Conversations@the Studio

2005 Sydney, Australia

Collaborator: Jeffrey Shaw, Neil Brown, Dennis Del Favero, Volker Kuchelmeister

Production: iCinema Research Centre, UNSW, Sydney

Conversations@the Studio presents a natural navigation of a real-world situation—a contemporary glass craftsman’s studio. By displaying a 360-degree global video recording, made on location at the glass blowing studio, it provides the tele-present experience of an actual visit to the studio, giving full interactive freedom to the viewer’s gaze.

Conversations@the Studio’s interactive and immersive frameworks allow the viewer the experience of being present in a distant space where artists are engaged in their daily creative craft-making activities. Visitors can freely move their gazes anywhere in the live performance space, whose unedited real-time narration converges with the real-time engagement of the viewer. A key feature of Conversations@the Studio is the dynamic tracking of the viewer’s gaze in both space and time, which visually magnifies specific events of interest. The interactive structure of the work is further emphasised by the viewer’s freedom to move between the live, ambient, surround-sound recording made in that space, and the focussed commentaries of the glass studio artists, which refer to specific processes and events that are unfolding.

The installation at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney takes the form of a custom-designed, 3 m diameter hemispherical fibreglass projection screen that is mounted vertically so that viewers look straight ahead into its immersive concave projection space. A high-resolution projector fitted with a unique 360-degree fish-eye lens is mounted in front of the screen, and the projection is augmented by a five channel surround-sound system. The user interface, developed specifically for the installation, is an oversized illuminated track ball that allows navigation of the global video recording, and which changes colour in dynamic relation to the content displayed on the screen. This latter functionality signals the availability of close-up sequences within the global scene. Additional controls activate the voice-over commentary and offer a fast-forward function.

Australian Research Council Project Investigators: Jeffrey Shaw, Dennis Del Favero, Neil Brown, Volker Kuchelmeister, Nikos Papastergiadis, Scott McQuire, Andy Arthurs, Sarah Kenderdine, Kevin Sumption, Grace Cochrane

Australian Research Council Project Title: Reformulating museological narrative using three models of cinematic interactivity.

Australian Research Council Linkage Grant: LP0453638


Exhibition Record
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia