Saturday, July 09, 2016


 Expanded Zones Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016

I've had a productive time in the last week or so. I presented a paper at a Media Devices Symposium at the University of Queensland yesterday 8 July. My paper "Militarised 'Vision' Through the Eyes of Australian Artist George Gittoes" was received very well. The two days of the symposium were filled with enthralling, provocative and stimulating papers all related in various ways to technological devices. The photo at the bottom shows me presenting my paper. 

As regular readers know, I have had a long interest in technology, stemming from my father's enthusiasm for HAM radio and in his latter years, computer and digital technologies. I've previously written about my childhood growing up on a grain farm, not only surrounded by endless skies and distance, but also seemingly endless gadgets, aerials, communication devices in our cars [even in the 60s] etc etc. My mother's interests in art, history, writing and culture, coupled with my father's interests, have manifestly contributed to how I approach my art and research studies.

The Media Devices Symposium was incredibly stimulating not only intellectually but also creatively. The reading group I attended for the 5-6 months preceding the symposium has also been incredibly stimulating. Then... all the reading I've been doing for my research...especially looking into militarised technologies such as airborne drones and night vision capabilities...has also fueled my mind and my imagination. Some recent posts are:

Boundaries Zones and Perspectives 
In Focus 
Horizontal of Vertical?

The three paintings here in this post are all inspired by recent readings and research. Cloud Storage is the most recent painting. Each painting has a 'dark' side...

However, I prefer to only allude to the dark side, rather than thrust it forward. Why? Once a viewer realises that the innocuous appearance has a dark underbelly it becomes evident that the innocuousness is actually a partner in a dangerous subterfuge. Looking beyond the surface is always an interesting thing to do, and I suspect we may not do it enough.

 Cloud Storage Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016

I am not going to write about each painting. However, generally speaking when I painted each image I was thinking variously about surveillance, war and conflict zones, remote access, privacy issues, interactivity, data collection, targeting, monitoring - AND LIFE! Aestheticising the unseen aspects of technology that influence so much of our lives gives me a kind of contrary joy! 

The paintings can be 'read' as landscapes too - cosmic, aerial, body-scapes...the distance of the rural Queensland landscape - the flat tree-less Pirrinuan Plain where I grew up -  is always present in my work.

I have already written that each painting has an underbelly, so I will leave the rest to you.  

Data Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016

Me presenting "Militarised Vision Through the Eyes of Australian Artist George Gittoes" at the mdeia device Symposium Univerity of Queensland 8 July 2016. Image on screen is Discarded oil on canvas 1995 by George Gittoes.

George Gittoes is having an exhibition "Night Vision" in Brisbane 27 July - 20 August, at Mitchell Fine Art Gallery, Arthur St, Fortitude Valley. The opening is Friday 29 July and there is an artit's talk the next day. Check the gallery site for details HERE

George Gittoes' webpage HERE


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