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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spatio-temporal Anomalies, Spatial Distortion and the Persistence of Vision

I recently worked with circuit bending artist Nick Wishart on a project for the Underbelly Arts Festival

Here is the blurb from the Underbelly site:

" Spatio-temporal Anomalies, Spatial Distortion and the Persistence of Vision will take your favourite household appliances and throw-away objects and turn them into something quite unexpected. In a collaborative first for the two artists, this project seeks to challenge our understanding of what it means to use an object and how its environment effects its use.

Nick Wishart is a Sydney-based installation and sound artist, and one third of electronic toy band Toydeath. Video, film and installation artist FMGrande likes to make work that focuses on fascination in the mundane. "

The project is an ongoing exploration of "objects and their relation to space"... this is an underlying theme of my current PhD studies at the College of Fine Arts Sydney... I am looking at the complexities of spatio-temporal relations... the way our perception - physical and formative/ educational - effect/affect the way we actually see / feel / hear / smell and understand the spaces we inhabit...

We are currently working on a website, its still under construction but will soon be online at:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Film I Directed For My Masters Project in 2007

Thoughts and Public Spaces is an experimental documentary I made as the major project towards my MASTERS in Media Arts and Production at the University of Technology Sydney in 2007. It looks at the act of thinking and the places where this act occurs, focussing on public places associated with travel. The audio was cut back from hours of interviews and atmospheric sound recorded over a one year period, the soundtrack was recorded live at UTS using Pro Tools, featuring musicians Stefan Day, Benny Bongo and myself (see the credits of the film for a full list of credits) The interviews were recorded in the studio and in various locations around Sydney, Australia. The interviewees were mostly friends and family, but also a few random people on the street. They include interviews with people intended to reflect the diversity of cultures found in Australia. I asked people about their dreams and aspirations. Interestingly most peoples dreams (that they could remember anyway) were nightmares or anxiety dreams. A reflection on the modern condition, or maybe a common link amongst the 25-70 yr demographic? I hope to expand the project in the future to include interviews from different countries and cultures in different parts of the world. To this end I filmed a trip I made a few years ago with my partner to South America, the US, Spain and Japan. I will post new artworks using this footage soon.


Thoughts and Public Spaces from FMGrande on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

research ideas

Can time be ignored when analysing space?



But regardless of what we may think about, within or with respect to a space, it continues to exist, without us. We will one day die, yet the spaces we once inhabited will continue to exist. We will re-constitute into another form physically, our consciousness will go wherever it goes, cease to exist, or dissipate into the wind, regardless, the spaces we create whilst living will continue and they will have a profound effect on how the future will look onto the past. The depth with which the present views the past varies according to the history of the space, place, object or situation. We are at best superficially re-experiencing what has already occurred in substance solely in form and never really knowing the essence of any true space, location, occurrence or thing. At worst, we don't even notice the spaces we inhabit.

3dimensional space- can be contemplated without a notion of time. Yet in doing so we are accepting a stoic distortion of what a place seems in time. A photograph depicts three dimensions of space yet its spacial dynamism rests on the very time it was taken and how humans perceive that time and how it relates to the present moment. This contradiction is where the fascination with photography begins. There is a horizontal and vertical axis, and depth. It is space, humans need time to consider it... Space is not a static phenomena. It is always moving in some way shape or form, space on earth is always spinning at the speed the earth spins then rotates around the sun... Yet the still image somehow lets us pretend that for an instant we are able to stop time. We stop the sun, the earth and the stars and we contemplate a frame... whether at 1/1000th of a second or 1/3- we are looking at the past.

there exists a seeming atemporality in certain spaces, a void of consciousness, where we are awe struck by the beauty in scale, dimension depth tonality and even the possibility of certain objects when time stops. Yet time never stops, we print time stopping, maybe to indulge in the possibility of stopping time in order to live longer lives.

The universe, although seemingly static, is alive with electro magnetic movement,

in a void- there is no air - there is space, there is space of the universe, does it move as the earth moves, yes, but it is seemingly still because of gravity and our perception of the way the universe is organised and ordered...we view it through time lapse and its rhythms and pulses are made apparent... we are part of a breathing thing, one we cannot control, but which controls us. Some of us defy this and begin to try to control everything, for whatever reason, maybe to get back at over controlling parents, but no person will ever control everything. Maybe it is too controlling, it is a monolith that needs to be fought, it has replaced nature, and now we are part of the control?

Monday, January 31, 2011

the search for thoughts

do thoughts occur within a void within the mind

or can they?

this is a question in relation to the understanding of space and how it may shape the way we think, how we think, what we think of when...

the void in the mind could also be perceived as a space, however microscopic, it could be seen as a body organ, or even the soul. But it may also not exist, as maybe all thought happens in an artifice of substructural contextualisation. Of places built of memories;

of thoughts
of ideas
of concepts

these memories create their own order from the chaos of living, of the mind... when things begin to be placed in an ad hoc non sequential way, we begin our slow descent into what may be madness or possibly genius... maybe the order in which we have rearranged these thoughts is something no one has ever thought of before... the actual thing has existed for centuries, but the way the thing is done or presented seems so new, not because it is (the bottle, the can) but because it seems to be. Because no one ever thought of doing it that way before, not that doing it that way is anything special...

chicken in Yard #1

chicken in yard #1 from FMGrande on Vimeo.

The hen "feist" roams the yard freely in search of worms, snails, leaves... pretty much anything she can eat. She seems content, happy even, as far as we can tell if chickens are content. I wonder what she's thinking? yet she is not free on a societal level, there remain fences around the yard, and laws banning her from leaving the yard...

Dead Rat

Global Warming

Thursday, September 2, 2010


The thing about nothing is that it truly is something. When Freddie Mercury sang "nothing really me" in Bohemian Rhapsody, he may well have been stating one of the most profound declarations of caring ever. Next time you ask someone "are you ok" and they reply "its nothing", maybe reply with, "nothing really matters", because if nothing is something, then they are actually trying to tell you something about what they claim to be nothing. But if nothing really is nothing then it still is something, its nothing, so nothing is sort of something.

This has troubled philosophers for a while.

It follows that if nothing the indefinite pronoun is some sort of something then maybe everything is part of nothing.

some nothing links:

format vs content

Is format important? There are many opposing views in film/making regarding the primacy of form over content or vis versa. Some argue that the way a film looks should always be of the best quality and consistently so, giving the viewer the chance to focus solely on the content. This view assumes that viewer will automatically be distracted by low technical standards. Others argue that if the content is good enough, the form should not matter, as the story/plot/image will carry the viewer beyond a preoccupation with artifice. It's an interesting debate. A badly acted/scripted piece is just that no matter how it's captured. A well written/acted piece can be let down if the viewer is distracted by poor technical considerations. There's definitely a balance that needs to be struck somewhere... Watching old movies can inspire you to look beyond the artifice of technical polish. There's usually a hiss in the audio, and the film cuts are visibly faulty on some classics. Maybe people in the 50s were more concerned with performance and story to notice a few consistent technical production flaws . Or maybe they noticed but just let it go, as they did with many things back then, like wars, social injustice and really archaic political views... similarly today we have let wars and archaic political views pass under the radar. We are shooting news footage on iphones i guess. I don't think there is an actual primacy of one over the other. Sometimes content is something that could only ever have happened whilst being captured on a phone camera. Maybe as more and more cameras become HD capable, including phones, less camera worthy things will happen, as people become actors in a HD world. Not that state repression and responses to it and war crimes are HD worthy, what is HD worthy? Not many things I've seen lately.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009