Electricity: Watts the story





Kiewa Valley Historical Society
Institute of Foreign Affairs - Berlin
Image–Aksana Hugo Anastas

In conjunction with Bogong Electric, the Kiewa Valley Historical Society’s Exhibition “Electricity: Watts the Story” is being held at the Mt Beauty Visitor Information Centre 9am – 5 pm daily. It focuses on the Kiewa Hydro Electric Scheme displaying items used by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria during construction days and a collection of photos.

Electricity: Watts the Story

A new Hydro Electricity scheme was first suggested to the Victorian Government in 1911. The Bogong High Plains with its surrounding areas was suggested as a suitable place, due to its rainfall and its winter snow melt. Thus the Kiewa Hydro scheme created a new electricity supply for Victoria.

The townships of Mt Beauty and Bogong Village were established in the early 1930’s and 1940’s by the State Electricity Commission (S.E.C) for the workers and their families during the construction of the Kiewa Hydro Electric scheme.
Three original Hydro Power Stations, Clover, West Kiewa, and Mackay Creek Stations, along with the new AGL Bogong Power Station, supply enough energy to give electricity to 122,000 homes, which is 3% of the Victorian grid.

This exhibition has three individual displays which show the technical side of the early days of the Kiewa Scheme. They highlight electricity measuring equipment, insulators, and rock samples taken from the hydro sites. A striking photo gallery, by Marion Sharman, adds to this technical story. Another display tells some social history of the workers from Bogong village, along with photos taken during the construction. All these artefacts combine to tell the story of how electricity was generated by the Kiewa Scheme.

The exhibition also includes the following works by Michael Vorfeld.

Image–courtesy of Michael Vorfeld

LEUCHTSTOFF (Luminescent Substance)

(16mm, 2003, Germany, b & w, 13 min)

Actress: Fine Kwiatkowski

Photography: Michael Vorfeld, Editing: Sala Deinema

Music: Michael Vorfeld

Sound: Michael Walz

Made in a black box, LEUCHTSTOFF shows different sources of light in relation to a human body. Opposite to most films, where the luminous sources are not visible, here the viewer can see the illuminants. Becoming dominant objects in the movie all these different lights create a visual world of continuously changing appearances of the actress. What we see are the light sources themselves and what the light does with the visual perception of the actress’ body moving with and around the lights.

As a reference to the images the music for the film is made out of electricity-noises but also uses various percussion sounds. Like the images also the sound follows the idea of short sequences whilst still sustaining an autonomic layer acting independently from the visuals.

Incandescent lamp photo-graphics

(2008, Germany)

Michael Vorfeld is a visual artist and musician based in Berlin who creates installations and performances with light and sound and also works with photography and film. He plays percussion and self-designed string instruments and realises electro-acoustic sound pieces. He is active in the field of experimental music, improvised music and sound art and is often involved in site-specific art projects.

Michael’s participation in Bogong ELECTRIC is supported by the Institute of Foreign Affairs – Berlin. Artworks courtesy of the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, and Dave Brown.