Art: Lateral Movement’s Moving Image ‘New Works’ program revealed

Well, it’s finally ready to announce… the program for the premiere edition of Lateral Movement: Art & the Moving Image is ready to roll out the door! After consolidating the program earlier today, we have made the cinema screening listings available at the event’s official website, with further news on the foyer installations due for a further announcement between now and Saturday’s launch. What we can say is that the foyer will feature 6 independent screens with looping silent works, and a very special post-modern sculpture contributed to by many of the participating artists.

Lateral Movement: Art & the Moving Image (advertisement)
Lateral Movement: Art & the Moving Image (advertisement)

The cinema program is a juicy two brackets strong (each 45 minutes) and features a diverse range of works (aesthetically and conceptually) from around the world. Countries represented include France, Germany, the UK, Canada, the USA, Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden and Australia. Every bit as exciting as the plurality of nations involved is the latest renovation of the Mercury Cinema’s projection room: the installation of a brand new 4K digital projector. Works will be presented in their best available resolutions, with the closing film, Lee Citron’s ‘Idiot Box’ (USA) presented in breath-taking high-definition for the first time publicly. Also an international premiere screening, the filmmaker will join the cinema audience via Skype from California for a Q&A session with us.

Emma Sterling and I watched approximately 150-200 films in order to bring you nothing short of the best available examples of the expansion of contemporary cinematic arts for this lovingly curated event. The works are author driven, produced independently, and mostly by artists with tiny teams, modest means and big visions. In short, this is a survey of cinema’s possibilities in the hands of artists- extending the familiar cinema experience well beyond the popular conventions of linear storytelling. Among the works you will experience animation, poetic film, abstract screen dances, found footage mash-ups and analog filmmaking throw-backs. VJ showcase pieces, visual music and even a video recording of a whimsical kinetic sculpture feature. If you yearn for more art in cinema, or more cinema in your art, herein lies the potion!

For those in Adelaide (or willing to travel) the session is $10/$12 to attend, and if you send an email to my partner Emma Sterling (mentioning the name of this blog) we are offering a special ‘2-for-1’ ticket offer. Doors open at 8pm (the installations will all be running in the foyer) and the first cinema set starts at 8.30pm. Drop Em a line now, and phone a friend to share the good news! See you on Monday night…

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Art: An artists’ guide to the Rundle Lantern

The Rundle Lantern in action
The Rundle Lantern in action

Dazzling pedestrians with its light display and critics with it’s extraordinary cost, the Rundle Lantern is the latest contentious fixture in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. Designed as a ‘cultural canvas’, and no doubt inspired by Melbourne’s Federation Square and similar light/sculpture/screen combinations overseas, the lantern is essentially an enormous display screen, designed to titillate spectators with its infinite colour combinations and conceal the unsightly multi-storey carpark that provides its scaffold.

While the screen itself can display video content, don’t get to thinking Time Square, New York, or downtown Tokyo. Despite its gargantuan scale, the screen is actually incredibly low resolution, and is made up of a grid of metal panels, each illuminated by white LEDs. Capable of tinting the metal panels across the full spectrum of hues, the LEDs can apply two pixels of colour (left and right sides) per panel. The grid is 34 illuminated panels wide, and twenty one high, with the screen extending along the building’s two most prominent sides. As the picture demonstrates, It wraps around the carpark’s corner, to create a unique and memorable facade. When the sun goes down each night, the fun begins.

Rundle Lantern pixels
Rundle Lantern 'pixels'

Designed and managed by contractor Fusion for the Adelaide City Council, Emma Sterling and I are lucky to be among the first wave of artists outside of Fusion’s studio to design content for the lantern. Despite a spectacular launch event back in October, complete with fireworks exploding off the carpark roof, to date the content has fallen well short of meeting the cultural objectives for the site, or displaying any significant artistic content.

Enter ‘Lantern La Lumiere’, a project commissioned by the Adelaide Fringe Festival,  supported by the South Australian Film Corporation and the Media Resource Centre. Armed with the basic technical requirements of preparing content for the lantern and some anecdotal advice from Fusion, eighteen Adelaide artists are currently producing up to one minute of content each, in preparation for the launch of Adelaide Fringe Festival on February 27th. The Lantern works will screen each night of the Fringe, with the loop synced to restart every hour on the hour until March 21.

Lantern La Lumiere workshop (Feb 1, 2009)
'Lantern La Lumiere' workshop (Feb 1)

Em and I first found out about the Rundle Lantern late last year, and attended a ‘secrets revealed’ session where we learned everything we needed to know about the screens capabilities… and some shocking figures related to the cost of its implementation and annual operations. Unfortunately, the workshop didn’t expand on this, so it seems like we’re as well equipped as anyone to share the knowledge. Here’s all the info you really need to get started designing and making content for the Rundle Lantern:


  • For cleanest results (ie, no colour bleeding) treat each panel as a single pixel. That means a canvas of 34 x 21 pixels in Photoshop or similar.
  • The software and hardware engine driving the lantern is called Hippotizer Media Server or ‘Hippo’ for short. Hippo sends the video as an MPEG2 file, at 680 x 420 pixels. Presently only Fusion staff are authorized to load content onto the system, after it has been approved by council.
  • Hippo can handle standard PAL video (720 x 576, 25 frames per second), but will resize it down to 680 x 420, so it’s better to output at this resolution yourself.
  • Colour separation in shadow and highlight areas is limited, so high-contrast designs will appear more accurately (and effectively) on the lantern than subtle low-contrast designs.
  • You can upload your files to the Rundle Lantern Simulator, and also look at previews of clips in progress and in the queue awaiting moderation/launching.
  • The simulator is really to guide you in the placement of the structure’s corner in the projected design- it does not represent the contrast shift which occurs at the site in reality.
  • To date, live video feeds have not been tested but have not been ruled out for the future.
  • There is currently no permanent means for outputting sound at the Lantern site.

Em and I are currently working on our pieces in preparation for the launch, and will post them, along with notes on our specific workflows. Using free and readily available software is absolutely encouraged. Use whatever tools you favour and have on hand… be it a consumer video camera and Windows Movie Maker or free icon editing software to draw with, like IcoFX. If you’re a child of Gen X and grew up with 8-bit computers like the C64 and Atari, join us and embrace this opportunity to celebrate a very public pixel renaissance!

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Art: Lateral Movement, Art & the Moving Image (Feb 21 & 23, Adelaide)

After several months of planning, exploring and collating, it’s just about ready… the first incarnation of Lateral Movement: Art & the Moving Image. Lovingly and personally crafted by three dedicated Adelaide screen-culture vultures, Dan Monceaux, Emma Sterling and Toby Bramwell, we hope this to become Adelaide’s premiere calendar event for the appreciation, discussion and enjoyment of international moving image artwork.

Co-presented by the BigPond Adelaide Film Festival and the Media Resource Centre, the event will take place over two nights in Adelaide, South Australia at our dearly beloved Mercury Cinema. Post War films screen on Saturday, February 21 and New Works screen on Monday, February 23. Entry to these sessions is $12/10, and doors open at 8pm both nights. Check out the trailer below…

The trailer features excerpts from the ‘New Works’ program, including pieces by J. Van der Made (Holland), James McGilchrist (Australia), Michael Robinson (USA), Peter William Holden (Germany) and Adam Paradis (USA).

Full program coming soon.

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