BLACK BOX is an electronic mobile/web work. The protagonist Nina discovers digital dance sequences that emerge from a virtual chinese box; jewel box; & pandoras box in her journey from her urban apartment into the Metropolis. The digital dance performances, resonate for the girl & reveal her cultural identity. Composed of dramatic & documentary digital film & sonic fragments. Elements of downloadable for device.
"...It is inscribed, as on Pandoras Box... do not open...passions...escape in all directions from a box that lies open..." Bruno Latour, Opening Pandora's Black Box, 1987.
The experience of exile & difference has become amplified in the contemporary context. By weaving together the music & dance of the Greek Rembetika blues, classical Indian dance performance, Russian Jazz & pop tunes from China, I am articulating through physical dance & musical representations my own acceptance in understanding my cultural & spiritual hybrid origins.
THE COLONIZING GAZE: Diaspora dance/music culture
...The picturesque has its origins in war and a refusal to understand the enemy: our enlightenment about Asia actually came to us first from irritated missionaries and from soldiers. Later came travellers, traders and tourists, who are soldiers that have cooled off. Pillaging is called shopping...the basic attitude has not changed...the aristocratic pleasure of counting differences is savoured. I cut my hair, he plaits his, he uses chopsticks. I write with a goose quill, he draws characters with a paintbrush.
THE ELECTRO-LIBRARY THE BOOK Topography of typology 1923 "...the new book demands the new writer. Ink-stand and goose-quill are dead...The printed sheet transcends space and time. The printed sheet, the infinity of the book, must be transcended..."
The work comes from a practise as a digital media artist, a hybrid of processes and disciplines, & the intersection of digital film, interactive multimedia, & cross-cultural music/ dance performance. In this electronic work, the protagonist embarks on a journey, a struggle and search for virtual objects. These objects represent aspects of the outer world and reveal meaning to the aspects of the inner self. This search mirrors our own search through text, for self-understanding. In comprehending the text we are provoked to consider the cultural artefacts that shape the individual, and tap into a deeper reservoir of mythological ruins.
blackBOX is an emblem to represent a container for the meaning of symbols, and politics, and is a symbol in itself. The central concern is to playfully reverse, obscure and distort the look of the dominating, colonialist gaze, in the production of an interactive game. The creative research is comprised of an interactive CD-ROM and blackBOX site.
The blackBOX exhibition forms part of a (DCA) doctorate of creative arts, in media arts/ social inquiry at the University of Technology, Sydney and gratefully acknowledges the assistance Prof Andrew Jakubowicz & academic supervision of Dr Devleena Ghosh & production supervision of Megan Heyward, doctoral dissemination funding from Trans/forming Cultures (TfC) Key University Research Centre in Communiation and Culture (UTS), 2005 & KUDOS gallery, College of Fine Arts SA, (Alumni), University of New South Wales, AUSTRALIA.