Wednesday, 4 March 2009

synaesthesia @ late night thursdays

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present an exciting fusion of sight and sound as part of Late Night Thursday's program from April to June. 

Synaesthesia is a program of free live performances exploring different forms of the moving image, including media art, newly interpreted live film scores and works that draw on sound and film archives. The program will feature intimate showcases from Mink Engine, Outpost Collective, Robin Fox, Abject Leader, the Ang Fang Quartet, Jean Poole with DJ CanCut, Gossip Pop, Paul Robertson and a live collaboration between Qua and Isobel Knowles, all live in Studio 1.

ACMI Screen Events Manager Helen Simondson says that ACMI celebrates the moving image in all its forms. "The moving image is a versatile medium and ACMI's job is to program a diverse range of events celebrating the varied ways we harness the moving image for creative output. ACMI's Public Programs team have brought together some unique artists and some of the best experiences which fuse sound and image in new ways," she said.

"In Australia we have a very vibrant, active community of practitioners creating a wide range of performance works using the moving image. This is their stage to showcase to their works and in doing so ACMI is providing a unique free live experience for visitors."

This exciting series begins the first Thursday in April and runs for most Thursday nights from 6.30pm, with happy hour at the ACMI Lounge from 5.30pm. These not-to-be-missed free events will delight the senses and provide visitors with a rare and entertaining artistic experience.

Thursday 2 April
Mink Engine - Acres of Diamonds DVD premiere with Q&A (M)

On Thursday 2 April Melbourne electro wunderkinds Mink Engine launch their much-anticipated DVD Acres of Diamonds with a screening and Q and A event at ACMI.

Mink Engine is the techno-coloured lovechild of Melbourne-based electro pop musician Askii and motion graphics artist Touch Me Tiger. On stage Askii plays keys and sings, while Touch Me Tiger sprays the audience with colour and eye-bending visuals triggered from her keytar. Together they take audiences by surprise and whisk them onboard the Mink Engine joy ride. Those that love to dance can't help but dance, and those that don't dance will surely shuffle.

Celebrate the release of Mink Engine's bedazzling DVD Acres of Diamonds with its premiere screening, followed by Q and A event. Two years in the making and funded by Film Victoria, the DVD involved a creative entourage of 2D and 3D animators, choreographers, dancers, directors, actors, musicians and air guitarists. The final result is an aural and visual feast, featuring video clips, infomercials and a Mink TV interviews charting Mink Engine's colourful rise through the international electro scene.

Artist website:

Thursday 9 April
Mink Engine - Live Performance (M)

The following week, Mink Engine return to ACMI to perform a special live gig in their signature style which has captivated audiences worldwide. Mink Engine will fuse media art, performance and a key-tar.

Known for their aural and visual spectacle, Mink Engine are not to be missed live. Their sets have been described by inthemix as "laptop-electro meets Mac-rock. combining the better elements of Kraftwerk, Chicks on Speed and Queen of Japan. catchy vocal phrases and funky bass lines met with an eclectic pop sensibility."

Since forming in Tokyo in 2002, the Mink Engine have taken on the flavor of their birthplace, headlining VANITY, the Shibuya district's popular night of fashion and music, and have since stormed clubs, festivals and dance floors across Japan Spain, the UK and Australia.

"They [Mink Engine] have been.turning out deliriously received performances that have whipped punters into champagne-glass smashing frenzies." - Zebra, Inpress Magazine

Artist website:

Thursday 23 April
Outpost Collective and Robin Fox

On Thursday 23 April media art luminaries Outpost collective and Robin Fox join forces for a night of synaesthetic pleasure.

Affiliated with Share NY, Outpost is a pillar of Melbourne's audio-visual art scene. They are local collective of sound and video artists who host monthly multimedia 'jams' around town and provide opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration. Outpost performed at the 2007 Melbourne International Arts Festival and 2008 Electrofringe in Newcastle.

Robin Fox is a Melbourne based sound and visual artist currently working with live digital media in improvised, composed and installation settings. A hit on the international festival circuit, Fox is a regular performer at Festivals around Australia (Melbourne International Arts Festival, What is Music, Liquid Architecture, Electrofringe, SOOB, NowNOW, Big Day Out) and performs regularly across Europe and Asia.  Robin will perform a rare oscilloscope show for one night only.

Artist website: and

Thursday 7 May
Abject Leader

Australia's foremost proponents of expanded cinema, Abject Leader, come to ACMI on Thursday 7 May for a live performance followed by a screening of films from the duo's archives of inspiration.

Abject Leader is the ongoing collaboration of film artist Sally Golding and sound artist Joel Stern. Abject Leader champion the analogue, the handmade, the photo-chemical and the acoustical, delving into hallucinogenic-cinematic underworlds to produce sweetly shifting performance melodies for eyes and ears.

The Queensland duo have performed at Melbourne International Film Festival, New Zealand Film Festival, What is Music Festival, Liquid Architecture, Madcat San Francisco, on a moving train, in Toowoomba, and many places in between.

"Abject Leader's deeply materialist aesthetic sets them at an angle to the mainstream of contemporary moving image work. In the era of digital proliferation, their emphasis on the analogue, the handmade, the photo-chemical and the acoustical, is pleasingly defiant, and a little perverse. It's also captivating; Stern's delicately textured, sensitive soundscapes serve to contour the space in which Golding's projections explore the bewitching possibilities of the celluloid medium, creating ephemeral cinematic experiences of startling sensuality. Hinging on the frisson of the moment, their work courts chance, improvising the performance of sounds and films. This is what makes their work so beautiful, vital, surprising, compelling: Abject Leader perform cinema." - Danni Zuvela, 2007

Artist website:

Thur 14 May, 6.30pm
Ang Fang Quartet- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

Experience the magic of the film score with and incredible live instrumental compliment to one of the greatest cinema works of all time. The Ang Fang Quartet provide an atmospheric live score backdrop for Robert Weine's seminal film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921).

Based in Melbourne, the Ang Fang Quartet has been dedicated to composing and performing music for films since 1999. Ang Fang has composed original scores for many feature silent films, including F W Murnau's Faust (1926) and Nosferatu (1921) as well as Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925).

Artist website:

Thur 4 June, 6.30pm
Jean Poole with DJ Lewis Cancut + Gossip Pop

ACMI switches channels with this TV-inspired gig as part of the Synaesthesia program. Three performers collide for this jam-packed audio-visual party.

Jean Poole, aka Sean Healy, is concerned with real time audio visual performance. A founder of Newcastle's Electrofringe Festival, Jean Poole is regular contributor to the event's annual program and travels Australia (and Europe) performing at major events and festivals, most recently performing at the Melbourne Good Vibrations 2009.

Providing the music to Jean Poole's visuals is Lewis CanCut, aka Lewis Gittus, a young DJ hailing from regional Victoria with a love of vinyl. His current work examines elements of club culture such as appropriation and repetition. Drawing on commercial experience to inform his work, Lewis has created a dialogue between his club ventures and a more critical practice. In this way much of his work is informed by live events, in particular a relationship between audience and performer, bound together by dense layers of stolen sound that threaten at any moment to self implode!  

The evening will be divided to form two distinct performances. Stick around for Gossip Pop, a live project from local artists Sue and Phil Dodd. Using video and sound art, as well as live vocals and human movement, the duo take aim at the proliferation of popular culture, including celebrity obsession and novelty fads. Gossip Pop aims to motivate their audience to think about collective and personal engagement with popular culture by transforming tabloid media narratives of celebrity into contemporary art versions of 'pop' songs. With over 30 biting original tracks to their name, this is one act that will provide you with a mental hangover of commentary to process long after you have bopped to the last beat.

Bring your tee-vee snacks and cocktail frankfurts for this pop culture night of colour and movement. No couch potatoes allowed! 

Artist websites:, and

Thurs 18 June, 6.30pm
Qua with Isobel Knowles + Paul Robertson

The final performance on Thursday 18 June is a games-inspired set by three of Melbourne's most innovative contemporary artists.

An international recording artist with a hectic touring schedule, Qua (Cornel Wilczek) is one of the Melbourne sound-art community's best known exports. He will collaborate with multidisciplinary artist Isobel Knowles in a set created especially for this event. Isobel's body of work encompasses animation, video, installation, visual art, and music (including film scores) and she has been exhibited at major galleries and arts festivals worldwide. This unique artist includes among her credits music video clips for artists such as New Buffalo and Sarah Blasko as well as having animated Van Sowerwine's short film Clara, which received a special mention at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Hugo Award for Best Animation at the Chicago Film Festival. 

For the second half of the evening, sit back and view the work of Paul Robertson. Paul is an animator with a folio as diverse as video games (including Japanese 8-bit inspired mayhem!), short films, video clips (including Architecture in Helsinki's Do the Whirlwind) and television commercials. Paul will bring his arcade game inspired video art to the screen in Studio 1.

These three artists will make gaming physical in a one-off performance not to be missed. 

Artist websites: and


Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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