Kristen Coleman

Entry #1

12.05.2019

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If Bogong is anything it is tactile. From the cold air to the damp and rain, the way the forest floor feels hollow when you walk on it and the rise of early morning mists, it is a sensory experience. I was expecting Bogong to be quiet and comparatively (I live in the city) it is. Making my way up I was struck by the alpine landscape, but more so, from the continuous sound of water flowing. The water relentlessly makes its way down the mountain with a sonic experience to match. Having always felt unsettled by silence I find the constant soundscape comforting. To witness Lake Guy regularly empty and refill illustrates the sheer amount of water making its way down the mountain. Most of the hydroelectric scheme happens underground. On the other side of the dam wall, the lake empties with astounding violence. So violently, the ground rumbles beneath my feet. I will not be able to capture this on film so will ask Madelynne if it is possible to at least capture it through sound recording. Being a visual artist the audial encounter has taken me a little by surprise. I have found myself keenly interested in the possibilities of exploring sound within my video practice. Madelynne (B–CSC Operations Director) has been very generous and will give me some pointers on this, in particular, on recording electromagnetic fields.

My practice is influenced by slow cinema and its profound sense of temporality. Slow cinema is defined by its sedate rhythms, long takes and sense of real-time immersion rather than by the actual duration of a film, a form of filmmaking that presents an awareness of temporality that presides over the momentum of the narrative. It is an experiential and tactile form of cinema. After arriving here I realise the importance sound will have in the production of new work in this genre. I will endeavour to capture spaces of inaction and the characteristics of the slow cinema form that will eventually be reproduced in a VR and multi-channel video work. Film is not a purely observational medium or one that is only a vector for action and plot. Film spectatorship can be an intimate experience that involves a full-bodied engagement with the environment of each film. Now that I am here the importance of sound within this genre has become more apparent if I want to produce tactile experiences through filmmaking. Bogong will be perfect for such an exploration.

Taking part in the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture residency, a program that is founded in sound art has already broadened the scope of my art practice for what has till now been a purely visual one. I look forward to the coming weeks and the prospect of new work.