Category: VJ

March 30: Mike Cooper & Kellie O’Dempsey

I’m very pleased to announce that lap-steel guitar maestro Mike Cooper will be performing at Southern Cross University in Lismore on March 30th. Mike’s performance will be preceded by renowned artist and live drawing performer Kellie O’Dempsey.

Mike’s performance will be accompanied by live visuals by SCU media artist Associate Professor Grayson Cooke, and Kellie’s performance will be accompanied by live electronic sound by SCU music lecturer Dr Matt Hill.

This FREE performance will take place at 8pm on March 30th in the Whitebrook Theatre on SCU’s Lismore campus.

Mike and Kellie will also give a masterclass and research symposium the next day, Friday March 31st, at 10am in Studio One29 on the SCU Lismore Campus. Both events are free and open to the public.


About the Performers

Photo: Greg Weight

Mike Cooper plays lap steel guitar and sings, he is an improviser and composer, song-maker, a visual and installation artist; film and video maker and radio arts producer. For the past 50 years he has been an international artistic explorer  constantly pushing the boundaries of improvisation and performance. Initially a folk-blues guitarist he is as responsible as anyone else — and more so than many — for ushering in the acoustic blues boom in the U.K. in the mid ’60s. He ranges freely through free improvisation, his own idiosyncratic original songs, electro-acoustic music, exotica, traditional country blues, folk, pop songs, and ‘sonic gestural’ playing utilising open tunings, extended guitar techniques and electronics.



Photo: Kellie O’Dempsey

Kellie O’Dempsey: Focusing on live art and performance drawing, Kellie O’Dempsey develops inclusive, site-specific installations and performances. Hybrid in form, works can incorporate projection, video, collage, architectural space, gestural line, performance and digital drawing; her interdisciplinary approach experiential and emergent. Creating in both solo and in collaborative formats with sound artists and contemporary dance practitioners, this diverse practice investigates notions of transformation through improvisation and happenstance. O’Dempsey’s public and private production enables an inclusive form of cultural interaction via performance and play.  The performance drawing works invite the audience to engage directly with the visceral process of making. Kellie’s performances include; Art after Dark, Pier2/3 18th Biennale of Sydney, MONA FOMA, Hobart, and The Firehouse, New York, White Night Melbourne Group shows include: 2014: Is this Art?- dLux Arterial Gallery, Sydney/ A general map of caves, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery NSW/ Finalist, Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2013: Drawn to experience, POP Gallery Queensland College of the Arts. Kellie is currently completing a Doctorate in Visual Arts at Queensland College of Art in Brisbane.

Music video for “Breaking Point” by Leigh Carriage

VERY happy to announce the release of a music video I have created for Jazz singer Leigh Carriage. Leigh is a colleague of mine at Southern Cross University where she lectures in music and voice – when I first heard her track “Breaking Point” at a gig in Byron Bay a couple of years ago, I immediately started seeing images to go with the track. And once I started working with time-lapse more, I knew I’d found a way to bring this to life. And so! This video has been shot in the area where I live, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. It was shot on a Canon 550D with a Syrp Genie motion-control rig. Hope you enjoy.

after | image wins award at Videoformes festival

I’m very excited to announce that the single-channel version of the “after | image” project videoformeshas just won an award at the 2014 Videoformes digital arts festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Videoformes is a really exciting international forum for digital arts, and includes screenings of experimental digital media as well as exhibitions and electronic performances. The festival includes a number of awards, and this year, “after | image” was awarded the Prix Université Blaise Pascal des étudiants. Nice one! Merci beaucoup a tout les etudiants, et le festival aussi!

Outback and Beyond wins award in Japan Media Arts Festival

It’s official: the “Outback and Beyond” show I do with Mike Cooper has won a New Face award in the ‘Art’ category of the Japan Media Arts Festival. In February 2013 we will be travelling to Tokyo to accept the award and perform the project at the festival. VERY EXCITED!

The Japan Media Arts Festival is a major festival run by the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs each year, developed “to promote the creation, development and understanding/awareness/appreciation of Media Arts.” This is the 16th year it has been running, and this year it received over 3500 entries. View more details here.

The “after | image” project

I’m working on a project with my colleague Amanda Reichelt-Brushett, an artist and environmental scientist. It’s an “archive destruction” project – we are taking time-lapse macro photography of photographic negatives being destroyed by acid. The “archive” we are working with is my collection of negatives from when I studied photography at high school, the remnant evidence of my youthful obsessions, ripe for dissolution by way of sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide…

More info on the project’s page: click here.

Ice Suite at MONA March 29

I’ve finally put together a decent promo clip for The Ice Suite, a live a/v performance and collaboration I’m a part of, based on the last days of Scott in the Antarctic. We’re performing this at MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, in Hobart on 29th March, the exact centenary of Scott’s death in 1912. Footage here comes from various sources, including our dress rehearsal at Southern Cross University, where I coordinate the Media degree.

The Ice Suite

I’m doing visuals for a new project entitled “The Ice Suite” – which is going to be performed at MONA in Tasmania in March 2012. This is a project developed by Bangalow composer Karena Wynn-Moylan; it’s a meditation on the last days of Scott in the Antarctic, developed for the centenary of Scott’s death in March 2012. I’m mixing all sorts of materials for this, using everything from photos of sparkles on water in Ballina, to ice photos from my time in Montreal, and Herbert Ponting’s photos from the actual expedition. This clip below is from the version we did at the Byron Bay Writer’s Festival – where we opened for Kamahl! Very much looking forward to doing it at MONA in 2012!

Multi-projection: Burnett_LIVE

I recently had the opportunity to perform a collaborative project I’ve been working on for awhile, with musician Peter Rickert, an incredible multi-instrumentalist friend from Bundaberg. We performed Burnett_LIVE at the opening of the CRUSH festival, an arts festival run in Bundaberg during the month of October. This show features incredible, meditative music by Peter on an insane array of instruments – voilin, shakahachi, zither, gamelan, gongs, singing bells…. – with live-mixed video of Burnett River country taken from a documentary I made a couple of years ago. Peter was doing some live-looping as well, via Ableton, while I was mixing in Modul8.

Most exciting, I got to mix it over 5 screens strung round the sides of a band rotunda in the park; I strung up 5 screens of Rosco back-projection vinyl (great stuff for back-projection by the way, definitely recommend it if you’ve got a bit of a budget – was about $800 for 14 metres at around 1.5 metres high), and projected from the centre. Used a triplehead2go for the central 3 screens, and mirrored the middle screen on the 2 edge screens. And – it was just beautiful. The bats flew overhead, and it looked just like a huge Chinese lantern sitting there in the middle of the park. Magic.

Trystero System: Mike Cooper and Grayson Cooke

I have collaborated on a bunch of projects with Rome-based sound artist and improvisor extrordinaire, Mike Cooper, under the Trystero System moniker. Mike plays lap-steel guitar and crazy electronica, and has been described by Room40’s Lawrence English as “post-everything.”

One of our shows is entitled “My Tragic Second Life” – we’ve performed it in a bunch of places: Wellington, New Zealand: Bundaberg, Queensland: Lismore, NSW; University of Gloucestershire, England; Noise=Noise, London; Angelo Mai, Rome… It features deconstructed drum-n-bass beats and a visual set shot entirely in Second Life.

Excerpts from a performance of the Trystero System “My Tragic Second Life” project with myself and Mike Cooper, at Sound Crucible at the Italo Club in Lismore, April 2010. Big thanks to the Sound Crucible team Rex and Vaughan, and to Clive Best and Jesse Neilson for the camerawork.

Footage from the first performance of the show, at Happy Bar in Wellington, New Zealand, February 2009. For this gig, Mike’s surrealist aleatoric strategy was to borrow the crappiest guitar he could find, and refuse to tune it….