6 December – 20 December 2021
Maelstrom is a multi-channel, immersive 3D-animated experience that integrates sound with the choreography of digital humans.
Created by digital choreographer Harrison Hall and motion graphics artist Luca Dante, Maelstrom is a sombre meditation on the unseen, hidden and destabilising forces that transform us. A mutable site for trauma and catharsis, the body exists in this work as a liminal site between the real and imagined.
Combining the motion capture of dancing bodies, 3D animation and physics engines with sound by experimental techno/ambient sound artist Pavel Milyakov (Russia), the work is experienced as a multi-channel projection and soundscape.
Hall undertook an expansive movement study in 2020 examining the impulses of the physical body under destMaelabilising situations, feeding his body’s movements into the virtual plane. He extended this practice with 10 unique movers (dancers/martial artists) culminating in this final realisation of the project.
The installation reflects on different perspectives on disembodiment and physical augmentation, contributing narratives to the notion of the contemporary and future human. Informed by a dancer’s sensibility and grounded in the philosophical question of whether we can be certain that the body is real. Reality is explored in these works through the dual prisms of the physical world, more often thought of as concrete, true, and measurable, and the digital world, which is more often experienced as shadowy, ephemeral, even infinite.
In Maelstrom, the vastness of time and space sets the scene for an unsettling dance of nameless skins. The uncanny movements of these digital embodiments forewarn us of the fragility of reality, as bodies fly and swirl in an absurd dance that warps earthly limits. Neither here nor there, this dance exists in the volume between worlds, through pressures and forces to no particular place.
Maelstrom drags us like rag dolls from the present, flinging our flailing limbs onto the threshold of tomorrow. Into the vortex, we go down, further and deeper, we go down…
Lead Artists: Harrison Hall and Luca Dante
Sound: Pavel Milyakov
Featuring digitised movement from Yumi Umuimare, Anis Aziz, Parissah Ibrahimi Rerakis, Vivian Schmeider, Robert Tinning, Sov Ren, Imanuel Dado, Yuiko Masukawa and Aoife Carli Hannan.
Producer: Kristina Arnott
Technical Team: Blair Hart and Siobhain Geaney
Our Biggest thanks to Chunky Move, Antony Hamilton, Kristy Ayre, Freya Waterson, Freya Ludowici, Juzzy Kane and Nicola Idio.
Maelstrom was commissioned as part of Chunky Move’s Activators program and was first developed through Solitude 1, a funded research opportunity from Chunky Move in partnership with the Tanja Liedtke Foundation. Activators is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts.