<tesseract> research laboratories ARCHIVE SITE -> articles -> in the mix interview 2001

The following interview by Mark Boyd was published in in the mix in Dec 2001.

1. In what way does tesseract's work live up to its name in reflecting the above dimensional plane below in the 3rd dimension?

tesseract is a multidimensional visual experience which may be appreciated on many levels: our material combines past (layers of material produced for and at past events, some of it as documentary, some as recordings of the live mixing performances), present (we produce new material for every event, so that each performance has some unique new element introduced) and future (new material is collected at each event for future processing). The majority of our media is our own original material exploring dimensions of inner and outer realms, myth, meaning, temporal and spatial movement, the connectedness of cosmic structure and nature, and elements that relate to the specific event we are performing at. These themes are manifested in layers which represent x,y (form and movement), z (colour and depth) and t (temporal structure) axes and are also manifested as a form of ephemeral light sculpture within space - often onto 3D installations which we have designed.

2.how long does it take to prepare the installations? how many ppl are involved and what's the cost of putting it all together?

There is no typical installation. The screen sculptures within an environment may involve half a day to several weeks preparation, requiring site inspections, design and construction, research, content development, testing of equipment and content, installation and performance. Most of the dance parties we perform at involve planning, rigging with a crew of two the day before, bump in a couple of hours before the show, perform (often inviting guest acts to join us), bump out at the end of the show.
Our recent installations have included the six metre double gossamer helical screen hung at 'the reception' (Etnica) at Sega World; 'Lumiere Concrete' produced in conjunction with Cicada and the vidi-yo nexus, featuring ghosts walking up and down a demolished stairway during Electrofringe 2001; and 'Video Combustion - the prototype' which was a multi-artist, multi-screen performance held at the Newtown Theatre.
Upcoming projects include projections and performance at the Liquid Labrynth New Years Eve festival at Glenworth Valley (where we will be joined by MoRpH and other guest video acts); creation of a special fetish concept for f*CK fashion (a mardis gras event); and preparation for 'Video Combustion - alpha release' which will be a multi-artist multi-screen project presented sometime in winter 2002.

3. any thoughts on the lack of a vibrant and stimulating urban clubbing enviornment in Sydney these days?

There are several factors at play here: the biggest would have to be the lack of alternative venues for music events (such as the warehouse parties of yesteryear); the increasing influence of the music industry in creating the cult of the DJ - distracting from entertainment as a multi-sensory experience; and the clubbing business often being numbers/profit-driven without offering variety / quality / experience / participation. Regardless of the reasons, the adventurous will find that there are many outstanding events happening outside of the club scene.

4. what factors come into play when designing and setting up for an outdoor environment like liquid lab's site?

Site, Sun, Power, Water, Shelter, Food, Security are the primary factors. We arrive on site early to plan and rig, ensure that equipment will be protected from the elements and so on (gaffer tape, gladwrap, boxes and tarps all play a role here). On a creative level - we usually make site recces in advance to plan, then our response to the site contributes to the ideas and plans brainstormed with the crew we are collaborating with.

We have been working with Liquid Labrynth for five years, creating and experimenting with a variety of indoor and outdoor installations. Each new project has been an improvement and evolution in process. This year the ideas being manifested in the collective's decor and structures will be strongly cyber-organic. Our video material will reflect these themes plus some other surprises.

5. what current ideas are you exploring and help facilitate people's awareness of their existence?

Some of the themes we are working with are long term evolutions of ideas (for example, sacred geometry and cosmic conscience are expressed as visual concepts that we continually develop) whereas other ideas are definitely related to our current moments in time; current concepts include the transformation of the urban environment, skin as canvas, peace and conflict, and visual slices of the alternative culture we inhabit and influence.

Often we will spend time at an event collecting our own unique style of images - of people at play, beautiful moments or objects - and these will be included in the mix. Sometimes it is very abstracted and it takes a while for people to recognize what they are seeing... but then once it hits it adds a new level of recognition and awareness, and appreciation.

Our work is an expression of ideas shared by many people that just aren't portrayed in mass media. As they say, "you are what you eat" and this applies to the mental diet as well. We don't feed our audience junk food, its all good material, with lots of intellectual puzzles thrown in for those who want to pay attention. We attempt to show people that our work is not just eyecandy; we are speaking straight to them with each image, every moment is a meaningful message from us for you to decode.

6. how do you motivate yourseleves to complete work you have in mind?

tesseract are just generally hyper-motivated people, because we love what we do. The experience of coming up with an idea, planning and successfully executing it is probably the best reward. Live performance is but a small chapter in what we do, but it brings together all the facets of preparation and planning and new content into a short and intense timespan... so the deadline of performance at an event is also a major motivational factor! And leaving preparation until the last minute only leads to tired performance (not fun), so we are motivated to be well-organised too!