An exhibition of sound and video works that invites audiences to journey to some of the world’s most remote environments while investigating a range of social, economic and environmental concerns affecting isolated communities, the RMIT Design Hub presents Super Field on display from 8 December 2017.
Curated by sound artist Philip Samartzis and audiovisual artist Madelynne Cornish on behalf of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, Super Field is divided into two distinct zones: sound and vision. The exhibition gathers the work of 19 artists who have dedicated time to travel and build relationships with people and places far from our urban centres.
“All of the artists are engaged in deep field research, so whether it’s sound or video they are working in the field, which is very different from working in a studio or urban context,’ says Samartzis. “Some of the works are focused on ecology or climate, while others have a much more social and political aspect to them.”
The show is comprised of four programs that change throughout the exhibition, giving visitors the chance to explore different geographic regions in each phase: High Country: The Australian Alps (8 – 22 December 2017); A Surrender to Nature: The Kimberley (16 – 20 January 2018); Glacial Erratic: Antarctica and the Arctic (21 January – 3 February 2018); and Unheard Spaces: International wilderness areas (6 – 17 February 2018).
These programs unfold across RMIT Design Hub’s two exhibition areas, with the larger space used to envelope visitors in a sonic field created by more than 40 loud speakers, while the elongated Project Room 2 becomes a video landscape to be explored spatially.
Super Field also features an exhibition environment designed by architects and 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale creative directors Baracco+Wright. The exhibition design has been commissioned by RMIT Design Hub as part of its remit to promote cross-disciplinary exchange and instigate new collaborative relationships that visualise design research. For Super Field, Baracco+Wright have created a massive hanging scrim in the sonic zone and an environmentally inspired response for the video area.
Cornish explains the vision she took to the exhibition designers: “With the moving image it’s about walking through environments, as opposed to looking at a video on a wall,” she said. “It was really important to me that people are able to traverse the installation as they would a landscape. Some of the images are close up, they surround you, and then at times you come out to wide, open areas.”
Long-term collaborators, Cornish and Samartzis have curated Super Field on behalf of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture (BCSC), which they founded in 2011 to facilitate cultural initiatives investigating the history and ecology of the Australian Alps. Situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park, 350 kilometres from Melbourne, the centre supports a broad cultural program comprising artist residencies, festivals, exhibitions and publications.
Super Field features the work of artists Natasha Barrett, Benoit Bories, Matthew Berka, David Burrows, Anne Colomes, Madelynne Cornish, Yannick Dauby, Lawrence English, Hughes Germain, Martin Kay, Slavek Kwi, Jay-Dea Lopez, Douglas Quin, Matthew Quomi, Philip Samartzis, Polly Stanton, Michael Vorfeld, Chris Watson and Jana Winderen.
RMIT Design Hub, Corner Victoria and Swanston Streets, Carlton
Exhibition: 8 December 2017 – 17 February 2018
For more information, visit: www.designhub.rmit.edu.au for details.
Image: Philip Samartzis, Fieldwork at Gran Sasso – Abruzzo Italy, 2017 – photo by Daniela d’Arielli