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

getting to know the enemy: James Jean

James Jean "dive" 2007

It’s no secret that a lot of the artists I admire deal with themes of childhood in their work. Not the super saccharine Disney-fied version of childhood, but the dirty, gritty Grimms fairytale variety – where it is possible for your parents to abandon you, to climb magic beanstalks, to fall down rabbit holes and (if you are brave) to befriend walking, talking beasties.

James Jean "weep" 2004

You know, the one you & I lived through where happily-ever-after might happen, but only after a whole lot of other more sinister and terrifying things. James Jean, armed with a paintbrush, pencil and suite of graphic design applications, produces with dizzying accuracy the swirl of emotion that is the journey through our formative years.

I found his book of postcards XOXO: hugs and kisses in a comic book shop in Fairbanks, Alaska, shortly after visiting an exhibition of MC Escher original works at the Portland Art Museum in 2009, and found some startling similarities and a lot of material for my research on photography and optical illusions.

James Jean "8-bit Q" 2007

8-bit Q was a significant influence for my photograph chimera’s ball. I am endlessly intrigued by the way in which this image has no right way up. Looking at it from any direction has it’s own rewards, and little details try to convince me that it must go this way. It goes it’s own way. A confounding puzzle.

The poster “Fall Into Reading” made for the 2007 West Hollywood Book Fair was enormously inspirational and influential for the photograph I’ve just finished. Particularly (obviously) the boy reading, floating on his own brainstorm at the bottom left. Mr Jean, if you ever see this, Thank You & I hope you approve.

James Jean "Fall Into Reading" 2007

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.