A new performance-based work explores the complex relationship between humans and technology.
Number of the Machine runs at RMIT Gallery until 10 June and is by celebrated choreographer Antony Hamilton.
In an age where Artificial Intelligence is making inroads into both white and blue collar jobs, and climate issues impact the most vulnerable in our communities as well as the environment, Number of the Machine is open to a range of interpretations and offers a powerful image of where we might be headed.
Audiences are invited to watch as over four continuous hours each day, performers Melanie Lane and Amber McCartney laboriously assemble and disassemble a timber dwelling, moving it from one synthetic island to another.
Number of the Machine is Antony’s first ever work for a gallery.
“There is something about the very different spatial and narrative possibilities offered at RMIT Gallery that attracted me to presenting Number of the Machine in this environment,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton was invited by Darrin Verhagen, Director of RMIT’s Audiokinetic Experiments (AkE) Lab, to develop a work following a residency this year.
Verhagen, a senior lecturer in media and communication, said that the Audiokientic Experiments (AkE) Lab has facilitated a number of projects over the last three years that have been presented in various exhibitions at RMIT Gallery.
“Many of these projects exhibited at RMIT Gallery, such as Object 2 (Experimenta Recharge 2014), Einsturzende Neubauten’s Klangbewegungmaschine (Geniale Dilletanten 2015), blue|red: VIMS\SIMS (Morbis Artis: Diseases of the Arts, 2016), explore the boundaries of what might be classified as fine art – philosophical challenges the gallery has been generous to platform,” Verhagen said.
Hamilton’s work takes the question to the next level – not only exploiting the choreography of two 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) motion simulators, but involving two live dancers in the installation.
RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies said Hamilton’s kinetic work complements the concurrent RMIT Gallery exhibition Ocean Imaginaries, which focuses on some of the contradictions and conflicted feelings raised by how the ocean is imagined in an age of environmental risk.
“We must not forget that climate issues also impact on humanity and catastrophic environmental events will affect us all no matter how secure we think we are,” Davies said.
Number of the Machine was created with the support of Darrin Verhagen, AkE Lab, City of Melbourne and Creative Victoria.
Number of the Machine
Kinetic sculpture performance by Antony Hamilton
Performers: Melanie Lane and Amber McCartney
Dates: 19 May to 10 June
Times: Monday to Saturday 12.30-4.30pm/ Thursday 2.30-6.30pm
Venue: RMIT Gallery, Building 16, 344 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Free: You are welcome to enter and leave at any time during the performance