Tambourine Bay

The 3rd Balance-Unbalance International Conference is coming up next Friday the 31st of May to Sunday the 2nd of June. Information on their website includes the following description, “Balance-Unbalance is an International Conference designed to use art as a catalyst to explore intersections between nature, science, technology and society as we move into an era of both unprecedented ecological threats and transdisciplinary possibilities. The previous events held in Argentina in 2010 and Montreal in 2011 provided a powerful platform for reflection, debate, and ideas leading towards Balance-Unbalance 2013, hosted in the UNESCO Noosa Biosphere Reserve on the Sunshine Coast of Australia.”

More info at – http://www.balance-unbalance2013.org/

I’m giving a talk and exhibiting this video at the conference. The work has been placed in the ‘Ear to Earth’ sound venue at the Central Queensland University, Noosa.

Low res video

Tambourine Bay is a single channel video installation and an audio visual work for performance. It can be seen and heard as a window into the wild weather experienced in an inner city suburb of Sydney from the 10th to the 26th of January 2012 and represents a transition or dramatic shift in the climate over a 16 day period. Additional audio and text combine with this to reflect on more severe weather patterns across the east and west coast of Australia leading up to the Australia day long weekend.  Read more …

Produced by:  Damian Castaldi
Medium: Processing Language, Single channel Video & Sound installation
Acknowledgement for the sketch kinetic type by Zach Lieberman and code adaptation by Solange Kershaw
Drum & cymbal recording engineered by Ganesh Singaram

On Message (a work in progress)

On Message is a data visualisation work (currently in progress) that looks at political language in Australia.  It has an audio component, and is animated: as the speech is being played / heard, words move around the screen, coming forward and therefore growing bigger as their frequency throughout the speech increases.

The illustrations here are snapshots of the Clean Energy Bill 2011 Second Reading speeches by Abbott (above) and Gillard (below) respectively. More to come as this works develops!

Travel if You Can

Electrofringe 2011 – a performance with projected animation, audio & video interviews, live acoustic and electronic music and sound design.

TiYC is a satirical look at Australia’s international role as a migration nation. The performance animation looks back at the history of the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Risk Factor List or RFL, first implemented in June 1991 through to it’s latest update in June 2008. In this context the performance presented three stories told by individuals who have migrated to Australia from Bosnia, Afghanistan and the East Congo democratic republic and the conditions under which they did so. The animation and stories were interspersed with acoustic and electronic musical performance, providing a live soundtrack to the on screen narrative.

Performance dates: 6pm, Friday 30th September & 7pm Saturday 1st October
Venue: Black Box Theatre, Newcastle Community Arts Centre, 246 Parry Street, Newcastle. Contact: ncac@ncac.org.au for more information, or call on (02) 4961 1696

TiYC animation introduction

Video of the Electrofringe festival 2011 performance media projected on stage at the Black Box Theatre, Newcastle Community Arts Centre. The videos include an introduction and a 2 part interview with Merima Pavlovic.
Performance Credits: Interviewees: Merima Pavlovic, Kwabo Batende & anonymous Afghani refugee. Vocals, percussions, sensor interface: Damian Castaldi. Guitars, electronics & sound design: Graeme Rhodes. Theme music: Co-written by Solange Kershaw (sodacake). Sound Engineer: Solange Kershaw. Rap vocal: 6 Pound

The full Electrofringe 2011 Program is online at: http://electrofringe.net/2011/program/

Wild Weather

A prototype for the installation of a networked public sound sculpture planned for the NSW, Newcastle CBD in mid to late 2012. The project is supported by the Newcastle City Centre Committee who, along with the organisation LiveSites, are seeking to install a range of projects over the coming year and are actively exploring strategies for interactive and innovative art projects in the public domain.

The Memory Pendulums

The Memory Pendulums was installed in May 2010 as part of the MEMORY FLOWS group exhibition at the Armory Gallery, Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park and is a project of the Centre for Media Arts Innovation, UTS. With special thanks to the Curators  Sophia Kouyoumdjian, Norie Neumark and Deborah Turnbull.

A motion sensitive sound Installation affected by contact and gravity, the Memory Pendulums modulate the spoken measure of a poem, written for the artwork by the Australian poet Jill Jones. Her words flow randomly in time with the playful swinging back and forth of three diamond shaped acrylic water pendulums. Each one filled to a different capacity with a toxic blue liquid, triggering a different memory, dripping into (and polluting) the muddy waters of the Parramatta River …..

Exhibition Dates / Every weekend from 15 May 2010 to 20 June 2010

Memory is referenced in two ways within the work. Through the use of 3 liquid filled pendulums which, like controlling the mechanism of a clock, control the listening of a poem over time. If the pendulums swing uninterrupted for approximately 90 seconds the listener will hear the entire poem, which in three parts takes all three pendulums to swing. The listener’s memory must be engaged in the experience or appreciation of the poem as it is more than likely with all three pendulums swinging the three parts will be heard simultaneously. Memory is also referenced literally throughout the poem, particularly the third part titled “River as memory”.

River as memory, by Jill Jones

where waters come from
clean as that mysterious rain
you never see
a source in the rock
from sea

cycling planetary urges
the shiver of ancient degrees

death moves in circles
drinks at the ground
great birds
in the flow’s shadow

making channels
and ridges
in our mud memory


Play 109 @ Loop Space

Play 109 is an interactive sound, video and graffiti installation by Damian Castaldi & Solange Kershaw  in collaboration with the artist/programmer Neil Jenkins and Jake Lewis of the Amerg Collective.


Watch a video of the opening night as part of the Renew Newcastle first Friday of the month events in the Newcastle mall on the 4th of December 2009.

Play 109 the second in a series of interactive sound installations sodacake are installing in 2009/2010. The first, Play 44 was installed in Melbourne in October 2009 at the historic house, Villa Alba in Kew. Each installation transforms a different location (shopfront, historic house, gallery, mall etc …) into a musical instrument, which people can then engage with and play. The instrument changes uniquely in relation to the location and its surroundings and takes the number of the street address for the title of the work, (as in 109 Hunter St Newcastle and 44 Walmer St Kew).

An underlying influence in this series of sound installations comes from the late 1940’s and 1950’s movement known as Musique Concrète, in that its pioneer Pierre Schaeffer, “emphasized the importance of play (in his terms, jeu) in the creation of music. Schaeffer’s idea of jeu comes from the French verb jouer, which carries the same double meaning as the English verb play: ‘to enjoy oneself by interacting with one’s surroundings’, as well as ‘to operate a musical instrument’.” This notion is the core of Musique Concrète and the underlying influence to Play 109.

Coal Country

c o a l – w i n e – f i s h – s a l t – w a t e r – s m o k e
Coal Country, Newcastle East

The six land and seascapes are distorted (stretched or warped) and show an interpretation of their satellite view. Within each, web like black broken lines twist into themselves like a fracture in their earth’s structure. The cloudy skies above alter in hue from an aqua blue haze to violet and lime. Their discoloration is the pollution of our atmosphere(s).

The viewer flies over and listens to six locations from the peninsula at Newcastle East, the vineyards at Wollombi, the inlet at the Hawkesbury River, the bay at Pretty Beach, the beach at Avalon and finally King street in Newtown where the work was originally conceived in 2008.

Mounted below each panel are clear acrylic housings. Each of these contains a substance that is either produced by or of the location below and although each substance was gathered from that location it is not exclusive to it. The first five (coal to water) are the resources, fuel, food and drink we either depend on or consume and the last (smoke) is a bi-product of this consumption and a consequence of both land and sea travel. That we are so dependent on these resources and fuels and consume them to the extent we do is a part of life. Consumption is not the problem; it is the bi-product of our consumer society, human induced climate change that is the focus of this work.

solange kershaw & damian castaldi