A 3.5 year practice-based research period to study lens-based performance on video sharing networks, gesture and interface online and the influence of algorithmic cultures on the social body.
The support offered by a Design and Creative Practice ECP scholarship for the duration of the study will greatly support my practical outcomes, including new performance work, large-scale film making projects and exhibitions.
My research blog camerashy.video is now online and serves as a public platform for outcomes related to the PhD.
DERC focuses on understanding a contemporary world where digital and mobile technologies are increasingly inextricable from the environments and relationships in which everyday life plays out.
DERC excels in both academic scholarship and in our applied work with external partners from industry and other sectors.
DERC approaches this world and how we experience it through innovative, reflexive and ethical ethnographic approaches, developed through anthropology, media and cultural studies, design, arts and documentary practice and games research.
Our research is incisive, interventional and internationally leading. Going beyond the call of pure academia we combine academic scholarship with applied practice to produce research, analysis and dissemination projects that are innovative and based on ethnographic insights.
DERC partners and collaborates with a range of institutions in Australia and globally, including other universities, companies and other organisations. This includes collaborative research projects, conferences, symposia and workshops, and international visits, fellowships and publications.
The Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) was established in December 2012 by Larissa Hjorth and Heather Horst with the aim of consolidating and further developing RMIT’s strength in international digital innovation. The Centre is now Directed by Sarah Pink who will be taking it into its second stage of development from 2016.
DERC members are aligned into Labs to represent their research interests, DERC Labs include:
Data Ethnographies Lab
Design+Ethnography+Futures (D+E+F) Lab
Bio Inspired Digital Sensing-Lab (BIDS-Lab)
Digital Transformations Lab
Migration and Digital Media Lab
Speaking of gestures, Emile Zile performed a live reading with a video component on the closing night of Another Space at Testing Grounds. This performance featured the artist standing up and reading from a laptop as he projected his image with enlarged eyes on the wall behind him. Like a Skype video conference, the audience could see Zile’s alien reflection in conversation with an overbearingly utopian background that resembled a Mac desktop stock image. His reading was ironically aligned with a post-4k rhetoric, seemingly welcoming us to a future that already seems dated. As Emile Zile’s performance unraveled, flashbacks of Zile’s past works came to mind: particularly the logo miming in Five Production Company Logos in 3d (2010), where he pantomimed a succession of hyperbolic logos, and his equally idiosyncratic performance OMG_sisyphus (2011-13) – in which he treated a heavy stone like his laptop in a ritual of futile dis-connectivity. The artist’s hands now seemed forced to stay still, carrying the weight of an actual laptop that kept him from gesticulating his words. Suddenly, Emile Zile’s proclamations made me aware of my sore back, strained computer vision and the IRL social anxiety that comes after my ‘sassy’ tweets. Indeed, the bodily effects of banal technologies, like the snapchat filter on Zile’s face, became manifest.
Within the framework of the exhibition “Liquid Cooled: new works by Emile Zile”, LIMA organises a public screening and discussion night. The artist Emile Zile and art historian and critic Sven Lütticken will talk about Zile’s work within the context of the LIMA Collection – ranging from early gems from the seventies (Douglas Davis, Dan Graham) to Zile’s current body of work. Performance on television, social media and the performativity of the mass media will be recurrent themes.
This programme is part of the exhibition Liquid Cooled: new works by Emile Zile
LIMA is proud to present its first exhibition of new works by the Australian artist Emile Zile. Liquid Cooled will present prints, video works and a performance by the artist who currently has a residency at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten.
Image credit: Ikea Roof Terrace detail, Joe Hamilton 2014
Experimenta Social is a series of talks, discussions and demos to provide proximity to some of Australia’s most adventurous contemporary artists, researchers and creative technologists.
This artist led series is curated and hosted by Emile Zile in collaboration with Experimenta and explores practices at the nexus of Art and technology, science, culture and design. You will hear from artists sharing their latest projects and researchers presenting projects that grapple with the concerns of our time. Beyond inconsequential debates over the role of Media Arts in a post-media world, Experimenta Social will combine activated audiences drawn from contemporary art, social research, electronic art and non-professional spheres for lively debate and discussion.
Experimenta Social will take place every second Wednesday from mid-August 2016:
17th and 31st August, 14th and 28th September, 12th and 26th October
ACMI X Studio, Level 4, 2 Kavanagh Street, Southbank, VIC 3006.
For the last Experimenta Social in this series we invite Philip Brophy and Eugenia Lim to reflect on Australian identity, place and belonging. Using pop cultural forms as a lens to view Australian society, both Eugenia and Philip uncover latent meanings and interpretations through their video works, writing and installation. Expanding on his AFTRS Classics of Australian Cinema book that uses Priscilla Queen of the Desert as a map of Australian identity, Philip Brophy will deliver an expanded illustrated version of this book.
Philip Brophy After a series of experimental mixed-media works exhibited in art and non-art contexts over many years, Philip Brophy has consolidated his interests to produce a range of audiovisual works focussing on his key interests in pop, sex and music. Brophy continues to lecture and present on film sound and music internationally, specializing in horror, sex & exploitation, film sound & music and Japanese animation. He is widely published in all three areas, and his book 100 MODERN SOUNDTRACKS has been translated and published in Japan. http://www.philipbrophy.com/
Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society: alienation and belonging in a globalised world. http://www.eugenialim.com/
Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill deal with words, words as objects, words as recombinative forms. The internet and the street have conflicting voices, a sense of lawlessness, a place for infinite recombination and juxtaposition. Both these artists reflect the autonomous zones of the club, the artist-run initiative and the street in their writings, performances and installations. We are proud to invite Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill to reflect on the impact of writing over networks, language as power, the power of networked speech at Experimenta Social 5.
Holly Childs is a writer and editor. Her work explores the use of digital networks in contemporary culture. Recent presentations of her work include: as art writer within Adam Linder’s choreographic service Some Proximity at MCA, Biennale of Sydney (2016); Danklands [Swamped in 3 voices] for Capitalist Surrealism curated by Liquid Architecture at NGV, Melbourne (2015) and as curator of both Quake II, Arcadia Missa, London (2014) and waterfalls.biz at Slopes, Melbourne (2014). She is the author of two books: Danklands, published by Arcadia Missa and No Limit, published by Hologram, Melbourne. She was an Associate Producer at Next Wave 2015-16, and founding editor of Next Wave’s online publication Worm Hole. In 2016-18 she is a Gertrude Contemporary studio holder. http://www.hollychilds.com/
Christopher LG Hill __________laces on shoes then some words biodegradable people of such in places hard ruptures some other words including Christopher L G Hill an artist untitled poet unknown everythings anarchist Y3K ignorant teacher porpoise torture bunyip trax collaborator friend facilitator curator lover anti
power dexta daps falling words scrolling noise wall gardener monochrome co-label boss walking sips a homebody mirriad dancer plate and platter considerate participator dishwasher wind and sounds from the currawong graffiti bencher fine food
eater exhibitions tweeter @clghill moorhenrafft fog fatiguée dj cognitive labour/gunic slack conversation comas or spittle independent representing our self and others born melbourne 1980c.e lives World new tab and window shopper expel binary
dialog dispersed library open doors http://www.christopherlghill.com/
In the fourth Experimenta Social session we dive into working with community in the creation of artwork. What is the potential of working with non-artists in large-scale community work? Where are the fault lines between stakeholders, funding organisations, venues and audiences? Are distinctions between expert, artist and non-artist valid? What are the ethics of participation in the realm of the non-expert? How are new approaches to social practice being defined by leading practitioners in the field? We are proud to present the work of two independent Australian artists who also have elaborate and sustained engagement with the non-artist, James Hullick and Lara Thoms.
Lara Thoms recently received a two year Creative Australia Fellowship to explore site-specific and participatory possibilities in contemporary art. Lara was commissioned to create a large scale public work Ultimate Vision: Monuments to Us as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s C3WEST program, a publication of the same title was released by the MCA in 2014. Other works include ‘Exposition’ for the Melbourne Art Fair with Jason Maling, ‘The Experts Project’, (2011- 2013) where she spoke with 150 ‘unofficial experts’ as part of Local Positioning Systems at the MCA, and the ‘Funeral Party’ (2016), working with a funeral director to create an art event for Dark Mofo. http://projectswithpeople.tumblr.com/
James Hullick is a composer, community arts worker, sound artist and producer. His projects have been presented internationally for a variety of ensembles and electronic formats. Innovative sonic terrains that James continues to work through include: recursive compositional techniques, perceptual music making, real time scores, sound making machines and community arts projects. In 2011 James founded The Click Clack Project, an organisation that combines community sonic artists with professional sonic artists. James recently completed a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship (2015) and received the Michael Kieran Harvey Piano Scholarship (2015-16). http://www.hullickmedia.com/
The acceleration of networked communication has led to a proliferation of platforms for distribution and dissemination of knowledge. How do the disruptive efficiencies of digital distribution play against hundreds of years of copyright legislation that has known authorship and publishing in a very narrow channel? Where do the cracks in appear when a digital platform leverages it’s speed and efficiency against the monoliths of cultural gate-keeping? We are very happy to host Sean Dockray in the upcoming Experiementa Social to present alternative platforms for knowledge dissemination including aaaarg.org and The Public School.
Sean Dockray is a Melbourne-based artist, a founding director of the Los Angeles non-profit Telic Arts Exchange, and initiator of autonomous knowledge-sharing platforms The Public School and aaaarg.org. With a focus on social systems, time, and impermanence, Dockray’s practice often emphasizes an active, critical engagement with technology. As a recent research fellow the Post-Media Lab at Leuphana University, he explored the physical infrastructure of the sharing economy, focusing on Facebook’s new northern European datacenter. His written essays address topics such as online education (Frieze), the militarization of universities (in Contestations: Learning from Critical Experiments in Education), property within “the cloud” (in Undoing Property), book scanning (Fillip), traffic control (Cabinet), and radio (Volume). Between a BSE in Civil Engineering and Architecture from Princeton University and an MFA from UCLA (Design|Media Arts), Dockray worked for Plumb Design in New York and consulted for a variety of cultural producers including Laura Kurgan Architecture, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Not a Cornfield public artwork, and the Milosevic trial video archive. http://thepublicschool.org/user/2
Uniting dramatic energy and new media technologies is not a new challenge. Artists have consistently explored the overlap of technology and drama. From Italian Futurists privileging the new sounds of 1910s new media, namely the car and the machine gun, to 1960s developments around democratised broadcast technologies and the opening of video art to the body as exemplified by Nam-June Paik and Charles Atlas. Working at the intersections of performance, installation and new technology Martyn Coutts and Matthew Sleeth will unpack their elaborate individual practices and delve into what rehearsal decisions make technology invisible, how do technical advances drive creative decision making and what is the potential for media art on stage.
Matthew Sleeth is an Australian artist living and working between Melbourne and New York City. His conceptually driven practice uses a range of media, including sculpture, photography, video and public installation. In 2015 Sleeth directed A Drone Opera which featured unmanned aerial vehicles in an experimental multimedia performance featuring
drones, their pilots and opera singers, combined with a new sound score, laser light design and moving image. A Drone Opera also featured collaborators Kate Richards, Robin Fox, Phil Samartzis, Susan Frykberg. http://sleeth.info/
Martyn Coutts is an Australian interdisciplinary artist concerned with ideas of the live, the interactive and the mediated body. His work has been shown in theatres, online, public space and galleries throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. His works include Operation, Computer Boy and I Think I Can with Blood Policy, the Wayfarer series of works with Kate Richards, Thrashing Without Looking with Aphids, Visible City (the keynote project of the 2010 Melbourne Fringe) and SAC35 for Salamanca Arts Centre. http://www.martyncoutts.com/
Citt Williams is currently a PhD candidate at Digital Ethnography Research Centre RMIT and is researching large-scale mapping of global systems such as climate change, animal migration and ecosystem modification. With a background in filmmaking, policy development and environmental science she has developed and shot independent documentaries in India, Nepal, Tajikistan, Siberia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, France, Borneo and Australia. From 2003-2005, Citt was the Executive Producer at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association. http://teacup.net.au/citt-williams/
Joe Hamilton is a Melbourne-based artist working at the intersections of big data, global imaging and Capitalist Realism. Hamilton is part of a new movement of post-photographic artists that have less use for a camera than a database. Sourcing raw material from stock photography, open source mapping data and a 3D scanning techniques, Hamilton’s work uncovers a sense of contemporary visuality that privileges machine processing over the lens’ humanist inheritance. http://www.joehamilton.info
This is a free event.
This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx
Mining the Cloud
A series of desktop documentaries
Thursday May 26, 7pm
81 Rupert St. Collingwood
Interval presents Mining the Cloud: a series of desktop documentaries by local and international artists.
Charting the multitude of the Internet through the desktop interface, these films and performances record the virtual as real, traversing landscapes that fall outside our visual circuits. From abandoned virtual realities to electronic dumping grounds of Ghana, this is the detritus of late capitalism in a time of rapid technological change.
The desktop documentary is an emerging practice drawing from the disciplines of ethnography, archaeology and contemporary art. Using desktop browsers as both lens and edit suite, these films and performances excavate artefacts from under the “cloud”. These artists respond to the human impulse to navigate, archive, interpret and ultimately control the world around us.
Lettres du Voyant by Louis Henderson (UK)
Lettres du Voyant is a documentary-fiction about spiritism and technology in contemporary Ghana that attempts to uncover some truths about a mysterious practice called “Sakawa” – internet scams mixed with voodoo magic. Tracing back the scammers’ stories to the times of Ghanaian independence, the film proposes Sakawa as a form of anti-neocolonial resistance.
All that is Solid by Louis Henderson (UK)
A technographic study of e-recycling and neo-colonial mining filmed in the Agbogbloshie electronic waste ground in Accra and illegal gold mines of Ghana. The video constructs a mise-en-abyme as critique in order to dispel the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology – thus revealing the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins.
Utopia 1.0: Post Neo Futurist Capitalism in 3D! by Annie Berman (US)
A first-person expedition to Second Life, the once thriving virtual 3D online world, in search of what remains. Given the invitation to come build anything imaginable, what is it that we chose to create?
A performance by Emile Zile (AU)
Emile Zile’s performances use new-age healing apps, YouTube monologues and algorithmic portraiture to create audio-visual meditations on augmented spirituality and networked representations of the self.
James Cameron’s Avatar feature length performance September 19 2015
In the Epoch of the Near and Far invites contemporary audiences to reframe discussions on digital media. Flipping the much talked-about suggestion that emerging technological forms distort reality on it’s head, the exhibition proposes a relationship which sees our physical and digital lives mutually support and influence each other. Comprising the work of six Australian and international digital and performance artists, In the Epoch of the Near and Far is running as part of the Channels Festival for Australian video art.
The exhibition opens September 19 with a performance from Emile Zile, the Australian born Netherlands based artist whose work is informed by his own navigation of a technologically mediated reality. Featured artist Keith Deverell will also run an Artist in Conversation session on September 24 alongside art historian Dr. Grace McQuilten and exhibition curator Amelia Winata.
In the Epoch of the Near and Far runs from the 18-27 of September at Grey Gardens Projects in Fitzroy and features work from:
Petra Cortright (USA)
Heath Franco (AUS)
Marian Tubbs (AUS)
Emile Zile (AUS/NL)
Keith Deverell (UK/AUS)
Aaron Christopher Rees (AUS)
Artist talk and screening of Western Digital for Sydney Contemporary Art fair
Curated by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Video Contemporary presented by Samsung, showcases an exciting and diverse selection of video works by artists at the forefront of their field. Curated into six themes (Duality, Constructed Worlds, On Time, Forbearance & Fortitude, Role Play and Material Beings) by Ulanda Blair and Jess Bram, (see full bio here) Sydney Contemporary is delighted to be collaborating with such an innovative and dynamic arts institution on the delivery of this exciting exhibition sector.
Thursday, 10th September 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Speakers: Director Carroll/Fletcher, London JONATHON CARROLL, Artist SHAUN GLADWELL, Fair Director BARRY KELDOULIS and Artist EMILE ZILE. Moderated By Senior Curator and ACMI, SARAH TUTTON
Sydney Contemporary, Carriageworks, Video Contemporary Lounge
Emile Zile witfully uses the ‘truth’ of video in constant movements of distanciation that reaffirms our position as spectators—in the gallery and in the world—to draw us back with the question: where is the individuality of our self-expression, in a banal act of connectedness?
– Anabelle Lacroix, Curator
Opening reception and artist in Q+A: Saturday 30 May, 3pm
Dates: Friday 29 May – Saturday 13 June 2015
Venue: MARS Gallery, Black Box, 7 James Street, Windsor VIC 3181
Emile Zile leads a collaborative workshop on (mis)using the internet for the purpose of art/lulz. Through a range of participatory exercises Zile will demonstrate techniques to detourn everyday social media and search engines in dynamic performative ways that offer new perspectives on these ready-to-hand tools.
With his history of performances that engage with popular culture and consumer technology Emile Zile recently premiered OMG_Sisyphus. The Greek mythology of Sisyphus, a tale of burden and absurdity, is used as a prop on which to enact a contemporary performance situation: being on YouTube. The performance happens in the midst of laptops, amplifiers, digital cameras, projectors and a heavy looking stone that the artist carries in from outside. In recent performances of OMG_Sisyphus at (Open Archive Melbourne, 30 November 2011, Palais Paradiso Amsterdam 16 February 2012) Zile enacts a humorously calculated switch. In his treatment we begin to understand that the laptop/webcam is now a rock, or vice versa. Its physical presence, weight, and texture become entwined in a passage of worship, as the ubiquitous Apple product is now something more equivalent to a Chinese scholar stone (Gongshi). Throughout the whole performance it is as if through some application of post-production what we should be seeing as a computer (the adored gateway to online audiences) is now a small volcanic boulder. Simultaneous slips between live action and published content begin, as Zile sits staring at the rock we imagine him staring at his computer, alone in a room while addressing an imagined YouTube audience. In doing so the actual live audience sitting in the gallery space is distanced, even denied.
At some points in the piece we are made to feel the joys of web 2.0 publishing, light relaxation muzak plays, we are all connected by technology. But the gallery space begins to fall out of step as the artist struggles against what appears to be self-doubt and loneliness. The rock remains motionless on a small table under lamplight. Is real life different to projected life? Maybe it used to be. Zile seems to suggest a new friction is built in this crossover rather than a seamless merger. Whilst various elements of the performance are online, the crux of this work hinges on being present live in the gallery space – where multiple facets of contemporary being are felt and fired simultaneously. As it happens we are pointed toward a space where states of alienation, corporation and intense connectivity collide into a state of indivisibility.