24hr video installation with sound. 5m x 3m.
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A continuous, 24hr live feed of this work lives here in perpetuity.
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Remnant presents a continuous real-time, synchronised, twenty-four hour image of the empty and unmade bed where the artist’s father died in late 2014. His body lay for three days before being discovered. The video, together with a twenty-four hour unedited field recording of the remote and rural location, was captured in the days immediately prior. Nothing changes in the film except the light and the sound of the ambivalent natural surrounds.
The work considers place, the passing of time, personal history, and the experience of loss through death. It engages duration and exclusion as means to investigate the liminality of this shifting space. The video stream captures the changing of light that occurs in the room through the course of the three days whilst the body cooled and quieted, connecting the viewer to the space through the experience of real time. The sound component documents the continuing and unaltered sounds of the surrounding lands. Thus the work is the artist’s attempt to inhabit a space and time, forever made impossible.
As he has noted:
“The grieving process was bound up with feelings of exclusion. I was excluded from being present at the time of death, excluded from any opportunity to say goodbye prior to death, excluded both geographically from the site by a distance of a thousand kilometres, and temporally by the fifteen years that had elapsed since I had been a resident in my father’s house. The site of his death was formerly my childhood room, the bed was my childhood bed.”
Remnant I marks the first in a series of semi-related works approaching death and trauma from an archival and durational perspective. This exclusion is reflected in the dislocation between the site of death, the external streamed space, and the gallery site. The work is a live-streamed projection of the footage as it is being projected twenty-four hours a day in real-time in an anonymous, isolated space. While the gallery may only be open limited hours, the work continues on in this other space regardless, for the duration of the month.
On the anniversary of the three days the body was in situ the artist was present in the gallery during the work’s premier and seated in front of the work for six hours a day in a further attempt to inhabit this impossible space and time.
The accompanying piece Remnant II (forthcoming) is an almost identical replica of Remnant I, distinguished only by the elapsing of time. The shot is identical, though taken a year after Remnant I. It presents the same room, now repainted, clear of all furniture and bereft of any trace of it’s former inhabitant.
Hurtz - a work for mixing console, outboard and audio-reactive visuals. Debuted at J Substation (a working electrical substation) for Melbourne Music Week (2014). Later iterations have appeared at The Arts Centre, Melbourne (2014), Tilde Festival (2016) and Electrofringe (2015).
Hurtz is being released as a double-album in 2018.
Quad-channel data sonification installation incorporating live keylogging and text-to-morse code generation.
Melbourne Premiere - Tilde Festival of New Music & Sound Art - 19th January 2019 - Testing Grounds
‘These shifts of gaze and plays of imagery, this emptying of the consciousness, can be caused - this time in systematic, generalised and prosaic fashion - by the characteristic features of what I have proposed to call ‘supermodernity’. These subject the individual consciousness to entirely new experiences and ordeals of solitude, directly linked with the appearance and proliferation of non-places.’
- Marc Augé (Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity)
When Marc Augé first began identifying the alienating and transitory spaces that marked his notion of the supermodern life they were big, architectural and public. Computers had yet to so thoroughly inveigle the personal space, let alone become miniaturised, super-powered and portable. The revolution that has occurred since has shifted the site of the non-place from the public to the personal, and from the large to the small. The new non-place par excellence is the QWERTY key[board/pad]. It exists as a our prime zone of interaction with, and mediation of, the world yet they are inherently empty. We spend more and more time with them, for digital transition and transmission, for the genesis of our identities.
From My Non-Place is an attempt to interrogate the habitation of this space, to further depersonalise the experience of engagement with the keyboard and to consider the ultimate significance of the content that we produce daily and that constitutes so much of our personal archive. Additionally the work attempts to free past streams of activity by allowing them to live on as things of beauty through sonarising and encoding.
The source data set for this work is activity on a personal laptop, as tracked by a covert keylogger. This data is broken into four subsets which is each parsed by a discrete morse engine using Max/MSP. The text generates a stream of morse code. Each engine is tuned so that the four voices, when occurring simultaneously, comprise a D minor chord. The tempo of each voice is also controlled independent of the others. The voices are then routed into Ableton Live where they undergo additional processing and spatialisation. They are then presented in a quad speaker array, with each discrete voice granted into its own speaker. Echoes of each voice can heard in its cardinally opposite speaker.
The choice of morse code as a carrier codec for the data set reflects its suitability for sonically creating the impression of a celestial scape. Using spatialisation techniques, the attempt has been made to immerse the listener in a stream of personal data that may as well be distant points of energy. All information has been preserved, and is available for decoding to any listener. It is not long before the listener ceases to hear textual communication and in it’s place hears musical tonality and perhaps randomness. Any traces of significance have been erased.
The keyboard user has been surveilled in the process of having their data scraped and is again surveilled, albeit by a non-understanding listener, in the presentation. Not dissimilar to our current online lives - our personal data floating online awaiting it’s malevolent repurposing.
NB: This work is adaptable to site by harnessing the data streams that are suggested by each new context eg. traffic flow data, nearby tweet emanations, etc.
Immersive installation for hearses, humans and guided meditation.
Debuted at Dark Mofo, Hobart AU - June 2016
Developed in collaboration with The You Orchestra.
D.A.Calf is sound designer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist for The General Assembly.
He produced, mixed and engineered their debut album Vanishing Point (2017).
Currently working on the follow-up. Expected mid-2020.
See Events page for shows.
Album. Recorded in Paris, August 2016 over the course of seven consecutive mornings.
Released April 2017.
A week in the life...
Fifty minute sound piece. Guitar drones, fader orchestration, text-to-voice generation, keystroke recorder.
Released June 2017.
Terra 1: Slotermeer / Dieppe 1 / Dieppe 2
Released July 2014.
Immersive light and sound installation for The Boon Companions' All That We Cannot Say (2016).
Programming by Bob Zeal.
Live score for short film performed solo at Federation Square, Melbourne - November 2015.
Production / Arrangement / Mixing / Engineering
See www.theinstitutestudio.com for credits, equipment, ambiences, possibilities.
Various work for live music playback, installation, film, theatre, radio and television.
Immersive, experiential theatre company founded in 2014 by Marieke Hardy & D.A.Calf.
ALL OF MY FRIENDS WERE THERE (International debut)
- Theatre Works, for Melbourne Festival October 5-11, 2017.
- Melbourne Festival 2016, Dark MOFO 2015, Brisbane Festival 2015, Adelaide Fringe 2015, Melbourne Fringe 2014.
Music for remote highways.
New album Outer coming Mid 2018.
Dark Continent, Cold Century (2010) on nomachinethinking/Vitamin.
All compositions, arrangements and production by D.A.Calf.
Posse rounded out by Joe Salvati, Paul Raine, Matt Wicking & Fenton K.