Deakin University

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Catch the wind

posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Anne WilsonAnne Wilson
Museum of Brisbane I was asked to make an 'interactive' work drawing upon a series of video works made in 2012 in which I explored ballet as a language of yearning. I also drew upon percussive compositions of Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson performed on toy pianos. Having performed in the Queensland Ballet Company I identify with ballet - its strange form in relation to life in the 21st century and more significantly ballet as an art form in Queensland Australia. As a child it promised to take the dancer beyond the real transported into weightless limitless realms. Romantic narratives, conjured up hundreds of years ago (originally 14th century French Courts) in a political and social culture are an anachronism within Australian culture. Swan Lake for example is drawn from a dreaming – morphing emotionally charged transformations beyond the limits of gravity, perhaps existing as a spirit beyond the grave for example. I bought this fantasy as a child and committed years of training into it - this work reflects back on a perceived conundrum existing both culturally (in sport and art) and within the discipline and form of ballet itself. I used algorithmic interaction in one work for the first time - working with a coding practitioner and a motion capture camera to define rules of engagement for the viewer - aiming to create a sense of weightlessness and dance1. On the other wall a simple shadow play for children is facilitated through a work that comes out of 'Wet Motion' 2010, 'Glide' 2013. Video is projected onto a grey screen and I choose pixels from surrounding landscape through photographs taken in different light situations. I then allow the software to determine how one colour changes into another. At the Museum this wall is flanked by a video of Lisa Bolte. She is performing to audio (not played in this work) of a throat singer recorded at Banff Centre for the Arts. Her movements reflect a kind of modern day Dying Swan narrative - one of transformation. I created a particular light situation in which her movements are revealed and concealed under theatrical light. Together with the circle of colour her figure moves in synch with colour gradients. The work is meant to engage children in their own shadow and the figure of Lisa in motion. 1 Dance as distinct from momentary play and real time interaction based only on machine learning – the aim is to engage a viewer to dance taking time to move in synch with music over time engaged emotionally to sense weightlessness. Temporality experienced through a viewer’s choreography with prompts - music/rhythm/ballet.


Creation date


Material type

art original


This work is central to my research and attracted a grant from the Australia Council for the arts in support of further development.

Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work


This is an interactive work using motion sensors and programming


Museum of Brisbane

Place of publication

Brisbane, Qld.


as part of 'every day i wait' (3)