Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gina Czarnecki - Nascent - Reel Dance Film Festival Best Film 2006 - INTERVIEWS

Archive Copy 2006

Artist Gina Czarnecki works with film and installation her focus- human relationships, disease, genetic research, evolution. Paul Andrew speaks to Gina Czarnecki about her award-winning Reel Dance Entry Nascent 2005, which was awarded Best Dance Film in 2006 and features Adelaide based Choreographer Garry Stewart and the Australian Dance Theatre dancers.

Gina, I believe you "fell" into dance film, how?

When I was developing Infected (2002) I went looking for a contortionist and found Iona Kewney. [Who, by way of interest, went on to work with Ultima Vez].

Initially, this work was about - in really brief terms -the line where the physical possibilities end and the digitally manipulated start - an ongoing exploration of mine about notions of truth and construct, perception, illusion and belief.

In its draft stage I met David Metcalfe, now FORMA ARTS AND MEDIA
( whose background is presenting, touring and producing performance/ sound,/dance. David suggested that I applied to the Capture scheme (UK's Art Council dance on film scheme) - this was successful . I was introduced to Christian Fennesz and we commenced our work together on this - the micro editing techniques he uses really paralleled what I worked with in the visual image.

The piece was both funded and toured by the capture scheme both as a single screen piece for cinema and later in its real intended form - the circular projection installation that has been shown here in Australia at ACMI and EAF - this started my work in the dance film world.

So, yes, I happened upon it on an unintended way but in reflection much of what I'm interested in conceptually can be expressed through the depiction of the human , the extreme physicality and explorations in composition and structure over time - watching choreographers work, is to me, like listening to an orchestra-  creating oneness through the union of many different parts.

Ultimately my interest is the human and this is the internal external body, psychology and society too.

What is the concept behind Nascent 2005?

I never know what something is going to be like when I start it.  I do know what my fundamental concerns and questions are and a very broad idea of a plan. This all changes in the making. It is process led and driven through experimentation, Nascent is a visual and visceral journey through and about being. A hybrid
film that exists between visual art, experimental media, technology and dance. In Nascent there is raw footage of improvised and choreographed performance by Australian Dance Theatre dancers is confronted with compositional techniques applied in the post-production stage.  

Images form a complex and dense rhythmic structure, stretching, smearing and distorting 'real' time.  

The dancers' gestures and bodies, poised and isolated, gradually become intertwined, indistinguishable and frenetic - turbulent, mutated fragments that form and reform.  A few frames of internal body image blast in as subliminal interventions or as momentary abstractions, leaving fleeting impressions of parallel structures - organisms, mutant animals, ghosts,mechanical insertions.  The image processing creates new traces of movement that appear as blips in transmission or digital 'vibrations' where the body
and its image tune-in, momentarily, then become 'unplugged' leaving behind traces of skin-print as after-images.

Ultimately the image remains recognisably human, but only just.

The score is specially commissioned music from
Fennesz, whose own computer manipulation and processing of 'analogue' source sound echoes Czarnecki's approach to the treatment of image.

I have designed and (with Stephen Dixon) developed numerous bespoke expressions for this work that have stem from my  single frame manipulations, specifically for Nascent and its sister piece 'Spine',  these have included string vibration and field flickering String works the image like the pinging of a guitar string with variation in anchor points and frequency and field flicker makes it possible to see 50 fields of image- twice which our PAL eye is accustomed to seeing in video/television  and
rather than seeing 2 image cut together as we would see if single frame edited in  1/2/1/2/1/2/1 method - instead we see two continuous streams of real time apparently uncut motion blending together.

The image of two dancers is repeated by another set of two dancers performing an identical phrase and these are then mapped onto one another , rescaled, shaped masked from the background and rotated and are then spread in 3d space to form the first grid structure which is hundreds of layers of uncompressed footage reworked, reshaped and re-timed.

'Spine' is part of the nascent series that is a
large scale vertical outdoor public projection installation Sound by fennesz/czarnecki/verhargen Public Art Projects Whiich will be shown as p[art of the Melbourne City Council Laneways
Commmissions this year and will be on in the Winter in Union Lane. Sound by Christian Fennesz, Czarnecki and remixed by Darrin Verhagen Produced by forma and commissioned by AFF 05, supported by Arts Council England

Apart from your recent success at the 2006 Reel Dance Festival tell me about the interest in
Nascent so far?

There's been really good feedback and interest - it's being shown all over the world thanks to the hard work of my producers, Forma in the UK and Erin Brannigan here in Australia, Nascent won the delegates award at Dance screen Brighton/IMZ early this year and it seems that many curators were at this conference/festival  and have subsequently booked this to show all over - and as you know Nascent won the Australian Dance Award 'Best Film' Category this year (2006) that made me very happy.

Are you working on another dance film at the moment?

No - I m not working on another dance film as yet.
I have just worked with ADT again using fragments and clips from the Nascent work  for a new work Devolution, made with Louis Philippe Demers - this was developing the sequences in order to project them onto black scrim behind which the performers and robots all lived.

My work currently in production Contagion is a large scale interactive installation -  Its an  international collaboration with five leading epidemiologists and micro-biologists that explores notions of purity and infection.  Using existing knowledge of the epidemiology of SARS and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Contagion correlates the spread of image and information with the spread of biological infection.  It draws parallels between the biological transmission of infection, the mathematical transmission of data and the spread of ideas and understandings.

The performers in this sense and the participants - the people in the space will participate in the development and spread of 'infection' by their movement and actions in the installation space.  Combining the sensory data of viewers' actions with environmental fluctuations, the work will address attitudes towards surveillance, bio security and human interaction.

Contagion is innovative in its format and experimental in its approach and outcome.  It will be accessible to a diverse audience and aims to engage the public in the philosophical and ethical issues that surround contemporary biomedical science.

The behaviour of infectious disease, the spread of information or the
introduction of new elements into a system that cause change or mutation translates metaphorically into notions of perfection and purity and how these are defined.  This project will explore peoples' perception of disease, their engagement with surveillance devices, and social responsibility in relation to the spread of information representing biological infections.

Funded by the Welcome trust sci-art production awards
Melbourne City Council arts projects awards Arts Victoria art and Innovation award Supported by the State Library of Victoria Experimedia And the University of Technology Sydney
And a BIG THANKS to them too!!

A bit of a biog and backstory so far?
Okay, I am a British artist of polish origin now living in Australia and hoping that this will be permanent -my work intersects multiple genres and platforms.  Developed in collaboration with bio-technologists, computer programmers, dancers and sound artists, my recent works confront issues surrounding the convergence of biology and technology and the possible corruption of the human genetic mix.  Through sampling, generating and re-processing image and sound, I create contemplative spaces with strong visual aesthetics.

My work has been exhibited in public spaces and leading galleries
internationally including Arts Electronica, Austria,  The Natural History Museum, London, International Symposium of Electronic Art (ISEA), and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne, Australia. I have won  major national awards including the Creative Scotland Award 2002 and Australian Dance Film Award 2006. A Fleck Fellowship with the Banff Centre, Canada in 2004 and a Wellcome Trust Sci-Art Production Award in 2005 for
production of Contagion. 

Amongst other works, I was commissioned to create Versifier; A large scale multi-video projection (1998) that explored concepts of  genetic selection, and deconstructionalist ideology in relation to the body and the image,  and Silvers Alter(2002) working with the Human Genome Mapping Project to use DNA profiling of identified individuals to explore complex issues questioning the location of this information in the public realm and also provoking concerns relating to genocide, individuation, empathy, intimacy and sexual selection.

ARCHIVE Copy - 2006

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