Projection experiment #3

Photos taken from a day of video projection experiments to show scale and resolution...

the silence

Sometimes in life there are things you are better off not knowing...

Old Bega Hospital

Old Bega Hospital is my favourite building in the local area. Sadly fire has left it in a state of disrepair. Recently funds were allocated to re-roof the building as a start towards restoration. It is obviously needed as an important part of the local heritage. However, I like it just the way it is, and although I recognise that it won't remain like this forever, I do think that it is in a perfect state for an intervention. Whether this be projection or performance or both I  am open to suggestions. Of course, all highly illegal, but nothing ventured, nothing gained? Contact me if interested...

The Isle of Lost Dreams

Bob Georgeson, The Isle of Lost Dreams, 2015, Digital print

My day at the mall

Bob Georgeson, underground car park, 2015, Photograph

Nobody laughs in here. They avoid eye contact at any cost. Shop assistants yawn as they finger their mobile phones. The mall swarms with bodies disembodied. Being tall I peer over their heads. A small woman tries to walk through me. I play chicken, determined not to move to the last moment, then jump sideways to the left. She does the same. I jump the other way. She does the same. Our little dance clearly irritates her.

The young girl says “Can I help you Sir?”. I “smile and say “Don't call me Sir”. She looks taken aback. I say “It reeks of British upper class imperialism and the the subjugation of the workers”. I can see this explanation is not helping. “Don't worry...I'm a surrealist” I shrug, realising as soon as the word has rolled off my tongue I have made a mistake. Any word ending in '√≠st' these days is to be feared. This is not going well...

Perhaps I am a cultural terrorist. My surrealist ancestors advocated going into the street with a gun and firing at random. These days that is so common that it no longer has an impact, and besides I cannot stand sudden loud noises and hysteria, but I do have the perverse thought of planting a bomb in the food court. It wasn't the drumstick through the forehead that got him, it was septicaemia from the secret herbs and spices.

A woman walks towards me pushing a double pram. She looks a bit too old for a mother, a bit too young for a grandmother. She is very protective of her babies. As she passes I look back at the twins. Two identical plastic dolls stare back at me. Nobody is laughing...

Shadow Chase

Sometime in the latter half of last year Ana Cordeiro Reis (Hyaena Fierling) had asked me if I was interested in providing her with a half-an-hour of video footage that she could then compose to with a view to it being used in a live performance in the UK. Naturally the chance to work with her was all the motivation needed, and so we began discussions on the what, the where and the how.

I had recently had my work projected publicly for the first time (as opposed to being shown on a flat-screen TV in a gallery setting) and was thinking about the need to tailor the work to the environment in which it was to be shown, so my first questions were about where Ana was planning to perform. Locations in Birmingham and possibly The Gregson Institute in Liverpool were mentioned and I spent some time researching the type of places these were and the type of performances held in them, as well as looking at Ana's other recorded live performances on YouTube and Vimeo.

The spaces were fairly small and intimate (as opposed to stadium type) and the projection would not be on a huge scale. I had to consider peripheral lighting, possible people movement and that Ana would be weaving her magic against a backdrop of my imagery. To produce a narrative or anything too subtle seemed pointless, so the challenge was to make something visually interesting in such a setting over the space of half-an-hour as well as maintaining some continuity and having some alignment, if not meaning, with Ana's aesthetic.

We discussed via Skype a theme. Dreams, journeys, imaginary landscapes, juxtapositions...

Ana sent some footage via WeTransfer of road movies she had taken in Portugal and also some still images from her vast collection. I had also been working on footage from unrelated sources, so it was a matter of trying to find a balance between her suggestions and what I needed to maintain my interest and enthusiasm.

I had never made a video of this length before (10 minutes being the previous max). I also was used to working to a soundtrack, not in silence. I was not comfortable with using still images (seemed like a slide show) so I began merging the road movies with dream like snippets. At this point the combined footage ran for less than 20 minutes. I thought that to have some footage of Ana herself might be a nice touch, so that the audience could see that the film was specifically about her as opposed to some random imagery.

Over a few months life and work get in the way of the best laid plans. Other little projects crop up, ideas get modified, directions change. I was doing long road trips from one end of the state to the other, Ana was in UK one day, Portugal the next. Occasionally snippets would arrive, we continued our Skype discussions and I continued to try to build the film without really knowing what the soundtrack would be. I must admit at this time I was really struggling to maintain continuity, so when some more footage arrived of Ana dancing it became the catalyst to start bringing it all together. I compiled the film out to around 28 minutes and sent a rough cut back. I had called it 'The Dreams of Ana'.

It was only a matter of a few days when a 10 minute soundscape came back with the title of 'shadow chase'. From here on it gave me the direction I needed to start pulling it all together, and so began the tightening up and working out the colour harmonies and 'flow'. Also Ana sent some more footage of her hands and shadows which helped me to resolve issues I was having with the start and end. I got to a point where I thought that this was about as good as it is going to get, so sent off the second draft. She continued with finishing the composition, and so Shadow Chase was born...

The soundtrack will be released as part of an EP, and we will let you know when the live performances are likely to take place. 

You can download the film from the Internet Archive here...

Our other collaborations have been:

Why is this happening?

The Illusion of Freedom

I forget you

Ana's website is: akousmata

Outside Gloria Jeans in Bega...

it's you pickin' on me day
the fruits of no labours
and indiscretions
gathered in a basket case
of broken limbs and tattoos
the medals of skirmishes
on the wrong side of the law
who are always
pickin' on me

Untitled abstraction (for John Peart)

Bob Georgeson, Untitled abstraction (for John Peart), 2015, Photography

Self portrait on top of the scrap-heap

Bob Georgeson, Self portrait on top of the scrap-heap, 2015, Intervention at Bermagui Rubbish Tip (destroyed by fire 7/04/2015)

I love going to the tip. Not only the satisfaction of offloading a ute load of rubbish, usually gardening prunings, that earn me a couple of brownie points for a few days (believe me not that easy!), but I also get to admire and photograph the mangled piles of human detritus that would for the want of a few simple tools be turned into accommodation in the poorer cities of the world. There aren't too many favelas in Bermagui, so the piles build until crushed by machines or torched by delinquents. 

The staff at the tip often get suspicious seeing someone taking photographs, thinking it must be going to end up a negative reflection of their work practices splashed across the front page of the Daily Telegraph so I am always excessively polite in asking their permission and explaining that I am artist who uses this imagery in my artwork. "What do you do?" asked the attendant at my last visit. She looked a little apprehensive when I explained I worked in photomedia and video art and am involved in online collaborative projects, but when I added that over the past two years that my subject matter had changed from erotica to an interest in decay, disorder and social disintegration I could visibly sense the relief in her eyes...

If You'll Excuse Me

The second release on the anonymous waves channel on Soundcloud. As an aside I had been thinking about crowd funding (I desperately need a projector or two) and thought rather than embarrass my friends who won't or can't afford to support me publicly, I will offer a new alternative where you can pay me to stop producing this rubbish. Any offers (financial that is) gratefully considered. Advice I can get anywhere ;-)

Self portrait as toxic waste

Bob Georgeson, Self portrait as toxic waste, 2015, Intervention at Bermagui Rubbish Tip (destroyed by crushing 23/03/2015)

Internet Archive has a makeover...

I cannot emphasize enough the impact and influence the Internet Archive has had on my art, and the direction it has taken since mid way through 2012 when I started getting interested in video and came across the Archive when searching for some public domain footage to experiment with. Since then it has become something of a second home on the Web, one where I resource much of my 'found footage', the repository of my video collection, the definitive 'home' of public domain and the concept of the 'free web', as well as the vast collections of text, audio, books, Netlables, images, music, film, the Gutenberg Collection, the Wayback Machine...the list just goes on and on and on. And all for FREE!

The Archive has just released a Beta version of their new look and feel, and now my video collection is presented in the above format rather than just a list of text titles. I think it's pretty cool (as is everything the Archive is, does and stands for). You can now even 'like' my videos! Check it out here...

I would also encourage you to join and support the Archive. Very easy to sign up and get your e-library card and become part of the electronic frontier...

Hyaena Fierling: TIMELEAP live

Following on from the recent post 'The grass is always greener...' (see below) this video has just been released of Hyaena Fierling presenting her suite TIMELEAP as soundtrack for Artavad Pelechian's Seasons of the Year. Performance at the Old Mo, Birmingham UK, Oct 2013. Enjoy...

My Father

Considering that some of my friends are among the world's most esteemed sound artists you would think that I would have more sense than to try aural experimentation myself, but then, better judgement has never been one of my strong points. The first release on the anonymous waves channel on Soundcloud...

end game

Following on from the last post Denitsa had sent me some footage that she had edited down from the workshop with Griet in Sofia last June. For some reason when I first saw it chess came to mind, and so this mashup is the result...although at times one could easily find some similarities between the game and the collaborative process. Your move...

The grass is always greener...perhaps...or is it perception?

Too easy to be tempted by trivia...not so easy to be tempted by purpose...

I posted this on Twitter and Facebook this morning after a few weeks of being busy with travel, interruptions, rejections, proposals and plans. Did I just say Facebook? Yes...I now have a presence so you can follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook (links in the nav bar above). It is mildly interesting to see the difference between the two...could you possibly call Twitter more intelligent? and even though the belligerent layout and behaviour of FB still annoys the **** out of me, it was a matter of being able to access other's FB pages that drove me to such distractions...hence the opening line of this missive. Perhaps update might be a better word...

So, to recent activity. First sent off 25 minutes of footage (sans sound) to Hyaena Fierling as draft for possible composition and performance in UK. It has been the longest video I have worked on so far and quite a challenge for that reason, and the fact that I was working in silence without a soundtrack in mind is a departure from previous efforts, and trying to create diversity and interest while maintaining some continuity, as well as working with supplied footage!. She has sent back a 10 minute draft of composition, and I like, so on we go. Also have been submitting videos using her soundscapes for various international video festivals and prizes. The Illusion of Freedom didn't make the final cut in the Aesthetica Art Prize (UK) but did make the second round of judging, and Why is this Happening wasn't quite within the curatorial brief of Kyle Chung's Bright Shadow Exhibition (London) but we have agreed to do something together in the future. Also Hyaena has/is playing around with some words/sounds for a possible remix of I forget you. Her website is here...

 Hyaena Fierling in performance, Birmingham, UK, 2014

My other major project with Griet Menschaert and Denitsa Dicova (previously mentioned in the posts Across a Troubled World and 3 Points of a Circle) stumbled a little late last year but has now found some renewed vigour and direction. I can't let too much out of the bag yet, but there will be a website coming soon, and we are still hopeful of reaching the point of a performance in the future. Meanwhile these two very talented and hard working artists continue to inspire as they push into new directions at a fast pace. A couple of examples:

You can check out their websites here...Griet & Denitsa.

The blog is still chugging along as you can see. Over 57000 page views (equates to about 50 per day since February 2012). The direction has changed. There is not so much in the way of art reviews and commentary, and the focus now is on quality rather than quantity. I continue with my video experiments, and would dearly love to get into more projections, performance, interventions and installations but lack of equipment and money the eternal inhibitor. Over at the Internet Archive where I publish my videos there have been over 13000 downloads. (Just to explain this numerical diversion it was necessary in the information required by an ArtsNSW grant application!) I am not sure what this all means, but someone is looking at my work, which brings me to the local scene...

I had thought that I was cutting off my nose to spite my face by ignoring the local art world and focusing on the global, and so recently have made a number of forays to make local entities aware of my activities without much success. Whether it be a parochial defense of territory, a lack of interest in contemporary art, or they just think my work is crap is unknown, but the silence at times is deafening. It is curious that I have managed to engage with, and gain the respect of, highly credentialed overseas creators who value my work and yet in my own backyard I may as well not exist...but then at my age existence is always a tenuous proposition ;-)

And now it is time to get back to work...

Xanthorrhoea glauca

Xanthorrhoea glauca (grass trees) are endemic to Australia. These 'giants' occur in the Coolah Tops National Park, a special place of sublime beauty and primeval forests...

No entry

Bob Georgeson, No entry, 2015, Digital print

Morphogenesis - the sculpture of Joy Georgeson

Nourishing the soul

Joy Georgeson studied the Higher Diploma of Teaching Secondary Arts and Crafts course with an extraordinary group of lecturers at Melbourne State College (MSC) in the early 1970's. The Sculpture and Ceramics Department were on the same floor next to each other and ideas and friendships flowed between both. John Teschendorff, Noel Flood and Don Wordsworth were the dynamic teachers at that time who nurtured an environment of experimentation, daring, excitement and professionalism. They were all practicing artists who communicated their love of the medium but embraced other disciplines and unusual methods of solving problems.

In 1975 Agi Yoeli, an Israeli ceramic sculptor who was Artist-In-Residence introduced Joy to the technique of hollow hand-building that inspired her to create a life size Giant Anteater, much to the delight of the lecturers. More animals followed, often based on observations made at Melbourne Zoo where her husband worked, and on the cats that roamed her studio. After moving to a bush block in southern NSW in 1980 her work became less literal as she explored visual metaphors inspired by Australian native mammals like squirrel gliders and marsupial mice.

Joy Georgeson, Shadows in the Forest, 2014, Ceramic

After diagnosis of, and treatment for, breast cancer her work took on a new dimension based on a merging of carnivorous plants and female forms. These 'carnivorous women' represented a type of catharsis in response to the issues faced when dealing with a potentially life threatening disease.

Joy Georgeson, Fecund Fungi, 2006, Ceramic

More recently, Joy has returned to the animal sculptures that were her trademark. But after many years observing the decline in respect for the environment her sculptures have a stronger message concerning conservation and spirituality. Animals that once were decorated in earthy glazes with a highlight of gloss to represent texture are now embellished with stories telling of the origins of life on Earth and our relationship with them.

Joy Georgeson, Kookaburra Post (with dragonfly detail), 2015, Ceramic

The influence of the years at MSC has had a lifetime effect on the artist who went on to teach art in Victorian, NSW and ACT schools and colleges for 23 years as well as exhibiting her work. After retiring from teaching she joined the ACT's Strathnairn Arts Association as a studio holder, and then moved to Wallaga Lake near Bermagui in 2007 where she found new inspiration in the coastal and estuarine environment.

Joy Georgeson, Angelic Egret, 2007, Ceramic

Camel Rock is a distinctive formation of rocks and headland nestled in the shadow of Gulaga Mountain just north of the coastal village of Bermagui on the NSW far south coast. It is a place of great significance to the local Yuin aboriginal community. Home to sea eagles, terns, cormorants and reef herons it also provides Joy with inspiration for her most recent sculptures.

Joy says "When I visit Camel Rock, I am awed by the presence of rocks millions of years old and can see many creatures in their forms that remind me of fossils and our ancient evolutionary history. I wonder at the diversity, yet similarity between species and believe that through the process of evolution we are an integral part of Nature. It is said that the ancestor of every human was a fish, but I believe our lineage began with the first signs of life in the early history of the Earth. My art is about our great family history."

"My sculptures reflect my need for contact with natural phenomena such as the sea, animals, plants and the cycles of nature, which provide me with psychological and spiritual nourishment. I have developed my own 'creation stories' in the works, based on science and my imagination. The underlying message is to raise an awareness of the importance of conserving and valuing the balance and harmony between humans and nature."

Joy Georgeson, Out of the Ocean, 2015, Ceramic

For Joy, being in the natural environment is more than just a pleasant experience. It is an integral part of 'being'. An avid recorder she keeps journals, sketchbooks and photographs the natural world on a daily basis. Whether it is at the coast or in the forested and mountainous hinterland she seeks out the minute amongst the obvious and sees the connection between all. We might look at rocks and see geological formations. Joy looks at rocks and sees the history of the world.

Using hand building clays, fired to 1200 degrees Celsius in an electric kiln, she cuts slabs from the block and shapes hollow forms that are joined together into the basic structure using temporary supporting pillars made from clay. Then surface texture, animals and female forms are incorporated to finalise the piece before glazing. Large scale works, some over two metres high, are made in modules that slot together. She also loves the Raku process, or "Racooee" as she calls it, which is used on smaller works.

Joy has exhibited in many centres around Australia and has work in several public collections including the Victorian Ministry for the Arts, Geelong Art Gallery, Shepparton Art Gallery Collection of Australian Ceramics and Newcastle Regional Art Gallery. She was selected to represent Australia at the 38thInternational Ceramics Exhibition in Faenza, Italy in 1980. She is a regular exhibitor at Bermagui's Sculpture on the Edge as well as the Hunter Valley's Sculpture in the Vineyards and Sculpture by the Lake festivals. Her most recent work has been exhibited at Artisans in the Garden in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney and at Sculptures in the Garden at Roxby near Mudgee.

Her website can be found here...

The last broadcast (video)

You can download the files from the Internet Archive here...

...and to see all the videos go here...

The last broadcast

Bob Georgeson, The last broadcast, 2015, Mixed media

Apocalyptic perhaps? Video to follow soon. An ending you would not want to rather miss...

I forget you

You can download the files from the Internet Archive here...

The soundscape is by Hyaena Fierling from her album super flumina Babylonis, available on Bandcamp here...

You can visit her website here...

The woman is Brigitte Schiller, from Lutz Mommartz's Die Schiller.

With thanks to all those who work in the Creative Commons...

Je suis Charlie: four points of a compass (a view of the world)

Bob Georgeson, East, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, West, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, North, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, South, 2015, Digital print

Bob Georgeson, Four points of a compass, 2015, Digital print

Happy New Year! Not. Last year ends with mindless violence in Martin Place in Sydney. This year begins with it in Paris. These photos seem to sum up the situation. I have generally avoided politics in my art and on this blog (Twitter is a different matter if you want to follow me). There have been a few exceptions: the Worlds in Collision series and the Why is this happening? video to name two, but it does raise the question of whether there has been (or perhaps should be) a link between politics and art, and ultimately what purpose that might serve. And do artists have a responsibility as the eyes of the world to address the socio-political situations that we find ourselves in?

I don't have an answer for this any more than I have a solution to the Islamic problem, or any other issue you choose to pull out of the hat. What I do know is that silence and a reluctance to, or fear of speaking out against injustice will always play into the hands of the perpetrators. And so we set the tone for the year ahead...