Posts Tagged 'transience'

Poetics of ruin

Emma Fraser

Friday 30th April, 10am-12pm

Presentation Room, Bon Marche (UTS Bldg. 3, Rm. 510)

Presentation: 20mins

Modern ruins, as tangible remnants of the recent past, offer the potential to transport us radically beyond the experience of the everyday to a unique space of transition between past and present, the affect of which is heightened by its proximity in time to the moment of immediate experience. As representations of the broader transience of history, they fracture the notion of progress, of finite beginnings and endings, of distinct readings of past events – they are spaces in which the conflict between a dead past and an accessible, readable history plays out.

To explore the notion of “experience” in disused, “dead”, or otherwise decaying spaces, this presentation will present a slide-show of “holiday” snaps from various locations, including the abandoned town of Pripyat in Chernobyl, the industrial ruins and asylums of Staten Is. in New York, and the monumental ruins of Detroit’s inner city. The majority (if not all) or the images will be the work of the presenter. Through a seemingly trivial mode of presentation, the slide-show will demonstrate the qualities of ruin-space—particularly the aesthetic and material contrasts with typical tourist destinations (both “whole” sites, and ancient ruins).

Given the informal nature of the presentation, the images chosen are not intended as works of art or professional photography; that is, some will include imperfections (blurry images, raindrops on lenses, dark or incomplete images etc), as they are not a representation of a particular place or time, or an artistic vision, but rather a record of actual experience in ruin-space.

Emma is currently undertaking a research masters at UTS titled “Interrupting Progress: Ruins, Rubble and Catastrophe in Walter Benjamin’s History”. She completed her undergraduate degree with honours at UTS in 2007, and spent 2 months overseas in 2009 exploring and photographing abandoned and decaying buildings, particularly in Pripyat (Ukraine) and Detroit (USA).

Emma has published articles on urban decay, “dead space” and ruins, and hopes to eventually compile enough original material for independent publication or exhibition.


Research from Laughing Waters Artist Residency 2009

Kath Fries

Wednesday 27 April, from 7pm at Serial Space

Watching the heavy rain, waiting for moments of respite between downpours to see the surfaces of puddles and ponds lie still and flat, reflecting the surrounding trees, rocks and sky. Recalling my earlier explorations of lying square mirrors flat on the ground facing upwards to engage the viewer in looking down to see what is above. I was prompted to further my investigations of simple reflections and surroundings.

Variously positioned outside, my site-sensitive installations with mirrors were both subtle and confronting – depending on the viewer’s awareness and angle of approach. Hidden within foliage, some mirrors duplicitous reflections were lost in the bushlands’ surrounding complexity. The hard flat unnaturally reflective surfaces became illusive and camouflaged as their double images vanished amongst the setting’s abundant detail. Other mirrors were placed in the earth, like holes in the ground suggested portholes that viewers peered down into and simultaneously looked up towards the sky. Further panels were
balanced in tree branches like hovering windows allowing glimpses around invisible corners into other realms. Confusing and inverting the viewer’s usual vertical sense of gravitational reality, as though free-falling into a more cyclic unity between the elements of ground, growth and air.


Kath Fries completed her Masters of Visual Art in 2008 at the University of Sydney. She exhibits in Sydney and Melbourne ARI galleries, outdoor sculpture festivals and was recently an Artist-in-Residence at Laughing Waters VIC.

Fries’ art practice explores metaphors of interconnection, when an element from the everyday is used as a locus linking broader concepts of time and space, inviting viewers to discover their own sense of narrative within poetic subtleties of ephemerality, trace and residue.

In his novel Spook Country, William Gibson imagines a world…

Anna Gibbs

Friday 30 April, 2010, from 1pm to 3pm

Bon Marche Studio (UTS Bldg. 3, Lvl. 1, Rm. 105)

Reading and Talk: 10mins

In his novel <i>Spook Country</i>, William Gibson imagines a world composed of holographic forms overlaying the material world. These forms can only be accessed via a URL and GPS coordinates, but as they proliferate they form parallel worlds operating rather like tv channels… My current experimental writing constructs potential worlds existing alongside particular urban locales. These are composed from signs which combine to open unlikely portals to something else.

Anna Gibbs is a writer and researcher in textual, media and cultural studies. She is especially interested in fictocritical and experimental writing, and is working with Maria Angel on a project about new media writing.

A two day forum of creative research, experimentation and practice held from April 28-30 at the University of Technology, Sydney, and Serial Space Gallery, Chippendale.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this website and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

website tracking