With all of this talk of new media art in the annotated bibliography my immediate thoughts went out to the Shaun Gladwell exhibition that featured at ACMI throughout the months of June, July and August. Gladwell’s exhibition is dedicated solely to new media art, utilising cinematic devices to capture performative landscapes. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of this guy and saw the exhibition three times (it was also free). Each time I was continuously drawn to Gladwell’s opening display titled, Parallel Forces. This piece possessed four pairs of opposing screens positioned on the walls of the gallery. The large screens depicted individuals filming from helicopters, cars, motorbikes and skateboards. The screens create two perspectives for the viewer as they walk between them. Each screen forms as a mirror, reflecting the image presented upon the other.
My primary attraction was to Gladwell’s references to Ozploitation films through the presence of fast machines in a barren Australian outback. However, after reading Manovich’s article I reviewed this work as the physical embodiment of spatial montage, or perhaps, the split screen. The piece very much manipulates the concept of linear narrative in film as well as audience perspective, similarly to spatial montage. Through the presence of two screens the audience fluctuates between both, attempting to comprehend the meaning created through the juxtaposing images, making them actively involved in artwork. Additionally, the screens depict what can be inferred as “action sequences” however neither are ever expanded, they are both continuous and unresolved, contradicting the narrative structure of the classical Hollywood system that dominates our film industry. The artwork correlates to that of spatial montage by manipulating continuity narrative and enhancing audience active participation in film.