Formed in Sydney in 2002, Soda_Jerk is a 2-person art collective that approaches sampling as an alternate form of history-making. Working at the intersection of documentary and speculative fiction, their archival practice has taken the form of video installations, cut-up texts, screensavers and lecture performances. Soda_Jerk are based in New York where their work was recently shown in a dedicated program at Anthology Film Archives. They have collaborated with Australian collectives The Avalanches and VNS Matrix, and exhibited work in museums, cinemas, festivals and torrent sites. Soda_Jerk are the recipients of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission and will premiere their new film Terror Nullius at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in 2018.
After the Rainbow, 2009, single channel video and audio.
Through a re-imagining of the initial sequence of the film The Wizard of Oz (1939), the fantasy world of cinema and the reality of Judy Garland’s complex life collide. Instead of taking Dorothy to Oz, the twister transports a young, hopeful Garland into the future where she encounters her disillusioned adult self. After the Rainbow (2009) is the second work in Soda_Jerk’s Dark Matter series, begun in 2005. Each work takes the form of a séance fiction, where encounters are staged between the past and future selves of a deceased screen star.
Sabina Maselli is an artist whose work centres around the psychology of the image in space and time, and the fracturing of the frame and screen. Her work is concerned with ideas of identity, transformation, and memory and their different manifestations in the physical, biological, technological, material, and mythological realms. Her analogue and digital works are presented as films, video installations and performances, on screen, stage, and in undefined spaces. She directs music videos and collaborates with various musicians and performing art companies in audio-visual shows, and expanded cinema projects. Her works have been presented at places such as Sydney Contemporary, Sydney, Channels Festival, Melbourne, Mona Foma Festival, Tasmania, Mons European Capital of Culture Festival, Belgium and NES Residency Program, Iceland. She has worked with various companies such as Chamber Made Opera, Punctum, Australian Art Orchestra, and Speak Percussion. She is an active member of the film collective Artist Film Workshop (AFW) in Melbourne. Her works have been screened with AFW at places such as Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP), Close-up Film Centre, London and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.
Mask of Hysteria, 2017, single channel video installation, audio.
The video installation Mask of hysteria plays with contrasting connotations of its title: 'mask' as a covering, a disguise, as well as its Latin origin 'masca', meaning 'witch' or 'spectre'; 'hysteria' as a psychological disorder, as well as its Greek origin 'hustera', meaning 'womb'. The viewer is invited to enter the work by 'eclipsing' the burning masculine sun and becoming engulfed by the flames of hysteria, which as a negative makes a suspect out of anyone, to be banished, and as a positive reclaims the word as the furnace of feminine power, the moon.
Oliver Hull & Celeste Njoo
Oliver Hull and Celeste Njoo are an artist and graphic designer collaboration based in Melbourne. Their work explores the intersection of popular culture, esoteric structures and the communication and construction of language. From 2016-2017 they collaborated on 7 books ranging in topics from the invented language Sol re sol to Deimos (Mars’ smallest moon), exhibiting some of these at Pierre Kamp Lab, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands in 2016.
Oliver Hull is a Melbourne based artist working across digital media, video, and installation. Hull is currently interested in the poetic and political properties of images and their relationship to history and landscape. Most recently he has held a solo exhibition at Firstdraft, Sydney and in 2018 will hold a solo exhibition at Bus Projects and a collaborative exhibition at Kings ARI.
Celeste Njoo is a graphic designer based in Melbourne, primarily working on artist books and publication design. Her work is research based, with designs strongly informed by the content of the publication. Common themes include alternate language systems, the occult and esoteric.
Feelers, 2017, Mood rings and chewing gum.
Feelers (2017) is a collection of Mood rings installed around the gallery, adhered directly to the walls. In this iteration it uses chewing gum as the adhesive.
Feelers utilises the cultural baggage associated with mood rings as a way to agitate awarenesses of physical, pseudoscientific, spiritual, mystical and magical understandings of the site(1).
Mood rings are a piece of novelty jewellery that change colour with heat. The pseudoscientific myth is that subtle changes in body temperature may indicate your mood, this may be before you experience it or even against what you may be feeling.
By attaching the rings directly to the walls of the gallery, Hull and Njoo firstly allow the rings to represent the invisible flow of heat through the room, situating the gallery in the wider environment. Secondly, the emotions of the ring are transferred causing the the space to become animated(2) with various spectres and conspiracies. What and who caused the change? Poltergeists, curses, global warming, peculiar architectural features?
One of the artists’ favourite interpretations is outlined in the works accompanying publication Mood (2017, self published), which documents the ring’s installation in the artists’ shared apartment for over a year. In the text a circular argument is constructed, linking good weather with increased trading and so increased production causing global warming(3). The rings end-up representing the mood cycle of weather or the weather cycle of moods; a constant feedback loop of vibes.
1. (depending on susceptibility).
2. An animation spell is a very powerful incantation that causes inanimate objects to come to life, or to move and act as if they were alive, and if it's a very powerful spell, these objects will be alive. http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Animation_Spell
3. ( good weather > trading>production> global warming> Mood = ∞)
Jack Caddy’s practice, takes the recognisable but overlooked corners of online image culture and relishes in its soon to be stale ‘nowness.’ Glorifying the general aesthetic of mass mediated images, his work explores how consumption is as an act of communion in the cultivation of our online selves. Blending together the clickbait, screenshots, memes, and found footage into a slick irony - rich smoothie fit for your Instagram.
Home is where the altar is..., 2017, 3-channel video, audio, installation of found objects.
If you can’t summon the flames directly from hell, store bought is fine. A history of horror, persecution, and oppression, the modern witch now appears, turned into Buzzfeed personality quizzes, and Etsy store owners, casting emoji spells and horoscope memes into the ether. Chanting spells from Kindles, and rendering elixirs from their smartphones, this power to create global online communities has placed Witchcraft at the middle of a search for spiritual fulfillment in the digital age. Home is where the altar is.. explores the ever changing representation of the witch through a three channel video installation of digital, 3D renders and readymade objects. Thus drawing parallels between the everyday technology of the digital alter, a thriving inclusive online coven, and the ‘marketplace feminism’ of the modern Witches subsequent commercialisation.
Emma Buswell is a West Australian based artist, curator and designer currently practicing out of Perth. Since graduating with First Class Honours in 2012, Buswell has undertaken several curatorial and arts making projects, most recently as curator at Success Art Space in Fremantle. She has curated projects Hypotheticals Part II, MaxArt and Wilderness Tasks; completed an artist residency at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts and has exhibited in a host of group and solo exhibitions. In 2011 she was selected to represent Australia at the Antonio Ratti Foundation in Como, Italy, where she studied under prodigious artist Susan Hiller. In 2013 Buswell co-curated and presented work in an exhibition titled Hypotheticals Part II at Freerange Gallery. Later that year she was awarded a grant from the Artsource Constantine Family Foundation and started a temporary art space and durational work called MaxART, which occupied a two person office space in the old Bankwest Tower in Perth. Other exhibitions include; Under Development (solo), Moana Project Space, Perth 2015, MATHESON, Applecross Artspace 2015, Illuminations, The Blue Room Theatre 2016, Excessive Lighting, Freerange Gallery 2015, Stay/Keep, Paper Mountain Gallery 2014, Run Artist Run, Paper Mountain Gallery 2014 and Corso Aperto I, II & III, Antonio Ratti Foundation, Como, Italy, 2011. In 2015 Buswell completed a professional development through the Australia Council for the Arts, working at the Australian Pavilion during the Venice Biennale.
WITCH KIT: DIY Devices to assist young teen witches, 2017, Textiles, yarn, fake gemstones, found objects, and acrylic.
1. BYOB Broom Escape Plan
Recalling the ability of teen witches and wizards screen wide to escape their own realities through the use of a broom or vacuum cleaner, BYOB Broom Escape Plan conjures from the essence of famous broom travellers a new way of escaping one's insecurities and inner demons.
2. I Asked the Cosmos for Advice and it Told me to Concentrate and Ask Again
Need advice on a crush, or got an assignment you’re uncertain of? Harnessing the latent advisory powers within pseudo-magical devices like magic 8 balls, japanese fish, fortune cookies and many more, The I Asked the Cosmos for Advice and it Told me to Concentrate and Ask Again jumper is here to help you resolve your uncertainties with flair.
3. I’ll B There 4 U
Manifesting the power and wisdom of sister spirit witches across literature and popular culture, the I’ll B There 4 U witch dress envelops and protects whilst imbuing the wearer with a magnified magical aura to combat against outside forces.
Witch Kit draws on the powers of object magic and simulacra to create utlitarian objects of pop-spiritual significance. Object magic, totems, talismans and magical devices appear across continents, through time and dimensions. They are some of the earliest forms of spiritual protections and ritual magics. Drawing upon the latent power within image renderings of teen witches and magical devices, the items in this collection form a prototype for ways pop-cultural magic can have a real and generative impact over the world and our own psyches. Recalling folk tales and practices of stitching objects into the linings of clothes, as a protective act against ill will and dangerous spirits, the items in Witch Kit harness the construct of the teen witch as she has come to be represented through popular culture. Rendered in object form and totemic in their power, these objects became a protective shield, keeping both external forces at bay whilst also protecting the user from their own inner demons.
Grace Connors is an inter-disciplinary artist whose work draws from film studies and the moving image. Connors trawls through disparate image based materials to explore online, internet archives and our relationship with technology, to one another and with the screen. Completing her Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) in 2016, she is currently acting as board member and exhibitions manager for Moana Project Space and was nominated for Hatched National Graduate Show in 2015.
I went to a bikram yoga class and all I got was a pat on the back and a grande caramel soy latte, 2017, single channel video, installation of found objects.
When I was 10, my mum forced me into doing a group dance class. I had just learned how to whistle. Instead of joining in, I spent the whole time whistling, an outsider with a penchant to whistle. I am sorry for wasting your money mum. Instead of dance classes, it’s 6am bootcamps and exorbitantly expensive fitness gear. You’re an outsider, you don’t have a naturally athletic body, you never liked dance class either. #fitspo and acai bowls don’t appeal to you. You just want to a cigarette and a strong, black coffee. You try anyway, you want to see what it’s like on the other side. You conjure the demon. You buy a membership You buy into it, you wear it once, you try to return it but they only do store credit so it ends up in the back of your IKEA chest of drawers. You throw it to the curb for verge collection for someone else to pick up for their 1 bedroom apartment. Only to throw it away again. i went to a bikram yoga class and all i got was a pat on the back and a grande caramel soy latte is for anyone who also can’t touch their toes. And for those who can, but who also know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in, or maybe just really like to whistle too.
Lyndon Blue is an artist from Perth. Across diverse mediums, he draws on pop, vernacular and esoteric traditions to explore ideas that span (or collapse) the mundane and the extravagant. His work often deals with chance aesthetic intrigue, 'magic' evocations and ritual. Broadly, he approaches art as a tool for disrupting norms and reframing the banal. Blue has exhibited work at Kurb Gallery, House of Bricks (Collingwood), Camp Doogs and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. He performs in several experimental and pop music acts, and directs the Indigo Children project - a vehicle for DIY events, publications, recordings and more.
Fiat Lux / Logos, 2017, acrylic on Canvas, 50 x 80 cm
Christianity, Hinduism and Islam agree: in the beginning, God spoke the cosmos into being with one utterance. Or more precisely, one “logos” (from the Greek, meaning plea, expectation, word or speech). He then illuminated the cosmos with two other words: “Fiat Lux” (Latin; “Let there be light”). These prototypical magic spells set the template for speaking or willing a circumstance into reality.
On the battlefield of life and commerce the same logic holds true. Perhaps motivation, perspiration and inspiration are not as important as articulation. A positive outlook, personal mantra and clear visualisation will bring you the success you desire and deserve. If you want a luxury Fiat, it will be yours, but remember that good things only come to those who ask. The Law of Attraction is already at work, so address it wisely. Harness your subconscious energies, clear those mental roadblocks and manifest the life you’ve always wanted.
Eliza Gauger is an established freelance artist and illustrator who has produced work for magazines, books, and role playing games, including Unhallowed Metropolis, Legend of the Five Rings, and even, to her chagrin, the quaintly infamous Book of Erotic Fantasy. Her work is internationally exhibited and collected.
Problem Glyphs, 2015-ongoing, smartphone app.
Problem Glyphs is a project by Eliza Gauger in which sigils are drawn in response to problems you send in. There are over 2000 glyphs so far. Continuing in the vain of techno witchcraft and etsy practitioners Problem Glyphs allows the user the potential to improve their own lives and gain control over the facets they feel beyond the mundane.