Experimenta: Recharge

Media art is intrinsically multidisciplinary, derived from digital technology’s methodological function and ability to enact the interaction of various technological tools and art practices.

Featuring selected trans-disciplinary works that draw from photography, installation, electronic sculpture, interactive and immersive media, robotics, bio-art, live art, sound art, 3D printing, games, animation, film and video, ‘Recharge: Experimenta the 6th International Biennial of Media Art’ is a fresh survey of current practices in the eclectic field of media arts.

Currently on show at Melbourne’s RMIT Gallery before touring nationally, ‘Recharge’ presents the intersection of creativity and technology through fifteen works, including five new commissions, from acclaimed Australian and international artists.

According to Artistic Director Jonathan Parsons, these artists, “by listening, watching, thinking and making, they recharge knowledge and meaning systems, reinvigorating these systems or radically transforming them.” Inspired by and entangled with the past these artists question how technology and cultural contexts create new perspectives on knowledge and new modes of consciousness for a new generation.

By investigating the physicality of perception, by interrogating the systems and structures which reconstruct our understanding of reality and existence, these artists execute artworks which re-imagine and reshape our knowledge of the universe.

By re-imagining familiar objects into anthropomorphic and autonomous objects that embrace retro-futurism, Cake Industries reintroduces the sense of occasion and importance of capturing one’s image from the advent of traditional processes of portraiture that have become disposable in the digital world. Simulacrum invites fifteen subjects to have their portrait taken using 3D printing technology. The object will be placed into specially built frames that will stylise, light and animate them presenting a new take on the lost art of a portrait.

German sound art collective, Korinsky present their work Big Bang which explores auditory perception and the effect of sound on human spatial feeling. By recreating ancient sounds audiences can be part of the beginning of the universe through layers of sound and light in the gallery space.

Three works from Brazilian artist Anaisa Franco’s interactive robotic sculpture series Psychosomatics animates objects with behaviours and feelings, inviting audiences to respond and engage, blurring the boundaries between body, mind and machine. Franco’s interactive robotic sculptures manifest many of the human emotions induced by obsessive game play.

Christy Dena’s work Magister Ludi playfully investigates the recent cultural phenomena of both computer and live ‘escape room’ puzzles through an interactive game installed in a vintage school desk. Dena’s works explore our relationship with technology, death, and our past.

Brisbane-based Svenja Kratz is an interdisciplinary artist who utilises traditional and experimental bio-art practices to explore the impact of new technologies and science on concepts of the self, other and the body. Contamination of Alice Instance #8 uses the DNA of Alice, a young girl who died in 1973 and donated her body to science, to reveal the uncanniness of having living fragments of an absent human body present.

‘Recharge’ challenges cultural and historical perception to transgress conventional borders and encourage cross-cultural discourse, using science and image to comment on local and global issues regarding environmental, political, cultural, historical systems and the affective consequences of the divergent concepts of the self.

These works of mechanical and anthropological study re-imagine the past and, in effect, imagine a new philosophical framework for contemporary audiences.

RMIT Gallery
Until 21 February, 2015

Khaled Sabsabi, 70,000 Veils, 2014, 100 channel digital video, 100 LCD monitors, 100 USB drives, 3D glasses, 190 x 1,240cm
Photography: Carl Warner

Maitha Demithan, To the moon, 2009, scanography, 180 x 122cm
Courtesy the artists, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, and RMIT Gallery, Melbourne