Notes Towards a Live Machinima

Steve Law with Border Song installation
Steve Law with Border Song

Notes towards the Border Song exhibition held at RMIT University, June 2008, by John Power and Andrew Garton.

Andrew and I have worked together – and with others – in a range of collaborations since 1998. The first collaboration was called Auslander (Foreigner), an online opera written by Andrew. It is worth mentioning here because the theme of statelessness is one that has stayed with us and which informs the work you hear and see in this exhibition.

Most of these collaborations have been towards live audio visual performance, where Andrew makes sound and I make video; the results of this making often sparks other ideas and so it has proceeded. There was an improvisational element from the beginning and this continues. We were curious, excited and sceptical in equal parts at whether or not the sounds and images formed a meaningful relation in live AV performance. The more we improvise together, the more confident we feel that we can leave any conclusions up to you.

This work here is not improvised, but the sound and image are on asynchronous loops, so you may invent Audio Visual events as you look and listen, as they will not repeat.

Andrew got to work with Steve Law in 2004 on some songs; John created video elements to each of these songs. We read Olaf Stapleton’s Star Maker. We performed the images and sounds live around Melbourne and Andrew called it Son of Science. Others joined us. The sound and images have kept evolving and this exhibition takes you through the current state of the collaborative space. What you see and hear in this exhibition are audio visual notes toward a future linear Machinima and live Son of Science performance that will echo inside each other. As happens in much collaboration, conversations and responses are more around themes than plots; more around sound and image than platforms (although we do find our computers very handy).

Stapleton’s 1937 Star Maker was a protest against the rise of Fascism, albeit wrapped inside an epic science fiction where the futuristic characters become preoccupied with building artificial worlds.

This work is a response to the theme of Statelessness.

John Power
May 2008

The real-time space was authored, and is running in, Epic Games’ Unreal Tournament 2004 Engine.

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