Issue 28: Movement
Melissa Ryke Roll, 2015, single channel high definition video, 16:9, 3:53mins
The context for this project began with research into the camera as an indiscriminatory eye. This can be traced back to Dziga Vertov’s 1929 film Man With a Movie Camera. This film, and Dziga’s manifesto, marked the start of the ciné-œil movement that is based around the idea of the camera as ‘an all seeing eye’. This movement tried to link the viewer closer to the lived experience rather than express elaborate cinematic stories and scenes. Today, there are small, cheap and durable on-board cameras available that we can attach directly onto objects or our bodies. These cameras, such as the GoPro, have changed the way in which people frame, record and share events, as most of the on-board cameras often have a wide-angled lens and no viewfinder. During this process the cameraman/woman relies on the camera to record all their surroundings. With the lack of a highly constructed composition and the immediacy of its filming process this camera truly becomes an indiscriminatory eye because the composition and movement of the video is made in contingency with the body or an object. The footage produced by these cameras touch on themes of documentary, surveillance and extreme sports cultures. For me, these cameras offer the potential of embodied experience through the installation process and decorporealisation; where the movement and the position of the camera temporarily become the movement and position of the viewer, permitting the spectator to enter into a participative, performative, and experiential space with the work.
Melissa Ryke is a contemporary artist based between Australia and France. In what is largely an experimental and hybrid practice, she works across the mediums of video, sound, text, drawing and installation. Her practice-led research is driven by how our experiences are remade through the moving-image and sound. Particularly how on-board cameras activate the body and its movements.
Ryke’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including at Palais des Beaux Arts (Lille, FR), Seventh Gallery (Melbourne, AU), !MetroArts and Boxcopy (Brisbane, AU).
Ryke is also one third of the artist collective Threefold with Pirrin Francis (AU) and Hayley Brandon (UK/AU). Together they use their geographical distance as a basis to investigate the processes of collaboration across physical, digital and cognitive space.
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