- Too early for lunch, but too late to eat a snack in case lunch is soon
- Cold today; the first feeling of winter in the air; puffy jacket required. Grey.
- Small, insistent, piping songs of tiny blue wrens, defiantly blustering their presence on the table in front of the annexe.
- Recordings – including, but not limited to:
- Various water recordings from Rocky Valley creek and numerous small rivulets on Spion Kopje Fire Trail
- Diary readings recorded in the dam
- Small textured plinkings obtained by plucking everlasting daisy petals close to the microphone
- Crunching walking sounds
- The old swing
- Dad’s spanners, recorded clinking in their bag but also banged up against old play equipment and dragged along the fence inside the dam
- I present an artist’s talk at Mt Beauty Secondary College. I describe my making process and the fact-finding mission that this residency has entailed. I play them an audio soundscape that I’ve made and edited with some of the sounds I’ve collected here, as well as some footage of my previous work, to provide context and background.
- I drive up to the high plains, where I previously scouted some locations for re-creating some of the photographs from Dad’s photo diary. Cope Hut is an excellent location for the sitting rock pose, although it’s super windy. Re-posing the photographs isn’t as easy as I thought. I set up the tripod and camera and fix the automatic timer setting. Once I press the shutter, I have 10 seconds to leap into place and try and approximate Dad’s shape, gaze and physical orientation according to the photograph of him. It’s very haphazard, and I suppose it would have been a good idea to have another person there – a photographer to pose me as specifically as possible according to the image. But actually there’s something about trying to do this on my own; the impossibility and imprecision of it that I enjoy.
- I then take my camera and equipment up Mt Cope, for another photo re-creation, this time Dad with just his shorts and boots on, looking out over the view. I’m glad there’s no one else around for this one, as I follow the same procedure as before, jumping in to place with only 10 seconds, but this time I’m running topless across the spagnum moss, hiking up my shorts as I go, to get to the spot before the shutter goes off.
- I’ve looked at the images that I’ve taken very briefly, but I will edit them with filters and saturation later, in my own time, with some space to reflect.
- Operations Director: Madelynne Cornish
- Artistic Director: Philip Samartzis
- Design + Development: Public Office
- Typeset in Inglewood by Vincent Chan
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The Bogong Centre for Sound Culture is a remote-regional cultural initiative situated in the foothills of Victoria’s Alpine National Park. Established by Philip Samartzis and Madelynne Cornish the Centre supports projects focusing on the processes and impacts of sustainable energy production; effects of climate change in wilderness areas; ethnographic studies of remote communities; the chronicling of vanishing industrial procedures; and systems of representation used to render natural and built environments.
Additionally, the BCSC facilitates a broad cultural program comprising, festivals, exhibitions, publications, master classes and artists’ talks focusing on site-specific art practices. These programs establish a connection with place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory. They engage a wide range of audiences, bringing together local, interstate and international artists across multiple disciplines and fields to realise ambitious works.
The BCSC is situated at the newly restored old school at Bogong Alpine Village located 350 kilometres from Melbourne in North East Victoria.
About Bogong Village
Bogong Alpine Village is 325 kilometres North-East of Melbourne situated at an altitude of 800 meters in the Alpine National Park between Mount Beauty and Falls Creek. The village was established in the late 1930s to service the first hydroelectric scheme in mainland Australia. More recently it has become a popular site for alpine sports, recreation and ecotourism. Click here for directions.
A Short History
Work on the Kiewa Scheme commenced in 1938 with the construction of a road from Tawonga to the High Plains. Previously the only access was by foot or horseback along tracks that had been forged by cattlemen of a bygone era. Bogong Village was established once the road from Junction Camp was trafficable (March 1939); this paved the way for the construction of permanent buildings. Prior to that life was tough; large canvas tents and flies were used for sleeping quarters and smaller tents were set up to house the kitchens. By 1940 Bogong Township had grown considerably with a general store, staff offices, recreational mess, police station, and a variety of accommodation such as single men’s quarters and residences for married staff and families.
Bogong State School
In 1941 the Primary School at Bogong Village enrolled its first intake of students comprising nine pupils. Initially the school consisted of a large classroom, storeroom and boys and girls toilets. Extensions were carried out in 1944, which expanded the capabilities of the school. A library, storeroom, pupil’s lunchroom and shelter shed were added and rock gardens were established. By 1947 the number of students had grown to 46 all of whom were children of local SEC workers. Over the years class sizes fluctuated and the building remained unchanged. In 1980 it ceased to operate as a school and sat idle, eventually falling into disrepair. In 2004 it was sold along with many other buildings in the village.
Madelynne Cornish and Philip Samartzis bought the Old School and set about restoring it to its former glory. The rotting weatherboards and floorboards, smashed windows and flaking paint are now a distant memory. The newly refurbished building occupies it’s original footprint and bares a strong resemblance to it’s former self. Although the internals have been modernized remnants of it’s past history remain. The Old School once played a significant role in the fabric of village life. It inspired the community and helped shape the minds of those who studied there. It is our intention as custodians that the School once again functions as a place of inspiration.
Reference: Kiewa Kids School Days at Bogong & Mount Beauty by Graham Gardner
ISBN 0-646-36226-7. Published 1998