The Antipodean Diaspora

Single channel video
March 2020

An exploration of familial ties, and the resulting influence on identity. We examine: the nature of chance encounters and events; culture and language; and the differences that exist within units defined by commonality.

All sound is derived from voice—a musical reflection of intonation within speech. Through analysis of pitch within recordings, we were able to extract data to form a score. This is a linguistic technique, recontextualised to emphasise the artistic potential of speech. Differences in range and pace become clear upon comparing speakers, and reveal individual idiosyncrasies.

"We took trips around Sydney, visiting homes and places of interest. Along came this bootstapped camera obscura, quite literally duct-taped in place. I have hours of footage from our studio time, from which only seconds were sampled."

The stills and animations were captured through a cardboard camera obscura, which housed a secondary aperture to interpret the resulting image digitally. Frames were aligned to their neighbours, and rearranged subtly according to the visual story told. Bursts of interpolated frames add a smoothness to the sequence, and drastically slow the perceived pace of the work.

The music was generated through the use of software typically used to transcribe live performances. Recordings from the studio were parsed, and the resulting MIDI data was assembled and mixed in Logic Pro. The synthesisers draw only from this processed speech, but are mixed atmospherically and unconventionally.

Aspect ratio and composition demarcates the studio from the site—but does not suggest authorship or artificiality. Studio shots were sampled from moments of inattention, when subjects forgot the camera was rolling. The layered emergence is a sense of deep intimacy, and a connection to personal past and present.

Liam Macann works though a profusion of new media art disciplines, operating out of Sydney. His works often investigate the philosophy of technology, alongside themes of labour, chance, and social history.