Rust, Dust and Water Memories is the title of a new collaborative project between Northern Territory based artist Renita Glencross and Canberra based artist Tracey Benson.

Background to the project and collaboration
Renita and Tracey met through a mutual friend in mid 2014, realising that they had many synergies between their creative practice, community focus and commitment to issues related to environment, media and engaging with First Peoples. Tracey then invited Renita to attend SCANZ2015 and since then a conversation has been evolving between them and some like-minded networks.

This project focuses on their creative practice as artists and their mutual interests in mapping, ideas of place and interactivity.

Read this post about their first journey together to the APY Lands in July 2015.

Concept – Rust, dust and water memories
Using phone apps such as Google Earth, MotionX and Aurasma, the artists will create an interactive augmented reality exhibition that transports the audience to the place where it’s all happening. From 100km in the air, at 100km along the road, at 100mm and then up close and personal with the storyteller.

Through AR technology, each video/story is located by a visual link, in this case the photo-canvas; which will also be available on other printed media such as cards and books so that audience can view the exhibition from anywhere, at any time.

What is the relationship of a human body and it’s journey through the time and space it travels? Exploring how we move and the impact of the environment is a goal of the scientist. Recognising and sharing the experience in that present time, that we are the goal and it is changing with us, is the role of the artist – John Cage (2013)

Human impact, directly on place, in the intimate subjective space.
Look again at the world we are sharing, the elemental world.
Objects are energy fields subject to other energy fields.
Space on space, a concentration of attention and possibility.

Mapping Time & Place – Renita Glencross
This is a journey that started two decades ago. While living and working in remote central Australian desert communities, I travelled repeatedly on the well-worn tracks that run through it. The adventure is ongoing as I revisit these sites every 2-3 years and capture yet another landscape painting emerging in the rusting and dusted car-bodies; long since discarded but now landmarks of not-forgotten events that are forming their own cultural story line.

They’ve been resting here for so long now, decades. The grass grows amongst them and is burned, grows and burns, grows and burns, seasonally; and the paintings just get more and more beautiful every year.

There are 35 images and 7 stories. Each image is a GPS located study situated in the middle of the Australian desert, mapped over a 20 year period as they are slowly reclaimed by the environment. Each image is a 30 x 30 photo-canvas layered with the perceptible micro, macro and human scale visual descriptors that identify it. The photo-canvas is also a digital pathway to the intangible story of an event since past, that gives the wreck meaning and context to the people creating and living in the landscape.

Remote Connections – Tracey Benson
A performance work in the mid 1990s was the starting point for an ongoing exploration of the landscape, place and ideas of embodiment and identity. Since then, Tracey has created many works that have critically and playfully looked at both the culture and science that is invested in how we identify and articulate stories about the landscape and our connection to it.

By weaving together Augmented Reality (AR) technology with aerial mapping imagery with video and soundscapes, Tracey has recently expanded on her creative interest in place through a number of projects “Words for Water” and “Finding Ghosts”. These two projects are ongoing and explore the natural, urban and estuarine environments with a purpose of revealing the layers of history, multiple stories and connections to place.

Tracey is also collaborating with an Indian developer to create a robust open source tool for creating AR works, which also utilises geolocation informations. The intention for the tool is to also enable users to add their stories via sound recordings, video and photography.


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