Macrophonics II – ISEA 2013

International Symposium on Electronic Art and Macrophonics present:


Thursday, June 13. 8pm

Bon Marche Studio, Sydney

Macrophonics II presents new Australian work emerging from the leading edge of performance interface research. The program addresses the emerging dialogue between traditional media and emerging digital media, as well as dialogues across a broad range of musical traditions. Recent technological developments are causing a complete reevaluation of the relationships between media and genres in art, and Macrophonics II presents a cross-section of responses to this situation. Works in the program foreground an approach to performance that integrates sensors with novel performance control devices, and/or examine how machines can be made musical in performance. The program presents works by Australian artists Donna Hewitt, Julian Knowles, Alon Ilsar and Wade Marynowsky.  From sensor-based microphones and guitars, through performance a/v, to post-rock dronescapes, movement inspired works and experimental electronica, Macrophonics II provides a broad and engaging survey of new performance approaches in mediatised environments.

Initial R&D for the work was supported by a range of institutions internationally, including the Australia Council for the Arts, Arts Queensland, STEIM (Holland) and the Nes Artist Residency (Iceland).

Curated by Julian Knowles and Donna Hewitt.
Macrophonics video

Julian Knowles is a composer, performer, media artist and researcher specialising in new and emerging technologies. His creative work spans the fields of composition for theatre, dance, film and television, electronic music, sound design and media arts, popular music and record production. His practice-based research demonstrates a long-standing, high-level engagement with technologically-mediated music and sound practices and the relationships between audio-visual media. This has resulted in the creation of more than 50 innovative works that have been disseminated by high profile record labels, broadcasters and art institutions internationally. In the course of his career Julian has worked with many of Australia’s best-known musicians in the experimental music scene, and has been a member of the Australian electro-environmental audio group Social Interiors since the mid 1990s. As a solo artist, his music and audiovisual works have been presented at events and venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Experimental Intermedia (New York), What is Music?Australian PerspectaLiquid Architecture, the Melbourne International Film Festival and Sydney Opera House.

Donna Hewitt is a vocalist, electronic music composer and instrument designer. Her primary interest in recent years has been the investigation of new ways to interface the voice and movement with electronic media. Her work has attracted funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, most recently with all-female collective Lady Electronica. Performance highlights include: Lady Electronica Live, Queensland (2012); TES2012, Toronto, Canada; Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar(2011); SEAM2011, Sydney; Understanding Visual Music 2011, Montréal, Canada; ICMC (USA, Ireland, UK); Liquid Architecture 7, Sydney; and The Great Escape, Sydney (2006, 2007). Donna holds a PhD in music, and is currently lecturing at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Sydney-based artist Wade Marynowsky works across art and technology to develop new audience experiences. His work critiques the way in which ‘new’ media art has engaged – or failed to engage – with an audience. Forged in the artistic legacy of conceptual and performance art of the 1960s, the work is fundamentally concerned with questioning classical spectatorship and performance. His robotic / media installations combine both artificial life and live art, causing technology to perform within a system of programmed parameters that allow the work to continually unfold and evolve. His works “straddle humour, high-camp and a host of unnerving thematic orientations to absorbing effect” (Dan Rule, 2012).

Alon Ilsar is an instrument designer, electronic producer, experimental percussionist and composer. He is currently doing a practice-based research PhD at UTS in designing a new interface for electronic percussionists. He completed his Bachelor of Arts with majoring in Music and Philosophy at Sydney University and continued on to complete his Honours in Music on creative online collaboration. He has also been heavily involved in theatre include performing in Company B’s Keating! the Musical, performing as a drummer for Eddie Perfect, Meow Meow, Tim Minchin and Spontaneous Broadway, touring with Circus Monoxide as musical director, and composing and sound designing for Bondi Dreaming, In The Air, Closer, The Interview, SET and Emergence. Most recently Alon wrote, directed and performed in a choose-you-own adventure style musical game piece called The Colors Interactive Comeback Show. Other diverse projects he has been involved in include The Colors Tribute Band, Gauche, Trigger Happy, Foley, Darth Vegas, Gl;tch Jukebox, Aronas,The Renovators, The BZNZZ, Killsong, Faulkland, The Rescue Ships, Magnetic Heads, Brian Campeau, Pugsley Buzzard and The Tango Saloon.

Event Photos:

isea donna hewitt

Julian Knowles. ISEA 2013. Photo: Donna Hewitt

Julian Knowles ISEA 2013. Photo: Cat Hope

Julian Knowles ISEA 2013. Photo: Cat Hope

 Donna Hewitt soundchecking Oxygen Thief

Realtime Magazine Review – Gail Priest


“A common theme over the last seven days of ISEA2013 has been the relationship between old and new technologies. In his artist talk (part of the panel titled Nostalgia of the New, 9 June), musician/video artist Tom Ellard was emphatic that these terms old and new are essentially meaningless. He posed the provocation: does the pencil become old as soon as you stop using it? Does something become old as soon as it is out of your visual range?

Read the whole review here


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