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Defying Empire opened at the NGA in Canberra a few nights ago. We made the trip down and had a great night . I helped Judy Watson on three pieces – two videos I’ve mentioned before below (the names of places and the keepers) as well as a GIS based webmap. There was a bit of tweaking needed for the webmap piece – it uses a touch screen and generally speaking artworks are “hands off”to security staff so there was a bit of education needed. Which was not at all a hassle, the guards were excellent and helpful. The public also needed a bit of guidance for the same reason, they were reluctant to approach the piece. Our fault really for not making sure the work had a big label “TOUCHSCREEN” – it does now. 🙂

Here is my review of an all Chris Dench concert from Kupka’s Piano. Dench was there and clearly thrilled with both the performances and the very happy audience.  I know Dench’s work is difficult to perform but it is easy to listen to – although I do think much better in the concert hall than via recording. As usual.

Anyway’s here is the link to my review in Realtime

“……Sometimes reviewing a concert can be a drag—maybe the work is just not that interesting, or the performances not that good and it is hard to think of anything to say. But sometimes reviewing is difficult because the concert is such a pleasure that I really don’t want to be listening-to-write, I just want to sit back and enjoy the unfolding moment. This was that sort of concert.”



the keepers, another Judy Watson video for which I worked on the sound (alongside film maker Alex Barnes  ). Used lots of extraction of specific sounds buried deep in the wild sound, Izotope’s RX5 noise reduction came in pretty handy here.

This is currently on at Life inside an Image  in Melbourne  which “considers the museum as an image-capturing technology, bound by its history and architecture but also subject to shifting cultural frameworks. This exhibition presents a selection of recent moving-image works by contemporary Australian and international artists who have worked with collections to disrupt old, and unearth new, narratives – including the work of Judy Watson.”

A small excerpt of the sound is found here, covering the entrance to the British museum, going down the lift to the archives, then looking through various archival photographs of Aboriginal Australians taken way back in the earliest days of the British invasion. Lots of layering and extracting tiny fragments of sound from the camera mic to build something that is both evocative and seemingly natural.

“Remember the whole intergenerational thing started in the 60s with the “generation gap” which was used by marketeers to exploit young people by flattering them that their parents knew nothing, that conditions were so utterly different now that their elders had no useful information to convey. Useful information could only come through the mass media and only young people had the new knowledge. And all of that flattery was used to manipulate and train up a huge army of consumers. Similarly now – all of the terms like millennials or boomers or gen-X are junk marketing terms that are of almost no use whatsoever in trying to understand the underlying mechanisms of social organisation. Instead they are terms that are designed to sustain and increase the current system of inequalities by pitting young against old and discounting the value of experience compared to the propaganda of the mass media. Don’t get sucked in.”

who would have thought a yearning for supportive community drives the desire for a zombie apocalypse?

Judy Watson’s the names of places winds up today, Oct 29

my role was as sound designer and image editor and a very enjoyable role that was. An excerpt of the sound is found here

Green Screen: Judy Watson

15 October 2016 – 12:00AM-11:59PM

Event Type: Film screening


To inaugurate the IMA’s Green Screen project, which focuses on moving image works with a connection to Queensland, Judy Watson‘s film the names of places critically interrogates the history of this state and beyond. The film presents a research-based mapping of Aboriginal massacre sites from across Australia.

An important facet of this project is an invitation from Watson to the Australian public, including visitors to this exhibition, to contribute any knowledge of such massacres to be incorporated into a database and website, which will be part of this project’s evolution. With this active approach, Watson brings forth documented and unrecorded histories, and places them at the forefront of our consciousness. If you wish to contact the artist with any information, please speak with IMA staff at the front desk, or email

Watson has been assisted by numerous people in the realisation of this project including: Freja Carmichael & Jonathon Richards (research assistance), Greg Hooper (sound composition, image editing), Jarrard Lee(compositing, video editing), and to all the people who contributed to the names of places.

Judy Watson is a Brisbane-based Waanyi artist who works across a range of mediums to explore familial, historical, political and environmental aspects of Australian Indigenous heritage and experience.

This is an ongoing project, and continues with the names of places website launching in May 2017, with assistance from Freja Carmichael & Jonathon Richards (research assistance), Greg Hooper (technical assistant), Angus Hooper (website, geographic information systems).