Impossible Geographies 1.1: Memory

Petra Gemeinboeck and Mary Agnes Krell

Archive Exhibitions (19 November to 15 December 2005)
Impossible Geographies 1.1 was an interactive installation exploring memory as a metaphor for the fluid boundaries between the physical and the virtual.
This work dynamically traced visitors’ actions, mixing them in unexpected ways with memories stolen in the physical and held by the virtual. Throughout the exhibition space, those memories seeped into the present, creating a virtually woven fabric of inhabitant’s traces that grew and evolved over time.

The exhibition space was threaded with a network of laser beams, coated with video projections and equipped with two cameras, its ‘eyes.’ It enclosed a series of implied and shifting geographies, signified and made ‘tangible’ only by beams of light. When crossed, visitors interrupted the space, leaving their visual mark and triggering a fracture through which a virtual space could seep into the physical present. Alluding to the fluid nature of belonging, each of these ‘neural extensions’ that connected the physical space to its virtual memory space, allowed for the creation of unique fragmentary and fluid narratives. As the memory of the space grew, so did these structures.

About The Artist

Petra Gemeinboeck

Petra Gemeinboeck is an artist and researcher, working across creative robotics, performance and feminist theory. In her current creative research, Petra collaborates with AI researcher Rob Saunders to develop robotic works that explore our entanglements with machines and make tangible the vulnerabilities and politics involved. She currently leads an Australia Council Research project that investigates the potential of movement, and dance in particular, for reimagining how machines look, learn and affect us. An earlier work, Accomplice (2013-14), investigates the co-evolution of humans and machines by deploying autonomous robots embedded into the architectural fabric of a gallery. Previously, Petra has developed interactive installations, locative media works and virtual environments that engaged participants in scenarios of encounter, provoking them to negotiate with a machinic co-performer.

Petra was a finalist for the National New Media Art Award 2012, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, and the International Lace Award 2011, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, and received an honorary mention at the Live 2011 Grand Prix, Digital Turku, European Capital of Culture. Her works have been exhibited internationally, including at the Ars Electronica Festival, AT, International Triennial of New Media Art at NAMOC, Beijing; Centre des Arts Enghien at Paris; Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, UK; Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, AU; ICC Tokyo; and MCA Chicago, IL. She has published widely on issues of interactivity and machine agency.

Mary Agnes Krell

Mary Agnes Krell is an artist, a professor of creative media and a leader. She is a Director in the School of Media, Film & Music at the University of Sussex and she has been a board member for arts and community organisations. She is also the Director of the multi-award-winning GNUF, a group in receipt of a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, “the MBE for voluntary groups”.

She has worked widely in theatre and art contexts (creating interactive projects for digital media and installations) since the early 1990s. Her work has been shown on multiple continents and in a wide range of contexts. Many of the projects she have been involved with have received awards and other major forms of recognition.

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