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Spring and Asura

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Next up @ Beta\_Space: Spring and Asura
by Chris Bowman and Alastair Weakley

Opening Event:

Artist Talk and Demonstration
Wednesday 17 September 2008 @ 1pm
Powerhouse Museum, Level 1, Cyberworlds Gallery

Chris Bowman and Alastair Weakley will give a brief talk on their
aesthetic and technical insights regarding Spring and Asura.

Followed by light beverage in the Modern Times Café, Powerhouse Museum,
Level 3.

General Information:

Artist: Chris Bowman
Technologists: Alastair Weakley
Exhibition dates: 25 August - 30 September 2008
Open 10am - 5pm daily: Free with entry to the Powerhouse

Background Information:

Spring and Asura is a prototype artwork by Chris Bowman and Alastair
Weakley. This interactive installation explores the relationship between
natural phenomena and text extracts from the poem Spring and Asura
written by Kenji Miyazawa (translated into English by Hiroaki Sato). The
work is further explored through the recitation and chanting of the
Heart Sutra, one of the most important of Buddhist sutras.

“Interconnectivity” is an important metaphor in Kenji’s work. His poetry
explores an indivisible unity between inanimate and animate phenomena
and this installation acts as a metaphor for that interconnection.
Spring and Asura features video recordings of natural phenomena that
respond to where Kenji Miyazawa lived. These act as personal
explorations and reflections on the poem and have influenced the
development of the software system. Using motion capture software Spring
and Asura explores the movement of light and shade within the video
recordings of natural phenomena that in turn effects the movement of the
text. This self-generating interconnected system therefore, creates an
ordering and re-ordering of the poetry text.

Bowman and Weakley’s interactive prototype explores concepts of calmness
and disturbance. Through video and the poetry the visitor is encouraged
to define their own experience of the work. By moving in the space you
activate motion sensors in the floor pads and this in turn visually
disturbs the work, causing the video to abstract and the words to move
quickly and randomly. By standing still the movement on the screen slows
down and you are able to view the next video sequence.

Kenji Miyazawa is a household name that captivates the imagination of
adults and children alike. Kenji’s exploration into the subconscious and
the ‘order of space-time’ as told through a lexicon of poems, novels and
“mental sketches” illustrate his life-long pursuit of understanding and
creative interpretation of the human imagination and the living world.
This rich terrain offers artists and intelligent software developers an
expansive cognitive model on which to build an immersive interactive

Press Release available upon request from deboraht@it.uts.edu.au
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Museum, Sydney!