The following provides audio, video, text and still image documentation of thirteen projects produced by Damian Castaldi and Solange Kershaw in recent and previous years in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, Paris, Barcelona, New York and Liverpool.
etcetera is an audio-visual display permanently installed at Villa Alba on the 4th of April 2014. The work lifts a corner on the memory of the Villa Alba using text, sound design and video to create a space of things remembered, not by us, but by the walls and rooms. As we enter the installation we watch and listen as the lavish contents of the house pass through the curtains, their descriptions floating on a dark surface, illuminated by the window beyond. Using the 1897 Auction catalogue as its narrative this work focuses on the house’s lavish “aesthetic and artistic” furnishings, described in the catalogue’s introduction as “Superb and costly high-art furniture of the most beautiful description…”. The house today seems filled with mystery, and some of this is slowly being unraveled as more and more of the interiors are revealed. This is what is most compelling, the slow, fastidious process of history being discovered and retold.
Produced by: Solange Kershaw & Damian Castaldi
Medium: Processing Language, Video projection & Sound installation
Acknowledgement for the sketch kinetic type by Zach Lieberman
Special thanks to Sarah Parker, Amanda Ryan and Villa Alba Museum for their support.
Video documentation of the first ‘etcetera’ installation for the 2012 Reverie exhibition at Villa Alba, curated by Sarah Parker.
Low resolution fifteen minute video.
The fifteen minute soundtrack.
Tambourine Bay is programmed for exhibition at the Balance-Unbalance International Conference 2013 in Noosa, Australia. It has been placed in the ‘Earth to Earth’ sound venue. The conference runs from the 31st of March to the 2nd of June 2013.
More info at – http://www.balance-unbalance2013.org/
Tambourine Bay is a single channel video installation and a 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.
The audio visual is in three parts and has been processed to alter its duration, hue and perspective, situating the viewer inside an apartment room looking out over Tambourine Bay. The first two parts of the video are saturated in a red and orange hue, intended to illustrate and heighten the unusual weather patterns we currently experience and a dramatic indication of the deterioration of our environment. As such the work is intended to provoke a disturbing reaction of potential dread at the ongoing shift in our local weather patterns and what this might indicate in terms of broader climate change.
Throughout the video the viewer witnesses the systematic pounding of the Tambourine Bay Reserve, situated on the Lane Cove river as it is severely struck by thunder and lightning. It then transitions from late evening into an overcast midday with a forecast of further showers, storms and bush fires. The final scene is late afternoon interspersed with sunshine and heavy cloud cover and again with further predictions of wild and dangerous weather.
Industrial, ambient and minimalist sound and video blend together to create this disturbing atmosphere. The emphasis in the sound design is on the movement and relationship between location and synthesized sound manipulated through signal processing and synthesis. The location recording (thunder, lightning and birds) / intense bursts of synth pipes / manipulation of frequencies using EQ and sound relationships created by dynamic mixing are the main components. The video soundtrack is also composed as a backing track for a future live performance of the work.
Spiraling processed text fuels the narrative of the video installation. Using the daily weather broadcasts transcribed from ABC news radio throughout January 2012 the narrative builds and repeats itself in an upward movement passing in front of the window frames from which the video was shot. The text is both readable and sometimes not, providing snippets of news, which can be distinguished at random throughout.
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
The Memory Pendulums
The Memory Pendulums is a collaborative work by Damian and Solange and was installed as part of the MEMORY FLOWS group exhibition at the Armory Gallery, Newington Armory, Sydney Olympic Park. It 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
cycling planetary urges
the shiver of ancient degrees
death moves in circles
drinks at the ground
in the flow’s shadow
in our mud memory
Play 44 is a touch sensitive sound and photomedia installation at Villa Alba Museum in Melbourne exhibited as part of Reverie exhibition curated by Sarah Parker. In the following video a visitor plays the sensor interface installed in front of the window from where the image was taken. Produced by Damian Castaldi and Solange Kershaw.
Play 44 by sodacake.
A touch sensitive photomedia sound installation
Play 44 transforms a digital image of the windows in the front room at the Villa Alba museum in Melbourne and combines the visual with sensor technology to create a touch sensitive musical instrument. We are using the audio application Logic Pro’s Sculpture and a combination of Touch, Turn and ReachClose sensors with an I-CubeX microdig digitiser to generate the sound. Six Touch sensors trigger a short scale for any one of six different instruments. As you move your hand to or away from The 7th ReachClose sensor it alters the pitch of the notes being played on the six touch sensors. The 8th Turn sensor changes the overall instrument being played by simply turning the dial.
This exhibition is listed in Art Monthly Australia (Issue 225) November 2009. View the listing on page 76 here
Conversations (at and about Government House) with Professor Marie Bashir, Phillip Adams, Professor Peter Castaldi and Penelope Little.
NEW IDEAS: New Ways of Interpretation to Develop Access.
For the NEW IDEAS exhibition at Government House Damian Castaldi and Solange Kershaw installed a touch and movement sensitive audiovisual display. The digital image installed in the ballroom engaged a sensor interface controlled through the application Max/MSP.
The physical connection between the artwork’s sensor interface and the visitor made it possible for anyone looking at the artwork to navigate through a series of thematic sound portraits developed for the work.
The image hung in front of the central east facing windows at Government House (from which it was taken) where the changing light filtered through its opaque surface altering the luminosity of the image throughout the day.
Themes the artists explored included:
• The Governors Role in Australian Government
• The Social significance of Government House
• Social History of OA’s and OAM’s at Government House.
These were highlighted through individual conversations with:
1) Professor Marie Bashir as she reflected on her many years in the role of Governor of NSW;
2) Broadcaster Phillip Adams as he mused over the history and significance of Government houses;
3) The artist’s father Professor Peter Castaldi as he reflected on his AO, life and career;
Play 109 the second in a series of interactive sound installations sodacake are producing under this theme. Each one transforms a different location (shopfront, historic house, gallery, public mall etc …) into a type of interactive sound sculpture / 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 (with the word ‘Play’) for the title of the work, (as in Play 109 Hunter St Newcastle and Play 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 an underlying influence to the ‘Play’ installations.
Play 109 is produced in collaboration with Damian Castaldi, Solange Kershaw, 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.
sodacake convert the downstairs gallery at Loop Space into a walk-through, floor to ceiling, 12 channel stringed instrument, which can be plucked, bowed or simply touched to play any one of 4 soft synth instruments and/or sampled audio from the Hunter St mall. Their work uses the Infusion Systems I-CubeX microDig sensor interface and 12 mercury sensors to trigger sound & music from the application Logic Pro’s Sculpture plugin. The program physically models the components of acoustic instruments then feeds them through a chain of adjustments, modulation, keyboard scaling and morphing. A live audio feed from the Hunter St mall is sampled and processed using the EXS-24 software sampler.
Neil Jenkins is an artist/programmer (see: http://www.devoid.co.uk/). Neil’s work uses slit camera techniques to transform a live video feed of the Hunter St mall, visitors are ‘scanned’ as they move in and out of frame creating a continuous temporal visualisation of the space mapped over time. The live video feed is projected above the 12 channel stringed instrument and illuminates the space. s
Amerg Collective, are a Newcastle and Sydney based artists collective that specialize in interior and exterior artwork production. All having deep roots in the aerosol art community both locally and internationally, and over ten years experience in the street art and graffitti movement. They have worked with sodacake to create a visual backdrop to the sound installation in both the front window and internal wall space of the gallery.