March Artists (Astrid Espenhain, Kailum Graves, Tolmie MacRae)

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MCCALVASP – Astrid Espenhain  (Copenhagen, Denmark)

MCCALVASP shows a fascinating universe of soft transitions and movements of organic shapes and changing colours. The abstract images are induced by the interplay of coloured light and a semi transparent indeterminable material. The interaction between colour, light and reflections create new compositions in continuous transformation.

Light, colours and the interplay between them are key elements in all my art works. In my videos, I explore the spatial qualities and the aesthetics in colour and light. 

The Uncanny – Kailum Graves (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

There is authenticity in low-resolution imagery. This is how Bigfoot, UFO, and Loch Ness Monster videos uploaded to YouTube gain their validity. Similarly, the most powerful still and moving images from conflict and occupied zones are often low-resolution, heavily pixelated, and blurred. In researching this project, I began to realise how fundamental the pixel is in allowing us to cross borders in real-time through the emission and instantaneous reception of visual signals (live streaming webcams, security cameras, and mobile footage from protests, war zones and dangerous journeys). I wanted to embrace this quality—which enabled me, from Mexico City, where I was undertaking a residency—to capture beachgoers at leisure using a networked surf camera above Coolum Beach, Australia. The uncanniness of the images—at times the people documented appear more mythical creature than human—belongs to a politics of fear and threat of otherness (the pixelated face of a criminal, Bigfoot, fighter jet footage of an airstrike, or CCTV footage). These things sit at the intersection of digital and physical, and the real and imagined, where the spectacle trumps direct experience of the world, and things we recognise start to blur seamlessly into places and things that aren’t real.

Kailum is critically obsessed with the Web and born-digital content. He is particularly interested in image-rich technologies and the way global media communication—a landscape controlled by a handful of multidimensional oligopolistic corporate-run networks—can be sampled, organised, and considered in new philosophical, sociological, and political terms. Nonetheless, while these issues are political and economic in nature, Kailum believes anti-capitalist art offers no real alternative to the economic and ideological discourses of multinational capitalism. In its place, he is interested in examining the politics of the image and the construction of truth. To do this, he uses the Internet, which has normalised the act of collecting and compiling information, to preserve and curate found images and raw material. The aim is to engage with the cultural space and aesthetics of the Internet—and the vast amount of digital information it contains—as a subject, material, and tool of artistic production.

Oil Dancer – Circle – Tolmie MacRae (Köln, Germany)

Oil Dancer grew out of collaboration and experimentation with a fan dancer. The original intention was to explore a particular technique, but in trying to capture this elusive performance, the hypnotic and meditative rhythm and movements of the dancer, spiralled this piece in a completely different and unexpected direction. This piece was the genesis for my current body of work. Through constant experimentation and collaboration with a dancer I was able to explore and start to define my own aesthetic as a video artist. Video allows me to catalogue time and space into a language of frames. Once captured I would play and challenge their linear hierarchy , distorting it, pulling those moments and perspectives through each other. Like the cubists trying to represent every perspective at once, video allows me to pull each of these catalogued moments through themselves to paradoxically see each frame at once, whilst also allowing things to evolve and flow over time.

Tolmie explores the multiplicity of existence predominantly through the medium of video. Over the past five years his work has explored themes of meditation, transcendence and immanence by investigating the flow of light and time on people and landscapes. He plays with opposing ideas and then fuses them together. Rather than transcendence and immanence or creation and destruction as binary opposites the artist explores the tension of these seemingly competing states of existence as combined dualities. It is not a political or spiritual investigation for the artist but rather an individual exploration of the state of existence.