Curated by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), the 2015 Video Contemporary program presented by Samsung, showcased an exciting and diverse selection of video works by artists at the forefront of their field into six curatorial themes: Duality, Constructed Worlds, On Time, Forbearance & Fortitude, Role Play and Material Beings.


Highlighting the breadth and diversity of contemporary video art and its capacity to interrogate and make meaningful the personal, abstract, humorous and sombre in captivating ways, this dual channel program is presented on synchronized playback for the duration of the fair.


7 minutes 20 seconds
Dual channel video work
Edition of 5
Artereal Gallery, Sydney

‘Fortitudine’ is a multi-channel performance video featuring myself singing and straining physically in two synonymous moving images. The two figures take turn at random to articulate and withhold their emotions through two different contradicting physical routines. Both series of actions serve to conceal and divulge emotions. The performance is a response to the enduring culture of masculinity, which both encourages and discourages men to physically engage with their emotions.


Heat, 2014
5 minutes and 5 seconds
HD video
Courtesy the artist

Heat is a dual-channel video installation by Sydney based art collective Hissy Fit. Heat utilises the fight and the anticipation of physical conflict as modes of choreography to interrogate societal representations of female aggression, violence and competition. Hissy Fit use the mediums of performance and video as subversive tools in dismantling the ways in which western culture represses and undermines varieties of female expression that are loud, strong or angry.


5 minutes 42 seconds and 6 minutes 21 seconds
Dual Channel moving image, Black and White, stereo sound
Courtesy the artist

James Nguyen’s video and performance practice looks at the process of making and observing art through the “performative potential of the camera”. By documenting the performance of capturing footage, the act of film-making becomes part of the work. Beyond principles of basic editing and cinematography, Nguyen also works with his family, BAD MUDDA (with Salote Tawale) and Astute Art Investments International to find collaborative interventions that engages with artists and communities from Australia and the greater Asia-Pacific Region.


Girls, 2014
21 minutes 15 seconds
Dual Channel HD Video, Sound
Edition 2 of 5
Courtesy the artist

Girls centres on 4 fourteen year old girls growing up in Claymore, a public housing estate in Sydney’s South West. In a research paper published by Griffith University in 2008, Claymore is described as “the most disadvantaged community in Australia” due to its high rates of crime, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and inter-generational welfare dependency. Through interviews and observation, Blackmore exposes the specific attitudes and behaviours the girls have developed as a way of surviving within their stigmatised community. Rather than presenting them as victims of the welfare state, Blackmore attempts to capture the significance of this moment in their young lives in which they hold the power to break the cycle or continue it. Girls was commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre in 2014 for The List, an exhibition curated by Megan Monte.


California, 2015
11 minutes
Single channel HD video, colour, sound
[MARS], Melbourne

California is a dancehall set in 1850’s Melbourne.

In the fever of the gold rush, where the population tripled & men dropped everything to seek their fortune, women were still outcast as the town changed from a ‘wild west’ to a vestige of quaint decency. But for the working class, the stench of misfortune was usually irreversible. Women who had accompanied their husbands, fathers and brothers and made the trip from England or another country to find a new life were mostly discarded as gold rush fever hit the newly discovered Victoria. As the goldfields were ‘no place for a lady’, many women were deserted to fend for themselves. A lack of welfare, English traditions and conventions, & the overwhelming struggle of making ends meet meant most women in this situation were trapped and had nowhere to turn.


the uncertainty of predicting one’s fate: prolegomenon 1, 2015
5 minutes 30 seconds
Medium HD video with 16mm film and found photograph
Dual channel video
Soundtrack by Erkki Veltheim
Edition of 3
Courtesy the artist

The uncertainty of predicting one’s fate: prolegomena 1 is the first in a series of works concerned with the subliminal and the sublime: nature as the sublime backdrop of the self, history as the sublime backdrop of memory, the virtual as the sublime backdrop of the real.

The double screen resists a singular point of view. Yet, the images on the counter screen subliminally seep into the viewer’s awareness, creating a friction between conscious and unconscious perception. Against this friction, the subject wrestles with the slippery nature of identity, morphing between archetypal representations of femininity.


AgX: HN03
AgX: H202, 2014
11 minutes 30 seconds
Dual channel video
Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

AgX is an art-science project about material memory and forgetting; it features time-lapse photography of photographic negatives being chemically destroyed. This project is comprised of two video works. Each work explores the chemical decomposition of photographic negatives via redox reaction, ion exchange and electron transfer. The first work, “HNO3”, presents photographic negatives enveloped in nitric acid, acetic acid, and sulphuric acid. The second work, “H2O2”, uses hydrogen peroxide, copper, silver nitrate and sodium hypochlorite.

The symbol “AgX” is chemical shorthand for the silver halides, the light-sensitive compounds that constitute the celluloid image. This is the ground of a certain historical regime of the image, its material basis and possibility of signification. But this is also the ground of personal and collective memory. The photographs in this project come from the artist’s archive of photographic materials, they record the images of friends, small details, and naïve obsessions of a former time. They are returned to us here as nostalgia, but they are also just things in the world, subject to the same physical laws as any other body, prone to disappearance as much as to remembrance. AgX shows us images transcending their image-ness as they reduce to their material form.


Constructed Worlds takes us on a journey through multiple spaces and time zones – stretching, collapsing, countering and prompting the ways we move through the world. Blurring the lines between imagination and reality, the personal and collective, the works presented in this theme poetically reimagine the intangible relationships we have with quotidian rituals and objects.



48 Hours In A New Place, 2015
4 minutes
Single channel video
Courtesy the artist

48 Hours In A New Place is a video collage that explores the sense of wonder and excitement evoked when traversing new ground. Inspired by a recent visit to New York, Wild has created a work that acts as a portal into this feeling as a broader investigation into our understanding of place. Blocky collage techniques are used to create fractured architecture and disfigured streets, reminiscent of lossy memory. The video pans through a skeletal city of smartphone photographs that appear to have been physically cut out. This carefully constructed environment looks like it could fall apart at any moment.


Regular Division, 2014
1 minute
Video loop
Edition of 5 + 1 AP
Courtesy the artist

Regular Division is a looping spiral of meticulously layered scenes built from video shot in a number of indoor gardens in Europe and Asia. The geographically disconnected locations merge to form an interwoven paradise of foliage under a canopy of gridded glass. The piece directly references histories of landscape painting via expressive paintmarks lifted from famous paintings by artist such as Vincent van Gogh and Arthur Streeton and layered over the high-resolution filmic landscape. Regular Division is part of a series of works that were shot and digitally composed on location in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This series, titled ‘Indirect Flights’, is a response to the impact of digital technologies on the representation of landscape.


Unroll, 2014
5 minutes and 28 seconds
Single channel digital video
Edition of 5
Original score / soundscape by Jamie Denning
Artereal Gallery, Sydney

Unroll explores the integrated spatial experiences of the postmodern cities of Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Gold Coast. Through exploring Gold Coast architecture, the cities of Los Angeles and Las Vegas have become of interest to me as the Gold Coast has looked to these cities for inspiration. These cities are built on the idea of change and fantasy, which is translated into the urban landscape. Simulacras, transient spaces and architectural illusions are all part of the city experience. The imitation of fake realities becomes its own reality, which is then duplicated in all three cities and in turn creates a confusing post modern spatial experience.


Floratopia I, 2013
14 minutes 14 seconds,
Single channel digital video, colour, sound, 16:9
Edition of 5
Two Rooms, Auckland

Floratopia I continues artist Gregory Bennett’s exploration of intricately constructed virtual worlds populated by multitudes of de-individualized moving figures trapped in a form of uncanny life; bodies enacting a series of seemingly endless cryptic cyclic rituals, existing in a marginal state. Time and space are also ambiguous factors here – the environment rotates past the viewer situated in a kind of metaphysical ‘no-space’ reminiscent of a video game environment.

Here the corporeal body is transformed into proliferating avatars inhabiting a range of environments where existence is either tenuous, or wholly subsumed into a synthetic ecosystem. These spaces can be read as a series of psychological landscapes, as representations of hermetic digital colonies – depictions which fluctuate between the utopian and dystopian, or as figures enacting some enigmatic ceremony.


Scherzo, 2011
8 minutes
16 mm Film/Sound on DVD
Edition of 2/5
The McLoughlin Gallery, San Francisco

My aim is to set something in motion and let it run its course. Though I often profit by placing a situation into the most suitable light. I try to avoid losing touch with reality. My personal style is simply the result of what I am doing.  Using the medium of film as a tool to instill life into the subjects, illustrates the state of mind and its movements. I understand the possibilities of this medium as the substance of the matter itself.


The Hallucination, 2014
2 minutes 40 seconds
Single channel digital video
Courtesy the artist

The Hallucination is part of a series of digital videos that utilise the background environments from my commercial productions. Like disused film sets, the scenes can be appreciated for their aesthetic qualities, the vague narratives they once served and the experience of interacting with a simulated space.

I think the success of 3D films like Avatar (20th Century Fox, 2009) and Gravity (Warner Bros., 2013) along with the advent of immersive video games highlight a desire to be transported to a virtual environment. Regardless of winning or losing, or engaging with a narrative, the interaction can exercise emotions and self-reflection which may enrich one’s reality.


Legendary Hearts – Distance & Desire, 2014
7 minutes 10 seconds
Single channel HD video
Courtesy the artist

‘Distance & Desire’ is a visual accompaniment to the audio work created by Melbourne based musicians Legendary hearts, from their 2014 release Aerial View. This visual work builds upon an ongoing examination of cultural and technological obsolescence, abstracted meaning, and simulated realities. Current objects of convenience are presented as dystopian artefacts. Objects, products and images pile upon themselves as data accumulates. The resulting blurred images are replete with interior meaning and transformed into something new and unrecongnisable. The planes on which the objects are viewed and the space between future and past becomes increasingly compressed. Our ability to define and perceive an existing reality becomes compromised. The digital image is consumed and altered as it travels through obsolete analogue processes. Frame by frame it grows new information, colours and movement emerge, and degradation becomes accumulation.


Video art seems to have the ability to freeze or stretch time; it is a medium for imagining future scenarios and for retrieving the past. On Time explores time travel, duration, memory, impermanence, deep time, micro time and historical anachronisms. Open-ended, elastic and reflexive, the works in this program ask us to reflect on universal and relative representations of time’s passing.


2.5 Kilometre Mono Action for a Mirage, 2011
3 minutes 29 seconds,
Single channel digital video
35mm, Dolby 5.1 xfer to HD
Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

“My practice is essentially post-object and post-studio in orientation. Simultaneously it often reflects on the politics, limits and freedoms of contemporary human activity at the threshold of geographical or territorial extremes. In particular, I am interested in cultures whose activity-base is sensitive – radically sensitive – to the physicality of land, air, and ocean”. – Alex Monteith 2015

2.5 Kilometre Mono Action for a Mirage
Flux, balance, illusion. A Moto-X rider pulls a continuous wheelie over 2.5 kilometres of coast-line north of Muriwai in Aotearoa New Zealand. The wheelie is one of the most delicately balanced longer durations stunts for a MX rider. The action was conceived specifically for the hazy atmospheric conditions of the Aotearoa coast and takes place on the hard sand revealed only at low tide.


Western Digital, 2013
11 minutes
Single channel digital video
Edition of 5
Courtesy the artist

I am a monk. I am a tourist. Within the street I see the stage for every human conflict and negotiation. Within this video I contrast the buddhist principles of mindfullness, meditation and removing the body from time to the act of photography, with it’s grasping for permanence, embalming a moment. The last shot of my 2012 film Jack is a solitary figure passed out in a half-finished Buddhist temple in Footscray, Australia. This film is an oblique sequel.


Yellow Peril, 2015
17 minutes 57 seconds
Single channel HD video, colour, sound
Courtesy the artist

‘Yellow Peril’ explores the impact and influence of mining and immigration on the Australian identity. An archival photograph of my parents in front of Ron Robertson-Swann’s Vault in Melbourne’s City Square (1980) is the catalyst for this work, which, as its title alludes, borrows from my personal history/cultural heritage; and ‘re-reads’ the localised historical context of ‘Vault’, to look at the past and ever-present racism/xenophobia towards the Chinese in Australia; and, the uneasy democracy of a country founded on the Eureka Rebellion and (white) miner’s rights.


Departure without Return #1, 2011
2 minutes 14 seconds
Single channel video
Edition of 5
Artereal Gallery, Sydney

In Shoufay Derz’s moving image work Depart without return silk moths crawl across a face painted in deep indigo blue. Performed by the artist herself, this event is looped and presented as an infinite present. The movement of the moths, who live their short lives blind and unable to fly, is mesmerising and hypnotic. Through the simplicity of both medium and motive, Derz creates a contemporary vanitas image – a meditation on mortality and the inevitable passage of time. For Derz, death and mortality – the ultimate unknown and universal certainty – is the one unknown most worthy of creative reflection.


SLIDE SHOW LAND Dorothy and Jack, 2013
23 minutes 16 seconds
HD Digital Video, colour, sound, 16:9
Galerie Pompom, Sydney

SLIDE SHOW LAND Dorothy and Jack is a work edited from a collection of about 600 slides dating from the early 50s until the late 70s taken by an American photographer, Dorothy Elizabeth Elsberry. Richardson purchased the slides on E-bay in 2001.  The first group of slides is of Dorothy’s dinner table settings, all taken on festive occasions such as birthdays and Christmas and always a table set for two. The second group of slides all feature Dorothy’s husband H.B. Elsberry (Jack). Jack is most often pictured in the landscape with his horse. There are only three images of Dorothy in the whole collection. A love story emerges of a relationship that is not in the fresh flush of youth, yet reveals a deeper romantic ideal; of old age spent together with the one you love. Richardson’s further research confirmed that Dorothy and Jack had no children, nor nieces or nephews, so that in ancestry terms they were the end of their line. The realisation that the artist had ‘inherited’ these slides, together with a recognition of the deep human need to be held in the memories of others, lead Richardson to re-tell the story of Dorothy and Jack in this slideshow.


HD Video
1 minute 42 seconds
Edition of 5
Courtesy the artist

STOPCYCLE is a series of 25 small scale wooden sculptures, which as an ensemble create a seamless 25 frame animated loop. The work explores changes of form, and sound using repetition through time.

The forms are descriptions of anatomical regions, as well as being formal experiments in geometry and motion.  Their shapes are infinitely cycling, beginning anew once they end.


O-bit, 2009
1 minute 29 seconds
Single channel digital video
Courtesy the artist

O-bit is an on-going video installation project that appropriates archival footage of television presenters who have made regular appearances on television over decades. It chronicles the subject’s physical ageing on-screen over time. O-bitwas conceived as a reflection upon the universality of place, time and experience engendered by the shared space of television.


Straddling the space between tragedy and comedy, erudition and intuition, success and failure, this program captures the human experience in all its complex beauty. Twisting and subverting classic manifestations of existentialism,Forbearance & Fortitude forces an inner contemplation of the self, at the same time confronting us with the banality of the everyday. Through performance, sculpture and animation, these artists probe the fragility of the human condition.


Lara Croft Domestic Goddess, 2013
2 minutes 14 seconds
Single channel digital video
Edition of 5
James Makin Gallery, Melbourne

Georgie Roxby Smith’s hacked Lara Croft Tomb Raider video game shows the familiar icon for violent femme fatale bad-assery in the throes of orgasmic housekeeping, a scene that could be read as neo-Friedan, with her “domestic goddess” subject trapped between the banally physical and the extraordinarily virtual. While the medium is insistently technological, technology extrudes into the gallery space in a much more mundane and industrial sense, with the sculptural interjection of a washing machine as plinth, which also acts as an evocation of the sidelined, disenfranchised suburban female home warrior, who’s vehicle of satisfaction (sitting astride the vibrating machinery) is ironically the same technology that might shackle her. The value judgments are unclear, the equation destabilized, as Croft joyfully irons shirts with a bow and arrow slung over her back, letting out cries that are undiscernibly battle grunts or orgiastic moans. – Jocelyn Miller, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1, NYC


Cabeza con Anteojos, 2013
2 minutes 14 seconds
Single channel digital video
Galeria AFA, Santiago

A collaboration between Chilean artist Juan Pablo Langlois and film director Nicolas Superby, Cabeza con Anteojos is from a series entitled Recetarios Papeles Sádicos (Cookbook Papers Sadists). This series explores stories relating to pedophilia, eroticism, sexuality and general fears of society.


10 x 10, 2011
15 minutes 37 seconds
Single channel HD (16:9)
Carroll / Fletcher, London

John Wood and Paul Harrison make single-channel videos, multi-screen video installations, prints, drawings, and sculptures that elegantly fuse advanced aesthetic research with existential comedy. The artists’ spare, to-the-point works feature the actions of their own bodies, a wide variety of static and moving props, or combinations of both to illustrate the triumphs and tribulations of making art and having a life. The videos maintain a strict internal logic, with the action directly related to the duration of the work. Inside this ‘logical world’ action is allowed to happen for no apparent reason, tensions build between the environment and its inhabitant, play is encouraged and the influences on the work are intentionally mixed. In their not-always- successful experiments with movement and materials, many of which critic Tom Lubbock has described as “sculptural pratfalls,” Wood and Harrison employ exuberant invention, subtle slapstick, and a touch of light-hearted melancholy to reveal the inspiration and perspiration — as well as the occasional hint of desperation — behind all creative acts.


Future Fallout, 2014
47 seconds,
Single channel HD digital video, 16:9, colour, sound
Edition of 3
Chalk Horse, Sydney

Future Fallout records a performative action undertaken as part of the Campbelltown Arts Centre TEMPORARY DEMOCRACIES project, which focuses on the underprivileged community of Airds, NSW. Made up of 70% soon-to-be-demolished council housing, Airds is a community in upheaval, plagued by a continuously uncertain future.

In Future Fallout we see Mitchell arrive at a fortune teller’s shop in the middle of a field. What ensues is classic Mitchell slapstick and like much of her work, the initial jolt of humour is followed by a cascade of densely layered and often poetic meaning; in her attempt to access the future it collapses around her. The simple action may prompt a laugh; offer a moment to contemplate the nature of time, the inaccessibility of the future, or the cruel and joyful ironies of human existence.


Whistling in the Dark, 2013
4 minutes 50 seconds
HD single channel digital video
Sullivan + Strumpf, Sydney

Emerging Queensland-based artist Liam O’Brien sees the individual’s place in the world as one of uncertainty and doubt, predominantly concerning one’s perception of their purpose in society and the potential meaninglessness of life. Commissioned by Artbank for the series Performutations curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Whistling in the Dark depicts a personified hand attempting to drag a relatively enormous sack from an idle position across an arbitrary line in a public space. O’Brien uses this absurd action to question the validity of struggle in the pursuit of self-determined goals, and how this struggle may appear meaningless from a particular perspective.


Scartato: Brooklyn, 2015
9 minutes 33 seconds
Edition of 200
Courtesy the artist

Scartato, meaning discarded in Italian, is a roaming performance where I explore a landscape collecting and slapping on rubbish to my body. The site specific process gradually transforms me into a human monument to litter.



Reflecting who we are, what we believe and how we live, moving image art can hold a powerful mirror to our individual and collective selves. Role Play explores the symbiotic relationship between the Self and the Other, and the deep-seated urge for wholeness that inhabits the divided self. Encompassing a variety of politically-charged practices that are by turns playful, poignant, bizarre, sexy and unsettling, the works in this program complicate dominant western, patriarchal and heteronormative constructions of identity.


Sometimes you make me nervous and then I know we are supposed to sit together for a long time, 2012
10 minutes
Single channel digital video
Edition of 3 + 1AP
Courtesy the artist

Sometimes you make me nervous and then I know we are supposed to sit together for a long time, was filmed on the Mexican ‘Day of the dead’, a holiday in remembrance of those who have passed away.  Dressed in white and black face paint the subject grotesquely feasts on succulent colours and textures smudging the mask to reveal a fleshy skin tone behind.This video work is a reflection on states of being, the fragility of our mortality clashing with the possibility of the afterlife.  Tawale represents herself whilst paying homage to those who have come before.As the subject she stares at the viewer without flinching allowing them to view her but on her own terms, almost belligerent in her gaze, offering a counter position to ethnographic imagery of the past, this is a self-portrait through cultural and social transferences


Untitled #1 (fish), 2011
3 minutes 29 seconds
Single channel HD video, sound, colour, 16:9
Edition of 5
Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

Drawing on my experiences of living in Norway and learning Norwegian, Untitled # 1 (fish) is a self-portrait performance video that investigates a partner’s influence on learning a language through learning how to fillet a fish. Not simply exploring the idea of being lost in translation, it examines the interpretation and appropriation of words.


The Jess Trap, 2013
8 minutes 29 seconds
Single channel digital video
Edition of 3 + 1AP
Courtesy the artist

The Jess Trap is in essence a remake of a remake (The Parent Trap, 1998, after The Parent Trap, 1961). Reenacting scenes from the 1998 version, casting herself in the role of the twins, McElhinney explores how the mirror effect can illustrate the conflictive nature between the imaginary and the real for the viewer. While her recent works have displayed an increasing interest in the mechanics of Hollywood, at their core is an interest in the viewing process, those moments when an audience is able to borrow other masks or personas. Subverting those brief moments of identification and projection she makes strange the substitution of self for a foreign self. Deceptively light and naïve, The Jess Trap promotes the interplay between reality and illusion, actuality and fiction.


Lensing: feat Luke Sands ‘Contact Lens For Kieren’, 2013
3 minutes 12 seconds
HD Video
Edition of 10
Courtesy the artist

Lensing is a response to and collaboration with Luke Sands’ work ‘Contact Lens for Kieren’ where Seymour wore contact lenses at a public event to abstract his normal appearance/vision from both his and the viewers perspective. The work shows the transaction of Sands helping Seymour try a contact lens on for the first time.


The Embrace (이상적인 포옹), 2013
5 minutes 4 seconds
Single-channel HD digital video
Colour, sound
Edition 3 of 3
Courtesy the artist

In ‘The Embrace (이상적인 포옹)’, I have animated reunification monuments from North and South Korea to play with utopian ideas of reconciliation, and the significance of ‘the embrace’ as representation of the reunification in the South Korean national narrative. The two figures from the ‘Three Charters for National Reunification’ monument embrace in joy, only to have their bliss dissipate and a new, and unexpectedly uncomfortable, era to emerge.


Clash, 2014
3 minutes 25 seconds (looped)
Digital Video
Edition 1 of 3 + 1AP
Courtesy the artist

Kerr’s artwork centres on ideas of how we as humans simultaneously form a part of, and yet perceive ourselves as standing outside of, the natural. His photographic and moving images reflect on body and landscape, victim and aggressor. Often drawing from the dark, violent and melancholic, Kerr reveals his own personal conceptions of belonging to place, and more broadly, universal concerns of our estranged relationship with the natural world.


Primitive Nostalgia, 2014
5 minutes 29 seconds
Single channel digital video
Edition of 5
Courtesy the artist

Primitive Nostalgia explores the complexities of identity and race by interrogating the constructs and representations of cultural otherness in mainstream cinema. This work consists of a montage of dance sequences from Hollywood films, performed by various ethnic troupes, respective to the style of dance and cultural framework staged. Through appropriation, Primitive Nostalgia confronts Hollywood’s colonial gaze, as one that bears a tendency to racialise and objectify people of colour under the shade of Western hegemony.


Kinaesthetic, sensory, visceral and experiential, Material Beings interrogates our perceptions of the body as they shift between anatomical and cultural forms. Using repetition, doubling, refraction and mutation, the artists in this program present slippery narratives of metamorphosis and transcendence. The moving image here is a sensory experience; light and shadow, colour and abstraction, sound and vision, time and movement working together to quicken the pulse, stir the heart and inspire the mind.


Party Body Rewind, 2015
(performance documentation)
10 minutes 42 seconds
Edition of 3
Dancers Caroline Garcia, Rachel Melky and Técha Noble.
Sound design Stereogamous
Courtesy of the artist

Party Body Rewind centres on three dancers who merge and oscillate together to create a composite body beast. This video documents a performance that occurred for Day for Night at Performance space in February 2015, an event which spanned across an opening night happening which was followed by two days of durational works.

In the liminal hour between dreaming and waking state this cat like creature shifts from a mediative morphing to a more activated dance sequence. The beast attempts an intersubjective relationship with its audience as it speaks Ciara’s lyrics my body is your party. This dance work continues Noble’s perceptual experiments that play with animating the body through sound and extending the form of the figure to more mythical proportions.


Sortie, 2009
4 minutes 42 seconds,
Single channel HD video, sound, colour, 16:9
Edition of 7
Brenda May Gallery, Sydney

Multidisciplinary in approach, my practice explores aspects of contemporary culture and its relationship to foodstuffs, as well as humanity’s relationship to nature and the impact of scientific interventions on the natural world. Ephemeral matter is the medium for manipulation and experimentation, recontextualised to invite the viewer into a state of reflection on the natural, or not so natural, world.

The video work ‘Sortie’ (2009) attempts to shift the vision of one of the most luscious and symbolic of all fruits – the strawberry, into a site of torment and darkness. Continuing with an ongoing interest of recontexualising the everyday, the strawberry becomes a visceral subject. Human themes of loss, transitoriness, renewal and degeneration are evoked through the common strawberry. Each seed is plucked out using surgical tweezers until the strawberry no longer resembles something delicious and nurturing, but rather becomes a bloodied object, a site of grotesqueness and morbidity.

The surgical tweezers featured in this work allude to the impact of science on nature. The darkened backdrop references Vanitas paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as Adrian Coorte’s ‘Still life with strawberries’ (1705). Claire Anna Watson (2010)


Electric Dream Machine, 2014
8 minutes
Single channel video, stereo binaural sound
Courtesy the artist

Electric Dream Machine is a contemporary, digital update to Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville’s analog 1961 Dreamachine – a perforated cylinder that produces a strobe effect as it revolves on a turntable. The original work was inspired by new discoveries in neuroscience, and the belief that viewing these patterns of light generates neural oscillations that can heighten consciousness and creativity.

Electric Dream Machine explores ways the mind can be physically transformed by external stimuli, without altering its chemistry. It is designed to induce a meditative or hallucinatory state in the viewer’s brain through the use of specific alpha wave stimulating frequencies of sound and light.


Bird Matrix, 2015
2 minutes 29 seconds
Digital video
Music by Darren Cunningham (Actress)
Courtesy the artist

Natural and constructed landscapes are reconfigured using digital processes which reinforces the synchronicity between the contemporary creation of music and video. Sounds and visuals are manufactured, found, re-filmed, blurred, slowed-down, sped-up, spliced and reconstructed. They describe experiences of immersion, visual sensation and movement in landscape and in music; sunlight flickering through trees at speed and strobe-lights in a dark room.


A Face Like Yours, 2015
9 minutes and 9 seconds
Video and Foam
Photo Courtesy Line: Christie Stott
Filmed by Christie Stott
Created with the assistance of Arts Victoria MCM/VCA Professional Partnerships in association with Chamber Made Opera
Courtesy the artist

A Face Like Yours invites the audience to take part in a sonic exploration of their own face; the experience ‘amplified’ by inserting foam earplugs into their ears.  Following the visual instructions from the performer on screen the audience are led through a series of actions to create a soundscape that only they can hear.



Serena Bentley is a New Zealand-born, Melbourne based curator and art writer.  She is currently Assistant Curator at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).  Prior to this, she was Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, at the National Gallery of Victoria. Serena has worked as Artistic Program Manager at artist development organisation Next Wave and in commercial galleries including: Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Starkwhite, Auckland, as well as a Curatorial Assistant at Auckland Art Gallery. She was the recipient of a travel grant from the Ian Potter Foundation in 2014, curatorial resident at Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2012 and an alumnus of Gertrude Contemporary’s Emerging Writers Program.