conference : moved —

on atmospheres and affects

2013-interstices-breath-doodles

My paper “Drawing of Breath: a provisional diagram for the reciprocal relations between atmospheres and affects” has been accepted for the upcoming Interstices conference “Moved: On Atmospheres and Affects” which is to be held in Auckland, New Zealand from November 22–24. Gernot Böhme will give the keynote presentation. Further details are available on the Interstices website.

Abstract:
From a young age I have always enjoyed exhaling into the cold dry air of wintertime and delighting in how breath, made visible, dissipates into the wider atmosphere. Evidence of the atmospheric differences within and without gives rise to wonderment, and in turn, a will — to the point of hyperventilation — to create more and more breath-clouds. This play of breath is an example of the distinctions between affects and atmospheres and their reciprocal folding together. The commonplaceness of breathing offers productive ways of understanding the remaking of self and environment and their ambiguous inter-relationship. The act of breathing is an intimate, energetic exchange between the world and our bodies; sustaining us, it is also a distributed act of collective connection. To breathe in is to draw the world inwards, to take in its forces and to draw sustenance from it. To breathe out is to expel something very personal into the public domain, where others may in turn draw it inwards in a constant process of exchange. Absorbing and being affected by diffuse, ephemeral qualities of space, means making sense of atmospheres and affects requires understanding bodily engagement.
Numerous art and architectural projects make specific use of breath as a motif or modus operandi, two of which I will examine in detail. A discussion of Decosterd and Rahm’s Hormonium will focus on how the drawing inwards of atmospheres via the respiratory and endocrine systems creates internally registered bodily affects. The second project, Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s extension to the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, emphasises the registration of breath as a collective act in the public sphere. They see the project as making visible the “air of democracy,” via an inflatable public space for lectures and discussion. These projects, while using breath in quite different registers, build on an understanding of bodies and environments as being intertwined, if still separable. This condition of being together-but-separable is explored in Ben Anderson’s essay Affective Atmospheres. I similarly investigate the always in-process nature of atmospheres in this paper, drawing conscious attention to the process of breathing as a specific mechanism for becoming aware of the interrelationships between affects and atmospheres, bodies and environments.

“talking practice”

4pm; Wednesday November 16
School of Design, Building One
Unitec
Carrington Road, Auckland

I have been invited to speak about my practice to Masters of Design students at Unitec in Auckland. I will discuss a selection of projects and offer some tactics for creative practice after graduation.

auroral anomaly

Hand-made colour slides, mixed media and audio performance.
6 minutes.
projection approximately 5 x 3m
performed for the Ascension Cinema Festival, St Kevin’s Arcade, Auckland, New Zealand.
December 2006

The culmination of a series of three projector works, combining direct colour slide techniques and an audio piece with performance. Auroral Anomaly recreates the magical atmospheric field of an aurora. The audio evokes an environment that is warm and enchanting yet also detailed, blustery and crystalline.

Ascending Scale

Hand-made book in an edition of thirty.
28 pages full-colour, 148 x 205mm
ISBN-13: 978-0-473-11491-6
published October 2006

This publication is an extension of the ideas from an exhibition that dealt with particles, cycles and loops and their integration into larger, more complex systems; ecological, atmospheric, optical and aural.

The text is a transcription of a conversation that I had with co-exhibitor Susie Pratt and critic Kate Montgomery that ranged across Hazel Henderson’s idea of “the love economy”, open-source software in South American government and the rejuvenation of out-dated technologies. Images of the work are organized so that they enter into dialog with one another.

As well as developing the book’s content, I designed, printed, bound and marketed the publication. It is held in a number of art and design libraries and the public library in Auckland as well as in the collection of the National Library of New Zealand.

space modulator

Slide projectors, hand-made colour slides, electronics and mixed media.
1.8 x 2.6 x 1.4m approx.
shown at rm103 gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
September 2006

Suggestive of a mass of particles, explosions, orbits and gravitational arcs, this work was a development from earlier three projector works, using direct colour slides as the source for its atmospheric effects. The title makes a light-hearted reference to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Light-Space Modulator while creating a work more playful and whimsical than its antecedent.

automated weather charts

Series of seven digital prints.
420 x 297mm
shown at rm103 gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
September 2006

These works map the movement of weather systems across New Zealand over a one-week period. Reducing the map to sites of data collection and their readings disrupts the boundaries between geographical and meteorological readings. The landform appears cloud-like, while the atmospheric data begins to conform to a recognizable landmass.

Each image is grounded upon the International Meteorological Organization index for the numerical descriptions of weather conditions. Containing phrases such as “36: Slight or moderate drifting snow (below eye level)”, it shows the imprecision and subjectivity of this rationalist project carried to an absurd extreme.

 

fountain

Field recording, real-time audio manipulation.
5 minutes 17s
released on the label Compact Listen.
August 2006

A single field recording documents the aural richness of an everyday moment. Seagulls, people passing, a homeless man playing recorder, the drone of a lawn-mower and a nearby clock chiming 12 all feature in this recording made alongside the Albert Park fountain in central Auckland. Qualities of sound are amplified, exaggerated and manipulated via a custom piece of real-time audio programming.

platform 2006

Experimental performance series.
Curated with Jemma Nissen.
held at the Wine Cellar, Auckland, New Zealand.
September 2005 – April 2006

Platform was a series of performance nights showcasing diverse approaches to experimental performance, regularly drawing audiences of 50-70 people. Over its eight-month duration it featured dance, film, slide shows, storytelling, live installation, sound, drawing, shadow puppetry and video art. The event grew by word-of-mouth and provided an informal but public opportunity for performance.

I co-initiated, organized, hosted and documented the event as well as performing on two occasions. My first performance was a three slide-projector piece called “slide juggling”. The second was a drawing performance that made use of chance selections to direct drawing operations.

platform 2005

Experimental performance series.
Curated with Jemma Nissen.
held at the Wine Cellar, Auckland, New Zealand.
September 2005 – April 2006

Platform was a series of performance nights showcasing diverse approaches to experimental performance, regularly drawing audiences of 50-70 people. Over its eight-month duration it featured dance, film, slide shows, storytelling, live installation, sound, drawing, shadow puppetry and video art. The event grew by word-of-mouth and provided an informal but public opportunity for performance.

I co-initiated, organized, hosted and documented the event as well as performing on two occasions. My first performance was a three slide-projector piece called “slide juggling”. The second was a drawing performance that made use of chance selections to direct drawing operations.

10n

Constructed computer gaming environment with dolby 5.1 sound.
digital documentation 2 minutes
performance duration 11 minutes
performed using two computers, video and audio mixers as part of the Version experimental media festival, Auckland, New Zealand.
December 2004.
Performance assisted by Ben Stevens.

Points of reference include string theory, the music of the spheres and the Eames’ film, Powers of Ten for this digital environmental work. Originally completed using a modified computer gaming engine to create an environment that treated sound in the manner of architectural detail, this project was re-worked as a performance piece allowing for a real-time filmic experience of the project.