism. These performances present a seemingly endless range of non-western mysticisms, including native North American medicine card-playing and Indonesian ghost storytelling in combination with tarot crad readings, karaoke, Deleuze and Guattari recitals, video mash-ups, cheap disco lights, smoke machines and audience interaction as a kind of self-help workshop in a nightclub. Despite their mania such works function as ritual as each performance has a specific goal and an intended target that Morton and Dare seek to challenge.

--> Nicola Morton & Simbi Dare, How I Survived a Kuntilanak Attack, (24/10/2011) 60min Performance. Photo by Gatot Susilo. Indonesian Contemporary Art Network,Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Creative Commons: Attribution. (L-R) Unknown, Me, Unknknown, Simbi Dare, Antariksa Id (director of ICAN)  

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I am Wild, Free and Beautiful VHS release

The most sought after woman about town, Miss Sarah Byrne is undertaking to do a fantastic VHS library, VIDEOEASY open Aug-Sept. I've submitted 3 videos..

 I thought about the videos I would like to convert to VHS to highlight the offset the VHS Library aims to make between contemporary video making and nostalgic video obsession.

“I am Wild, Free and Beautiful” (2010) Hunter St Mall, Newcastle. This special ‘Directors Cut’ references how contemporary DIY handycam art practice (cf Olaf Breuning) parallels the nostalgic cheesy ‘VHS family home movie,’ where Dad’s/Mom’s voice behind the camera makes directive or oblique comments. This impromptu video survey/portrait of passersby in Newcastles’ Hunter St Mall features Nicola behind the camera as an unseen voice, coaxing members of the general public to be filmed for her wacky project, all they had to do was say the words, “I am Wild, Free and Beautiful” 3 times. Upon viewing, one is impressed by the power of these magical words upon the face of the strangers but also the challenging, repetitive nature of the communication artefacts generated in the instructional collaboration between (the in-presence) artist and (on-camera) stranger. Made as part of the Renew Newcastle Residency. .

In the Library you will also find "Proof of Time Travel and Alternative Intelligence" (2010) Helsinki, Brisbane. 
Nostalgia is a broken down ute on the highway of time travel, video art is an intersection of and reproduction of time travel simultaneously. The recording of moving time, and time itself being moved was the medium for our time travel. We channel the creative force of Om to cleanse and charge us. Artificial-Alternative intelligence can be created from the sparks that imitate neuron activity when human bodies are networked sensorily and cognitively. We use the cognitive process of mindmapping 'Spiders' and fast group word/touch/smell/musical association to generate synaptic activity across all bodies in the room, this activity/energy will create an ulterior form of intelligence. I wanted to rewrite my past, not just in my mind but also in other peoples (and their preconceptions) plus somehow affect the technology that recorded it. Time is not homogenous. Time is not linear. Time travel subsists of our phenomenal perception/s of other times/dimensions. Released for youtube..

plus the shit i have to pass everyday

“Equalizer 24K 10 Year Resurrection” (2012) Stefan’s Sky Needle, Brisbane.
This year I have been on a nostalgia trip, most noticeably since it’s been 10 years since I first started making noise music. After an explosive first year of noise, I stopped due to crazy relationship stuff that after a couple of years in a coma (a very dark place) in Brisbane was still not fixed, but an eventual move to Berlin did fix. As part of finally embracing a return to Brisbane, on Good Friday 2012, I transformed the bad memories and good tunes of Equalizer 24K. As most data/music from 10 years ago had been erased, I could effectively use my new improvised noise style to mess up those memories and perform to new and old crowds.
Made for Interventions#5