HTTP.PARADISE is a virtual exhibition and immersive experience in digital realms. Presented via the Incinerator Gallery website, this exhibition explores positions in video art, moving image, music video, and video gaming that imagine alternative visions for the future.

 

During a time of physical distancing and global concerns of community health, HTTP.PARADISE connects radical narratives as a means to explore contemporary politics, autonomy, spirituality and identity in digital space. Within a dystopian present, the promise of paradise is questioned, paving way for social change and communal evolution, where we may empathetically and collectively engage through virtual worlds. The artists and musicians presented in this exhibition seek change by reimagining a future that champions community and social connectivity. Their videos examine the past and the present, focusing on climate awareness, First Nations knowledge, cyborg feminism and queer ecology. Through the virtual windows of these videos we glimpse the potentiality of new worlds—like a paradise just out of reach.

 

This exhibition acts as an online oracle, demonstrating the hope, leadership and vitality of creative practices during a time when many artistic opportunities have been cancelled. Altogether, the visions of these artists cast a wide net across an infinite electric horizon, and altogether create a dazzling digital dawn in an uncertain world.

Angela Tiatia’s work Interference (2018) draws upon a rich and interwoven history of dance and the body, and was originally made in response to Amrita Hepi's work A Caltex Spectrum—a finalist piece performed in 2018 for the Keir Choreographic Awards. Tiatia’s video plays with dualities and multiplicities of interference that inform and shape identity. The video flickers and inverts the environment between black and white, consequently inverting the performer’s bodies to temporarily transcend their race and class, and in turn, inverting hierarchies and order so that we may see the world anew. With music video-like qualities, the work references pop culture, Hollywood, celebrity culture and social media with images that fill our everyday digest. The video’s finale compilates images from science, politics and spirituality. As Tiatia says, “I want to evoke the spirits, ancestors.... from the past, present and future....and to show, very briefly, the evolution of culture.” The final image in the sequence holds the visage of the Venus of Willendorf—a 30,000 BCE figurine—demonstrating the vast iconography of the female form throughout history, as well as her transcendence through movement, grace and spirituality.

Angela Tiatia, Interference 2018, sound & moving Images. Duration: 1 minute, 6 seconds. Performers:  Jahra Rager Wasasala, Tyrone Robinson and Sela Vai. Courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney.

(Commissioned by Runway Experimental Art to respond to Amrita Hepi's work A Caltex Spectrum, a finalist work in the Keir Choreographic Awards 2018).

Hannah Brontë is of Wakka Wakka, Yaegl, Welsh bloodlines, and draws upon the natural environment as well as the empowerment of Blak, Brown and Indigenous voices to inform her creative practice. Brontë’s work tellus terra (2020), comprising of moving video and sound, reflects upon the devastations of Australia’s recent bushfire season. A suite of images meditatively cascades to sounds of cicadas, crackling fire, and finally the release of voluptuous rain drops, which altogether raises a chorus addressing climate change. Brontë’s video posits First Nations knowledge, care and relationship to Country as an enduring solution to land-fire management. “This work explores the current state of the ecology,” says Brontë, “it is everyone’s business how we next deal with this catastrophe. The capitalist patriarchy that enforces white supremacy is on fire. How do these women - some traditional owners, others visiting from lands connected and affected by rising seas, droughts and volcanic eruptions, water their children while their country is on fire? How do you affirm your children in this world of such destruction for everything sacred?”

Hannah Brontë, tellus terra 2020, digital moving image. Duration: 3 minutes, 19 seconds. Courtesy of the artist.

Nature Calling (2019) is a 360० music video for electronic musician Louise Terra, co-produced and directed by visual artist and film-maker Rachel Feery. Originally launched at Testing Grounds, Melbourne, the video engages virtual reality technology to produce an immersive alien world. “Set in a series of desolate landscapes, akin to Mars or an impoverished Earth, Nature Calling follows the fight of a futuristic Terra for survival,” the artists explain. “Terra's world is alien and hostile, yet the scenes of her inner struggle are intimate and familiar.” Drawing upon psychological and spiritual ideas of duality, the concept of the video channels experiences of inner and exterior worlds, of connection and divide, between our real and virtual selves.

 

As you watch this video, you are invited to use your cursor to click, drag and scroll through this undulating, interactive world. If you are viewing this work through your smart phone, 360० technology is best experienced via the YouTube app.

Louise Terra & Rachel Feery, Nature Calling 2019, 360० Virtual Reality Music Clip. Duration: 5 minutes, 2 seconds. Written, performed & produced by Louise Terra; Director: Rachel Feery; Assistant Director: Simon Winkler; Producers: Rachel Feery and Louise Terra; Costume: Rachel Jessie-Rae O’Connor; Compositing Assistance and Graphics: Iolanthe Iezzi; Editor: Rachel Feery; Ambisonic Mix: Mark Mitchell; VFX Composition: Mark Dickson; Performers: Louise Terra and Janie Gibson; VR Production Advisor: Thomas Kinsman; Hair and Makeup: Andi Coventon; Chorographic Eye: Holly Durant.

The virtual reality experience سايبر تصوف (cyber tasawwuf) (2018) explores reconfiguration of the Sufi meditation known as the Lataif-e-Sitta (the six subtleties). Artist Mohamed Chamas expands these six energy centres into semi-autobiographical virtual architectures that are simultaneously mystical, digital and psycho-spiritual. As Chamas says, “The oriental other, as a prosthetic in (‘western’) public space, embodies the spirit of this cyberspace, agitating Weberian disenchantment, conceptions of the ‘Muslim’ body, and the nature of digital game spaces. Immersants have expressed spiritual fulfilment during their experience in سايبر تصوف (cyber tasawwuf) which connotes the piece may explore how Muslim subjectivity might interface with new and emerging technologies.”

Mohamed Chamas, تصوف (cyber tasawwuf) 2018, video (recording of Virtual Reality experience). Duration: 4 minutes, 1 second. Courtesy of the artist.

Felix ter Hedde and Hannah Hotker’s role-player video-game inspired work sicksickcitizen (2019), is a “simulated trip into capitalist purgatory.” Akin to assuming an avatar so that players may ‘descend’ or ‘alight’ space, we take on the role of jane66citzen who journeys through a series of apocalyptic corridors and cascading arcades, venturing through shopping malls, abandoned highways, mystical fields, and even the Gates of Hell. These endlessly looped spaces scroll like a psychedelic trip, parallel to astral projection or an out-of-body experience, where we traverse a suite of randomly open internet search windows. And like surfing the net, or walking through life, some of these worlds may confront our sense of morality, asking us to ethically consider alternative thinking and other parallel worlds. Similarly, jane66citizen transcends these spaces in a transgressive manner, supernaturally crossing boundaries as a political and social action to interrogate the integrity of capitalism and ultimately question reality. All the while, a dream-like disembodied voice echoes on repeat, “You are not crazy, and what you are experiencing is real.”

Felix ter Hedde & Hannah Hotker, sicksickcitizen 2019, sound and video. Duration: 8 minutes, 38 seconds. Video: Felix ter Hedde; Sound: Hannah Hotker; Mixed/Mastered: Joseph Buchan. Courtesy of the artists.

Drawn from a dystopian/cyberpunk/cyborg aesthetic, the collaborative music videos by visual artist Tristan Jalleh and musician Corin Ileto see bodily performance translated to a virtual reality. In Vexations (2019) a crumbling metropolitan building dances itself to obliteration; the building is in fact Corin themselves, as motion body sensor technology captures their movements and transforms them into an architectural avatar. “I was interested in exploring ways in which we could translate my live performance to a virtual platform,” says Corin, “I didn’t necessarily want to be visibly seen as a central figure in the video so I liked this idea of appearing as an apparition, embodied in the decaying infrastructure”.

Tristan Jalleh & Corin Ileto, Vexations 2019, music video. Duration: 2 minutes, 53 seconds. Courtesy of the artists.

In Maria’s Dream (2019), by visual artist Tristan Jalleh and musician Corin Ileto, viewers experience a simulation of a walk-through game, venturing through a utopian future turned nightmarish labyrinth, “where brutalist baroque-like mechanized architecture and glassy hyper-tech neo-modern cityscapes are interconnected by pulsating industrial tunnels. The landscape becomes a body with patterns refracting from geometric superstructures.”

Tristan Jalleh & Corin Ileto, Maria’s Dream 2019, music video. Duration: 3 minutes, 12 seconds. Courtesy of the artists.

Youjia Lu’s practice explores liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning "a threshold") as a psychological and supernatural phenomenon. Super(im)position: enduring (non-place) (2018) uses the flickering gaps seen between the frames of a digital video as a space for change, illumination, and as a medium to channel a ghost. Ritual, time and space are explored within a domestic environment, where the venetian blinds enact an ambiguous veil, offering both distance and intimacy simultaneously. “I filmed this video while testing one of my video experiments in my apartment,” says Lu. “The domestic backdrop and duality of virtual/actual space in this work echo the current interrelationship between time, space and ourselves in an uncanny way. Video medium captures and encapsulates a (virtual) space and time in which the event we observe was (actually) taking in place. It demarcates a (non-place) where nobody is present, yet everybody is given presence.”

 

Note: This video contains strobe-effect throughout its entirety. People with photo-sensitivity or epilepsy are advised caution.

Youjia Lu, Super(im)position: enduring (non-place) 2018, digital video. Duration: 3 minutes, 52 seconds. Courtesy of the artist.

The animated music video for Yubaba (2019) by visual artist Patrick Hase and sound artist Bridget Chappell, also known as HEXTAPE, delves into forms of digital memory. This collaborative music video explores how digital memory implants itself—whether invited or otherwise—as a mnemonic device within ourselves. Hase and Chappell are interested in making sense of how personal narratives are at once malleable despite the form of memory itself becoming ever more solidified. As the artists say, “Memory is alive: we cannot recall anything in its totality, and sometimes have little control over what memories will re-call us.” The video gathers together, reconfigures and visually congeals images of raves, lovers and AirMax sneakers, presented altogether like the “cross-pollination of personal and collective memories facilitated by the internet.” Similarly, the musical composition of Yubaba was made with the intent to process uncomfortable memories in real time, where events are recalled and assigned to musical sequences, allowing the producer to revisit them in safety.

Bridget Chappell & Patrick Hase, Yubaba 2019, digital video. Duration: 4 minutes, 26 seconds. Courtesy of the artists.

ARTIST BIOS

Louise Terra + Rachel Feery

Louise Terra is a multidisciplinary artist and music producer who writes esoteric fantasy-pop for the dance floor at the end-of-the-world-party you never knew you were destined to host. Using her voice and a few machines, her music sits on a supernatural horizon somewhere other, directing our gaze out towards future mythologies we desperately need to imagine.

Rachel Feery is a cross-disciplinary artist working in film and experiential installation. In 2019 she co-produced, directed and edited a 360 VR Music Clip for Louise Terra’s track, Nature Calling, launched at Testing Grounds, Melbourne.
Rachel’s solo video works have been screened and exhibited at Federation Square Big Screen, Mona Foma Festival, Next Wave Festival, Abbotsford Convent and Substation Contemporary Art Prize.

 

 

Mohamed Chamas

Mohamed Chamas is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, game developer and poet based in Naarm (Melbourne, AU). Their practice aligns the synergies between Islamic mysticism and the contemporary-technological, outlining the figure of a ‘dijital djinni’. Chamas calls on cosmological, ancestral and socio-poilitical spirits to re-territorialize cyberspace, namely for the healing of orientalised bodies.

 

Tristan Jalleh + Corin Ileto

Tristan Jalleh is Malaysian-Australian digital video artist and music video director working in Australia and SE Asia who has exhibited in galleries, art institutions and festivals since 2012. He is a member of the Sydney based QPOC Art Collective CLUB ATÉ, and has also produced work for Red Bull Music, Boiler Room, Splendour In The Grass Festival, Sugar Mountain Festival, and Sissyball. Jalleh creates energetic and immersive virtual environments that are both tactile and abstract, using a process of combining his own photographs with hundreds of images from the internet to construct virtual installations that merge the aesthetics of video games, architecture, CGI and cinema into densely detailed hyper-realities.

CORIN’s productions are an assemblage of converging styles moving somewhere between grime, trance, and barqoue-laden ambience. Drawing on a background in classical piano, her live performances encompass technical configurations executed with equal parts emotion and cold precision. In her album 'Manifest' (Bedouin Records), delicate counterpoint melodies intersect with cinematic washes of synth, culminating in dark but also playful elements of science fiction and fantasy.

Hannah Brontë

Hannah Brontë (Wakka Wakka, Yaegl, Welsh) draws on the natural environment, the empowerment of Indigenous, Black and Brown women projected into her dreamscape works of imagined futures. Her practice spans video, photography, weaving and textiles. Brontë's upbringing around Hip Hop and protest movements also feeds her love for immersive art events "FEMPRESS", blending music with installation. She has participated in exhibitions both locally and internationally, including 2019 Transits and Returns, Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; 2019 The National, MCA, Sydney; 2019 Perilous Bodies, ford Foundation, New York; 2018 Pataka- revolutionary women, Porirua, NZ; 2018 Blak-Blak Art Form, Cairns Regional Gallery; 2017 Next Matriarch, Ace Open, Adelaide; 2017 Red Green Blue: A History of Australian Video Art, Griffith University, Brisbane.

Angela Tiatia

Angela Tiatia explores contemporary culture, drawing attention to its relationship to representation, gender, neo-colonialism and the commodification of the body and place, often through the lenses of history and popular culture.

Tiatia's work has been included in a number of important institutional exhibitions, including After the Fall, National Museum of Singapore (2017/2018); Personal Structures, 57th Venice Biennial (2017); Eighth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT 8), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2015/16); as well as Tūrangawaewae: Art and New Zealand, Toi Art, Gallery of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2018).

She is represented by Sullivan + Strumpf in Sydney, Australia.

 

 

Youjia Lu

Youjia Lu is a Melbourne-based artist and a PhD candidate at University of Melbourne. Lu’s current research explores how to evoke an immediate experience of an indeterminate Self through digital video art practice. Her ongoing artistic experiments test video’s capacity to digitally manipulate time, create illusory superimposed images and induce strobe effect in projection space. Drawing upon psychoanalytic theories of what precedes the formation of the ego and metaphysical conceptions of time and consciousness, Lu examines different artistic strategies for imaging the indeterminate condition of the Self.

Lu has shown nationally and internationally at venues such as Counihan Gallery (Melbourne), MARS Gallery (Melbourne), George Paton Gallery (Melbourne), Margaret Lawrence Gallery (Melbourne), Gertrude Street Projection Festival (Melbourne), Columbia University (New York) and Yuan Art Museum (Beijing).

 

Felix ter Hedde + Hannah Hotker

This is a collaboration between Narrm-based artists Felix ter Hedde (@w45p76b) and Hannah Hotker (@dig1tal.dev1lle). Felix combines video, sound and performance within their practice to explore intersections relating to internet psychedelia, mysticism and cyborg feminism. Hannah utilises sound design to create exploratory and experimental soundspaces.

Bridget Chappell + Patrick Hase

Bridget Chappell is a sound activist and artist. Their work is concerned with early intervention against policing, self-policing, and the tech bro industrial complex. Their music combines experimental field recording with distorted kicks, cello, and the amen break as a form of speculative fiction and rave nostalgia.

Patrick Hase is a media artist/researcher living and working on unceded Wurundjeri land, who specializes in VR, animation and live A/V. His work explores the emotional impact of embodiment in virtual spaces by creating visceral non-mimetic experiences across varying digital platforms.