Mind Games (2018) is an interactive simulacra artwork by collaborators Julia Featherstone and Josh Harle that explores our complex and evolving relationships to technology, machine learning, camera surveillance and digital avatars. As participants enter the exhibition space, they see themselves mirrored as a cyborg on a digital screen––which causes them to respond in diverse and unexpected ways. Some participants are delighted and engage in physical movement and dance with the cyborg. Others are more introspective and engage in contemplative conversation. Occasionally, some viewers fold their arms, waiting for the cyborg to respond, reflecting the artist David Rokeby’s (1996) observation that “people sometimes feel irritation when faced with an interactive artwork, because they feel their behaviour is being judged”. In this case the simulacra will cross their arms, sharing the ambivalent interaction.
- Julia Featherstone, Rebirth of Venus, 2018, Photo collage on canvas
- She’s the AI goddess who can see all the way to infinity
From my song: Atomic Goddess (Julia Featherstone / Peter Head).
Rebirth of Venus (2018)transmutes Botticelli’s mythical painting of Venus (1486) into the Age of Cyborgs – a goddess emerges from the sea after her own birth as a fully-grown woman. In this photo collage, the Goddess of Fertility transcends herself to mirror the Virgin Mary’s immaculate conception with two babies in the womb, exclaiming: ‘I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess!’
‘The Big Bang’ is the first animation of my painting series ‘History of Humans’ painted across 9 hollow core, wooden doors (1.8M x 800cm), with the final installation (1.8M x 7.2M).
The process involved paint, a camera and 3 softwares. Matisse Acrylic paints – black gesso for the darkness of the void with Matisse Structure paints for the bursts of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, as light waves emerge from the void in the centre. JPGs (1920 x 1080 px) were shot on my Canon Mark 3 camera. I used Quicktime7 to animate the sequence and Cubase 8.5 to compose the music, ‘Atomic Woman’. The final edits and merging of image and music were completed in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.
The final series ‘History of Humans’ will include:
1. The Big Bang 2. ‘Creation of Stars’ 3. Chemical Complexity (stars collapse) 4. Planetary Systems (Sun and Earth) 5. First Life on Earth (photosynthesis, oxygen) 6. Human Communication (collective learning) 7. Agriculture and Energy 8. Industrial Revolution (Carbon, Anthropocene, Artificial intelligence) 9. Red Giant (Our Sun loses energy, expands into a red giant causing the annihilation of Earth and our solar system.
Download the Powerpoint portfolio with links to my movies (Vimeo) in Powerpoint Slide Show view. Julia_Featherstone_PhD_Portfolio_9.6MB
And Her Ghost May Be Heard
My painting inspired by the mysterious Min Min Lights that scare and follow travellers near the Winton-Boulia road in outback QLD. The ghost of Mary McKenzie, my Scottish great-grandmother, contemplates the billabong where gave birth to her first baby in 1881 while travelling alone with a bullock wagon to meet her husband in Boulia. Golden waves link Mary to the ephemeral light. Musical notes resonate Banjo Patterson’s ballad, Waltzing Matilda, 1896, while a galah and cockatoos screech across the Cawnpore Hills.
Julia Featherstone, And Her Ghost May Be Heard 2015. Diptych. Mixed media on board, 240 x 234cm.
Circles of Time
Atomic particles spin within humans, plants, animals, rocks and all matter in the universe. This painting imagines the spinning atomic particles at twilight.
Julia Featherstone, Circles of Time, 2015. Acrylic on canvas.
Posted in Absurd, Invisible, Landscape, moonstruck, Shadows, Surreal, Video Stills
Tagged Boulia, desert, Min Min lights, moonlight, moonlight sonata, painted light, red sand, Simpson Desert, Winton
The Red Desert Project installed 2.5 billion grains of red desert sand on the floor of an urban gallery for city-dwellers to walk barefoot and be ‘out there’ in the emptiness. This immersive exhibition was integral to my studio-based Master of Fine Arts degree at COFA, UNSW. The images are video stills from HD video projections. Left: Moonlight Sonata (Simpson Desert, SA); Centre: Gibson’s Compass (Simpson Desert, SA); Right: Alchemy of the Sun (Lake Disappointment, Little Sandy Desert, WA) > See MFA14
2014-06-02 in Abandon, Absurd, Firenze, Invisible, Landscape, mapism, moonstruck, Music, Perspective, Place, Sand, Scale, Science, Shadows, Surreal, Video Stills
Tagged 'out there', 'The Red Desert Project, billion grains of sand, emptiness, Lake disappointment, Little Sandy Desert, materiality, moonlight, moonlight sonata, red, red sand, Simpson Desert, urban dwellers
A ceramic work that is part of a series about getting bogged and stuck in the Simpson Desert for 11 days, 3-13 September 2010. Alasdair Macfarlane drove over 12 kilos of Keane’s Stoneware33 clay wrapped in gladwrap.
I let the clay dry for 2 weeks, then bisque fired, circa 1,000 degreesC. Painted 3x glazes – Satin Black, Copper Red and Chun. Finally, Petra Svoboda, COFA ceramics, reduction fired the work in a gas kiln for 10 hours, circa 1280 degreesC. Big thanks to COFA ceramic lecturers, Jacqueline Clayton and Julie Bartholomew, for advice and help on how to realise the work.
Posted in Abandon, Absurd, Ceramic, Fracture, Landscape, mapism, Place, Shadows, Surreal
Tagged bodded, ceramics, claypan, Simpson Desert, stuck, tread, wheel
The video explores internal compass, beliefs, mis-beliefs and the desires for new horizons. Inspired by the Gibson Desert and Alfred Gibson who, in 1874, lusted after Ernest Giles’s compass, even though he did not know how to use it. The video opens with a red compass resting on a slatted wooden table. A figure enters, picks up the two objects, and walks across the claypan, shrinking towards the vanishing point on the horizon line. https://vimeo.com/45287392
Alasdair Macfarlane and I took 11 days to winch and pull ourselves through the muddy claypans of the Simpson Desert to Birdsville. Gibson disappeared in 1874 when he went searching for water with Giles’s compass. His body was never found, despite days of searching and the Gibson Desert is named in his memory.
Exhibitions: Blake Prize 2012 Director’s Cut Exhibition http://www.blakeprize.com/galleries/directors-cut?yr=2012&page=3; Desert Equinox Festival, Night-Sun-Days screening, Broken Hill, 1-23 September, 2012; Half a Desk exhibition, Kudos Gallery, Paddington, 15-18 August, 2012.
May 6: Postcard: Michaelangelo’s Cave: Sculptor Lea Ferris sent me a postcard of the quarry in the Apuan Alps near Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy, where the marble for Michaelangelo’s David 1501-04 and other white marble sculptures was mined. I love the steep slopes, texture and zig-zag road… and memory of place
May 6: POSTCARD: Michaleangelo’s Cave after digging in Photoshop > Filters > Stylise > Find Edges
Posted in Abandon, Absurd, cubism, Firenze, mapism, Perspective, Place, Sculpture, Shadows
Tagged "Apuan Alps", "Michaelangelo's Cave", "zigzag road" zigzag, marble, Pietrasanta, sketch, Tuscany