Movement and landscape in flux, five figures cut between times and places. In this new cartography that is here and everywhere, they take on the rhythm of an altered place.
Welcome to our field,
we are here and we are everywhere at once
We are transcontextual
We are transhuman
We are transhemispherical
Where are you/we/I?
Survey the field
Scan the scene with your whole self
Walk softly around the edge
Move inside and outside the boundary
Take up a position that is unfamiliar
Where are we/you/I?
– Carol Brown 2017
My first adventure takes place wearing a VR headset in a studio in London and discovering the Ida Valley in Google Earth. I fly above the mountains, I traverse the land as a drone, as a hawk. I change my scale. I switch my distant horizon to a vertical plane in seconds, I navigate over and under the place names.
I have a sense of my body in this world through my proprioceptive capacity – I am an expert in movement I am practised, I have a kinetic sense, but I’m Falling Upwards in mediated exploration. There is an idea that the story exists in the experience of place itself not necessarily in a narrative about the place. Spatial illusions and velocity perceptions. Places that exist in reality, may only be found in the imagination. I am at the interface of real and virtual worlds, spatial encounters, and virtual architectures.
VR is an experiential medium — we can be anywhere and do anything — immersive theatres, a desire for intercommunication in physical space – against ideas of the distancing effect of social media and online existence.
VR enables us to relocate ourselves as ‘embodied beings’ (Popat 2016) allowing us to ask questions about humanity, a corporeal space arising from proprioceptive sensation.
How can we maintain grounding in the physical world? Aspects of sensation with no direct contact — reaching out to touch, attempting to touch, a call to touch.
My body is adapting to the terrain, the landscape quickly starts to speak to me. My costumes are my clothes now. Streams rush down the mountains and wash the inside of my skull. I feel the earth’s breath on my fingertips. History tells me I’m at Glimmerburn & the Blood Red Plains. Land of the extinct Moa. Old Man Range, Old Woman Range & Leaning Rock stand before me. Remnants of the gold mines all things extracted, dredged from this land.
I am home a long way from home. We are a necklace of bodies across the contours of the land like a skirting chain. Hissing hot wind, this land is unforgiving and we cannot hide here.
Hemmed in falling geometries, a sublimated pageantry coats my arms. I venture forth with my new community. We are a future family of the past in the headspace of the present in this world yet of that time, the world moves with us, no, we move in the world.
Time is a local event advancing, expanding, accelerating.
How to describe the passage of time physically where past, present and future have the same status. Why must we experience the present moment? Virtual and physically real, matter secondary, more a thing of space time.
As the falcon’s wing span views the delta tree, we are dancing in a deep sea with no anchoring lines. The kinaesthetic spills onto the page with a space pen that is sketching dancelines for a new atlas. My ‘Kinosphir’ of phantom hands and valley spaces turns out the volume exposing our embodied flaws, onto our restless floor, we roll vertically and scroll, wind walking the Paper Road.
Enter through the mask, through the eyes of others. Not a psychology of character but a behaviour in vision.
‘We go where we are looking, not look where we are going’ perception and action, gestures as simulated action – Perçaption (Berthoz 2000).
I’m touching with my eyes, yet feeling rather than seeing, drawing from my motor activity reservoir continually updating my position and balance. We write with totemic tape, quartering. Our partner, pet drone joins the corral . Our porous borders glisten. Constellations reaching the fabric of space and collapsing the world.
Fixed Face tethered as a kite with our bodies not missing in action but flapping like the sails of a boat or as a ragdoll body swirling and dangling.
Disembodied Heads, Portraits
— optical special effects
Blue screen Blue / motion capture studio
Anthroprocene cinematic trope and tribe
Movie set of moves.
‘It is only by being in between that the
knowledge of both subject and object,
of both here and there, of self and other,
of myself and that which is not myself
can be integrated.’ Nicholas Salazar Sutil
WeAreHereAndWeAreEverywhereAtOnce was created through an international collaboration between
Gibson / Martelli with sound designer Russell Scoones
(NZ) & choreographer Carol Brown (NZ).
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet available as a .pdf WAHAWAEWAO_ExhibitionText
• Nic Fay – Drone Operator
• Javier Estevez – Motion Capture Supervisor, AUT
• Gregory Bennett – Senior Lecturer, AUT
• Zane Egginton – ELAM, at UOA
• Norma Lehto – 3 x 3 Designs Ltd
• Harry Silver – CoLab
• Peter Hillier – AUT
• Auckland University of Technology
• University of Auckland, Creative Arts Industries Faculty
• Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University