Previewing the interactive work Move Along at Vitalstatistix’s Adhocracy is a chance for local artist Jennifer Greer Holmes and her collaborators to experiment with the intriguing multimedia project before taking it to Singapore.
Move Along is a multimedia walking tour about urban visibility and dispossession by artist and creative producer Jennifer Greer Holmes. Designed for post-Colonial cities, it was inspired by an open call to pitch work at Singapore Design Week. Responding to the theme ‘In My Neighbourhood’, Greer Holmes thought it would be interesting to make a work about housing as it is a “universal concern”.
“When I started talking about it with one of my long time collaborators, Heath Britton, we were interested in this notion that unless you own land in the colonial sense of land ownership, you are always at risk of being moved along by someone with more power,” Greer Holmes says.
“Renters, homeless people, young people, travellers, traditional owners of the land – each of these groups are vulnerable to the economic structures that rule society as we know it. That idea then extends to sub-cultures who need space to contribute to the ecology of a city, such as artists, skateboarders, revellers and teenagers socialising in shopping precincts because they don’t have their ‘own’ space. Somehow through a meandering walk in a heatwave we came up with this way of combining a bunch of these ideas.”
Part of a UNESCO Creative Cities Network pilot project, Move Along sees Greer Holmes collaborate with artists and communities in Singapore and Adelaide. Audiences will be guided by video and soundscapes on their mobile devices and their journey will be bookmarked by performances. Greer Holmes’s ambition is to “immerse people in a new way of thinking momentarily, at least, by exposing them to a side of life that they are probably unfamiliar with”.
“I try to do this using the ingredients of humour, intimate exchanges, developing a sense of commonality, every day technology, music and performance,” she says. “In a perfect scenario, both the artists and audiences are challenged, they have a transformative experience and they learn something – either about themselves or about someone else. I like to make audiences part of the art, even if they choose to be passive, that choice is influential to how it looks, how other people behave, what happens next. My background is mostly in producing live events on a variety of scales, so I’ve had a long time to watch audiences and I find them a fascinating thing.”
At Adhocracy, Greer Holmes want to test the way in which she “generates the narrative” as it “relies on people sharing their thoughts on a couple of questions and then us (the artists) being able to identify themes, interesting stories and images that emerge and seeing how quickly and effectively we can make something useful to reflect back to an audience”.
“We’ll also be testing out the video and audio as a tool for directional purposes, using footage that we are of Jaru [the guide] on his skateboard inside Hart’s Mill, and how to combine voiceover and sound design to be most effective. Belinda Gehlert, who I work with in Zephyr Quartet, is doing the sound/composition.
Adhocracy – the three-day artistic hot house that supports the development of new Australian art and performance – is Greer Holmes’ favourite Adelaide arts event, one that she has been involved with since its beginning.
“It’s an opportunity to see or participate in work that will most likely go on to be presented in years to come. I find it fascinating to see the evolution of work from the early stages to when it finally gets an outing for the wider public.”
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