Telemetry

Telemetry HeadsetsMy good friend Nathan and I jetted down to sunny Adelaide this past weekend to spruike our wares and participate in the fantastic arts development residency that is Adhocracy. Held at (and run by) the Vitalstatistix Theatre Company, Adhocracy is a ‘national artist hothouse’, which supports the creative development of new experimental and interdisciplinary arts projects.

Telemetry, put together by Nathan and I conceptually in the months leading up to Adhocracy, was one such project.

Those fancy-looking headsets on the right are one half of the Telemetry hardware. The other half is a front-facing, chest-mounted camera, streaming live video to screens in the visors. The catch is that you can only see from the other participant’s viewpoint, meaning that accurate and efficient communication is required between the two of you to achieve even the simplest of tasks.

Over the course of the weekend residency, Nathan and I explored a few different ways of making Telemetry performable – we were looking at using it as the basis of a long-term installation, and as a short, 30-minute show involving the two of us working to achieve a particular goal. Where we found the device to really shine, though, was as an interactive piece, with participants using it in pairs and going through the initial moment of realisation of how it works. It is very different to have the devices explained to you, and wearing them for the first time is the most interesting moment in the discovery and process of using them.

Apart from working on our own stuff, we spent the weekend seeing a bunch of other works-in-progress – all of which were forward-thinking and brilliant – and meeting and talking with some of the awesome people involved with each of the projects.

10/10. I’d go to Adelaide again.

Prime Suspect

My good friend and collaborator Nathan Harrison (with whom I created and performed The Mayfly Project) invited me to be a part of a new project as a one-off performance.

Entitled ‘Prime Suspect’, the installation performance takes place over a few hours (in this case, to the side of the stage at Performance Space’s ‘Nighttime: Talent Quest’) and sees professional mathletes Nathan and Jake try to achieve the impossible: finding the next highest prime number!

Finding the next prime number, by hand, on a whiteboard, is, of course, a completely preposterous idea, as the current record-holding prime number was discovered by a computer program, and is no less than 17.4 million digits long.

Despite the completely futile goal, we both impressed ourselves with how far we actually got: we detailed all of the prime numbers between 2 and 2179 – that’s 327 prime numbers, and a ruling-out of 1800+ non-primes.

Prime Suspect

You Are Here (I Was There)

Over the last week I spent some time in Coffs Harbour, playing a string of gigs for St Partick’s Day with The Button Collective, then a marathon solo road trip to Canberra to do two shows of The Mayfly Project with my old friend and recent collaborator Nathan Harrison.

We were there as part of You Are Here, a yearly curated festival that showcases come of Canberra’s best independent and experimental arts, incorporating theatre, visual arts, music, installations, etc.

The Mayfly Project is a performance lecture about time and our perception of it. Nathan and I delve into some pretty deep territory as far as long-term thinking and speculative futures go, and we have a lot of fun doing it. The show started life as a simple idea about looking at the lengths of time it might take to do certain tasks, but quickly evolved into a more informative lecture-based performance during a week-long Quickfire Residency with Performance Space.

We performed the show twice in Canberra, the first time I had only just arrived in town after a nine-hour drive, which is why I looked like this:

The Mayfly Project in Canberra

Despite the fact that I looked like some kind of a melancholy werewolf, the show was well-received by a fantastic audience, who stuck around at the end for a 20-minute discussion expanding on some of the themes we presented in the show.

Before our second show, a few days later, I got a chance to hang around Canberra (which I hadn’t ever really done before), and catch a whole bunch of other You Are Here shows and artwork stuff. It was great to be amongst an artistic community that I otherwise don’t have much of a chance to mingle with.

One of our performances was reviewed here.