In September 2018 the artist collective Field Theory invited me to join them on the large-scale performance and documentation project ICON. Finding a member of the public and turning their life into a spectacle and stage-show. Live-in punk ethnography on the kitchen benchtop. Days spent living with the ‘Icon’ and staging elements of their life at Federation Square. ICON is up for an award at the Green Room Awards, ‘Innovation in Durational Performance’.
Becoming The Icon development with Lilian Steiner at Artshouse North Melbourne, CultureLAB City of Melbourne.
Becoming The Icon is a new performance duet created and performed by Lilian Steiner and Emile Zile.
Through an exploration of gesture, two bodies explore political speech and the body as a conduit of thought, emotion and truth.
Concept/Performers: Lilian Steiner & Emile Zile
The first development of Becoming The Icon occurred in October 2018 with the support of the Arts House Culture Lab residency program (with financial support by City of Melbourne). The second stage development will take place in May 2019 at Arts House North Melbourne followed by a public presentation in 2020.
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
Join Emile Zile and Philip Brophy for a conversational and unmoderated exchange as they select, screen and discuss each other’s video work. Both artists move horizontally between visual art, filmmaking and performance, working beyond the confines of strict categorisation. Their methods and tools are post-cinematic: scavenging and re-presenting the moving image material that surrounds them.
11 September 2017, 6.30pm
Free entry, bookings requested
Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square Melbourne
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.
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.
Emile Zile solo show Desktops at Fort Delta Melbourne 5 November – 21 November 2015
Performance 21 November
For his exhibition Desktops at Fort Delta, Zile further explores our attraction to communications technology and their ability to translate and encode our lived experience through a series of assemblages, constructed from office furnishings and other objects related to white-collar labour, self-help eBooks and online gaming communities. Zile has created desktop assemblages – each desktop signifying the absence of an occupant. The desktops themselves appear isolated from domestic or workplace environments and exude their own atmospheric qualities. They simultaneously suspend and assume narratives intrinsic to their inhabitants for us to ponder in the same way we might suppose the identity of someone we communicate with online, where they are, and what it looks like.
Accompanying these 3D assemblages is a suite of digital prints Zile has produced for the exhibition. These works appear as computer screen captures, search term collages and algorithmic portraiture. They build narratives within and between disparate collections of images selected and composed by Zile. By making his source material visible to us on the immediate and live platform of his computer desktop, Zile also reveals the performative framework for online viewing and consumption as a highly selective and editable one, where image-poetics emerge through the creative transparency of the screen.
Zile’s interest in activating site-specific performativity is also explored in Desktops through his request to insert the Gallery’s office desk into his allocated exhibition space. By revealing a commonly private and ancillary zone to us as a juxtaposed physical situation, ZIle allows for gallery administration and commerce to activate and inform his exhibition in real time – enabling a playing-out of site-specific performance politics to coalesce as real and represented exhibition content.
This talk and presentation will look at the staging of sound based works in gallery and non-gallery contexts, and the relationship between sound, language and visual representation. Featuring Emile Zile, Speak Percussion’s Eugene Ughetti and their Artist-in-Residence, Kaylie Melville, Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Philip Samartzis (facilitator).