'MAN A' takes as its starting point the relationship between man & his environment, exploring the use of camouflage, warpaint & tattoos - seen through the prism of neo-tribalism. The subject is hidden in plain sight, the pattern used to confound the eye rather than conceal, to give power to the wearer rather than diminish them.
During WWI artist Norman Wilkinson invented a type of ship camouflage consisting of complex intersecting geometric patterning designed to confuse the enemy. Dazzle camouflage & machine readable markers (Barcodes, Augmented Reality, QR codes) are two opposing ways in which information can be encoded on a surface, one used in wartime for concealment, the other in peacetime as a tracking marker or bearer of information.
Human brains are hardwired to recognise human figures in a landscape - a remnant of our hunter-gatherer ancestry - where movement could constitute a threat to survival. This installation plays with these perceptions, concealing figures so that they are only visible to the viewer by means of technology.
The artists create computer generated environments often populated by moving figures. In recent works the locus of the performance has shifted from dancer to visitor, their aim is to provoke new relationships between visitor & artwork, figures in new landscapes. The artists research led them to Australia & New Zealand where they spent time on residency working with optical motion capture, the moving body & AR. These technological experiences aligned with exposure to the art & history of ancient Aboriginal & Maori cultures fuelled their imaginations & re-established their interest in identification & surveillance exploring themes of concealment in relationship to man & his environment. Gibson is a Senior Research Fellow at Coventry University's Centre for Dance Research exploring avatar and environment design with Martelli in relation to their motion capture and computer visualisation practice. The performers in MAN A are experienced Skinner Releasing Technique dancers. The technique has at its core, the premise that everyone is endowed with a natural, primal grace, an animal like grace, releasing connects to that grace and the dance of life.
The duo are currently making a game for LA Game Space and were recently Artists in Residence at CAFKA/CHRISTIE in Kitchener/Waterloo, Canada working with a CAVE virtual reality system & Oculus Rift Virtual Reality goggles to make a new work for the CAFKA 14 Biennial
More info about the artists: www.igloo.org.uk
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MAN A 2013 Performers: Nicola Gibbons, Siobhan O'Neil, Robert Davidson, Eszter Gal, Bettina Neuhaus, Joe Moran, Florence Peake, Julie Nathanielsz. Concept & Design: Gibson/Martelli Printing: Omni Special Thanks to: Ian William Gouldstone, Alex Woolner & Dan McCormick for programming support and Jon Meyer for application support.
14 Sept 2014 - 4 Jan 2015 Archive Fever! Clay & Glass Museum, Waterloo, Canada. Curated by Krista Blake.
3 July - 14 Sept 2014, 'Digital Revolution' Barbican, London, UK. Commissioned by the Barbican for 'Digital Revolution'.
10 - 13 June 2014, 'You/Me/It', Institut Jozef Stefan, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Sponsored as a part of Contact Forum by the PROSECCO network & supported by Goldsmiths for the ICCC Fifth International Conference on Computational Creativity.
6 Jan- 1 Mar 2014, 'Festival of Imagination', Selfridges, London, UK. Developed through a Selfridges Commission & an AHRC Fellowship Award.