Art Marathon: let’s make stuff together

Instant Perspective Machine* opened on the 2nd of November 2012 at the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia’s Project Space. I am so happy to the response to the work so far :duck: It was fun, people were interested and friendly. Most people figured out the machine really quickly, but the people who didn’t get it quite right were really into it anyway!

By way of description here is a little snippet from the media release:

For Instant Perspective Machine, Aurelia Carbone converts The Project Space into an immersive optical illusion installation, complete with an analogue recording device in the form of a heavily modified instant (polaroid-type) camera. The illusion is a form of anamorphosis – a design that appears to float and only forms its intended shape from a particular view point. The work invites audiences to participate in an essential part of the machine’s operation – by walking through the space, by climbing steps and flipping switches, visitors will activate the machine which will then provide analogue photographic ‘evidence’.

Sundari and the Instant Perspective Machine


With the last exhibition opening of the year also being the annual Christmas Party, the event felt really festive – it was neat being able to contribute to that feeling by giving everyone a personalised “Polaroid” to take away with them. In fact, we blazed through 90 pieces of Fuji Instax Wide Film in 2 hours! Sundari sent me this iPhone snap of her ‘evidence’ with a view of the anamorphosis & the Machine console. I love this analogue/digital business!

Heidi & Amy Joy get transported … and who is that lurking in the sidelines?


How awesome is this one!? Instax to Instagram in less than 12 hours! Thank you Heidi and Amy Joy, this is absolute gold for my research and mad fun at the same time.

There is more to the exhibition than the machine – a new video piece and some enormous prints of my new work. My wonderful new catalogues (designed by Jessica Mathews 😀 ) didn’t arrive until after the opening 🙁 but perhaps that’s a gift for those who didn’t make it to the party.

I’d like to tell you more about the incredible custom modifications on the Instax camera that Alex Bishop-Thorpe coaxed together and the superb editing in the video work courtesy of Karen Lobban, but I’ve got to get to bed! All day hiking today with the Big O (we saw 2 baby koalas and their mums!), and an early start on the Marino boat launch tomorrow – superb Miss Delana is lending me a hand on that install, too. Night!

*best results obtained in bright colours

expanding realities

- from the series Honest Magic


Ta da! This is my latest in the Honest Magic series which forms part of the artefact component of my Masters of Visual Art by Research studies.

This image was the reason for my sudden divergence into art in public places with the optical illusion installation brainstorm. That’s a lot of work for a photograph, I know. It’s just the way I roll. In actual fact brainstorm took less time to make than hand embroidering the the illusion in the image world building (also part of Honest Magic).

There’s always a risk of “ruining the magic” of an artwork when the artist tries to explain what it’s about, and I’m really reluctant to tread that fine line. Because this work is part of my research project I really do need to explain myself. This as-yet-untitled photograph is my interpretation of the mind-altering effects of reading any kind of book as a pre-literate child. Luigi Serafini also attempted to recreate this feeling of the edges of understanding (for adults who learnt to read long ago) with his acclaimed Codex Seraphinianus.

Many, many thanks to my very patient and helpful son Orlando for continuing to be good natured about appearing in my photographs, my husband Brian for the one hundred million ways in which he is helpful, and James Jean for the inspiration behind the image.

Secret Hideaway & Sneak Preview

One hundred thousand projects at once. I must really like being busy! With certainty I love a space to be busy in, so I’d like to invite you into my cozy little studio.
aurelia's hideout @ Liverpool street studios
One of the best things about being a postgraduate research student in the school of Art, Architecture & Design at the University of South Australia is Liverpool Street Studios. A manky, dusty building in the city (with resident crickets!) that we privileged few get a little spot to think, make messes and test theories in. Aside from the fact that it’s constantly under threat of bring taken away from us, it’s a sanctuary.
My practice really needs a sanctuary away from home – my work involves a lot of play, and is there anything more fun to play with than Mummy’s things? My boys don’t seem to think so.
Having that breathing room has given me a lot of space to work through ideas, to do over and to think much, much bigger.

Liverpool Street Studios includes the Liverpool Street Gallery – a generous “white cube” (with lots of poorly placed doors and power outlets) that students can use to test out ideas in a contemporary gallery setting. On each Friday morning during the semester two research students present their work in a “silent critique” situation. The silent part is the creator of the work, who can’t say anything about the project until they are invited to speak or answer questions at the end of the session. Everyone is welcome, and most postgraduate visual art students make an effort to attend as much as possible. Sometimes I think it’s like a really involved game of pictionary – lots of formidable intellects responding to and puzzling over the objects placed before them.
As a student/researcher this critique opportunity is a great way to find out if your artefacts are working in the way you hope they do. Often the audience’s response is quite surprising, but always illuminating.
It is also very valuable to see other students projects grow and develop – right up to the projects conclusion at final exhibition which are often held in established galleries.
I’ve talked about some of my research before, here are some phone shots of the install from my last critique in November 2011:

natural magic critique installationOne of the criticisms of my work from the PIP Festival was that the images were so small it was hard to figure out how they were made. That made a lot of sense to me, so I tested out the work at a new scale: enormous.
anamorphic glass dome instrument
The glass piece above functions as an instrument to explain how the photographs are made, while also being an intriguing object in it’s own right. The convex dome is unevenly frosted with two clear “peep holes” on either side. You can almost make out the distorted images hiding beneath the surface of the glass, but when viewed from the peep holes the anamorphic images jump out or run away from you. This was my first attempt.