Between Attraction & Monstration

Collaboration with Laura Hindmarsh, Sound to Light – Crossing Borders, DARK MOFO 2013

“I can’t escape the feeling that the you who lives here is an image, and what moves in the film is your true substance. If I may stretch the point, could it be that the entire universe and all the phenomena of this world are like film, from moment to moment everything continues to change, yet the past remains spooled up somewhere? And so we here are but images, soon to vanish without a trace, while our true substance lives properly within the film of the universe?” – Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Nikkai (trans. A Lump of Flesh) 1923

Referencing the techniques of early animation and pre-cinema optical devices this work explores the presence and otherness of the shadow. Here Sheridan, composer, sound and installation artist and Hindmarsh a visual artist working in video projection and performance merge their interests ranging from experimental music, philosophy surrounding memory and perception to the luminous darkness of Japanese theatre, cinema and aesthetics.

The work combines modern technology and software such as pure data with the mechanism of a 17th century magic lantern; an optical projection produced via a box, mirrored light source, an aperture and a convex lens. These early projections made not only images seen but seen through, an odd synthesising of Cartesian mechanism (eye, mirror, lens) with supernatural spectator experience (phantasmagoria).

This sound and light installation is an echo of a performance, initiated by the viewer who within the work has the opportunity to experience multiple senses of time. Similar to these initial encounters with the projected image here the artists aim to structure a sensory experience addressing the relation between time and space, spirit and matter, transcendence and immanence, attraction and monstration.*

*Tom Gunning and Andre Gaudreault, notion of attraction and monstration suggest a different paradigm for imagining space/time relations in film.

text by Laura Hindmarsh