A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program exhibition, ‘Play For Time’ is a series of audiovisual installations that invites the audience to engage with responsive text, music, nature morte and sound through playful, time based, interaction, recasting the visitor from passive observer to active writer, player, creator. The installations are centered around the assemblage of mixed media, acoustic, electronic and sampled material, the aesthetics of which have became the artist’s domain. The ‘play’ element is reminiscent of Pierre Schaeffer and the ‘Musique Concrète’ movement within which the word jouer (to play) carried a double meaning: ‘to enjoy oneself by interacting with one’s surroundings’, as well as to operate a musical instrument’.
And so, without visitor participation the installations will exist simply as an old typewriter, a bunch of mechanical wooden boxes and some old kitchen twine.
P l a y f o r T w i n e
Seemingly ordinary pieces of kitchen twine are suspended within the space. These pieces of string were, once upon a time, part of an exquisite instrument, but are now old and decrepit, like old kitchen twine. When the visitor gently touches or runs their hand along the strings they produce beautifully unexpected sounds, a memory of what the instrument once was.
Interaction: Run your fingers gently along the twine to play the unexpected sounds.
L i t t l e C r e a t u r e C a b i n e t s
Mixed media assemblages in the form of “nature morte”. Their subject matter refers to a theme made up of objects inanimate (springs, bells, pendulums, wheels, sensors ...) and the corpses of insects or other objects representing a still life.
Interaction: The stillness of each cabinet is interrupted (brought to life) in a singular sweeping movement made in close proximity by you, the visitor to each cabinet.
T y p e o v e r T i m e
A projected installation that juxtaposes an old style prepared typewriter with a screen projection and webcam. Typing on the typewriter projects text and builds the facial image of the person typing. The visitor becomes the author and three technologies, from three distinct time periods come together to produce the visitor’s (pseudo) autobiographical work. A ‘self-portrait’ with a difference where you write your own image on screen in the time taken to type your words.
Interaction: If you stand at the typewriter a camera will capture your facial expression. When you start typing on the typewriter your image will fill with your playful text. Be gentle on the old Royal typewriter it is an antique and remember to manually return at the end of each line of text.
P l a y O n g a k u
An installation of 6 interactive music cabinets, which bring together sound design, random mechanical response and Ongaku, the Japanese symbol for Music. The electroacoustic cabinets trigger both soundtrack and kinetic sculptural scenes by close proximity. They respond individually (or as a group) to the viewer, sensing their motion in time within the cabinet and reacting to their close proximity. Clever audience positioning can result in an ensemble performance of all 6 cabinets.
Interaction: There is no need to touch this installation it responds to your presence by just being there (your close proximity). If you pass through the inside middle of the installation you will play each of the six interactive music cabinets.