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Inside the Ethereal Eye

2016 Melbourne, Australia
Coauthor: Sarah Kenderdine, Paul Doornbusch (sound), Sir Johnathan Mills

Jonathan Mill’s 1996 work, Ethereal Eye, examines the idea of being in the architectural spaces conceived and designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffith that in most cases were never built. This composition originally premiered at the 1996 Adelaide Festival as an ‘electro-acoustic’ dance/opera presented in four sections – Water, Earth, Fire and Air – it is scored for wordless soprano, microtonal percussion and a microtonal piano.

The fulldome interpretation of this work is conceived to celebrate the architecture of Walter and Marion and to produce a unique reworking of the Ethereal Eye for a six-metre diameter hemispherical dome installation. By photographing the ceiling structures of two of Melbourne’s iconic buildings designed by the Griffiths—Walter’s Newman College and Marion’s Capitol Theatre—a unique canvas will be created within which the work will be staged. The work brings together archival resources with cutting edge digital capture technologies of gigapixel imaging, motion capture of specifically choreographed sequences, and subsequent motion analysis and motion graphics.

Beneath the dome audiences will recline on a circular couch to look up at a scenography of dance and music performances that will unfold within the architectural ambience projected within the dome. One could refer to the tromp l’oeil traditions of Baroque ceiling painting to understand the aesthetic conjunction of bodies in space and surrounding architecture that the authors of this work wish to achieve, albeit as a post-human and digital expression.

Exhibition Record

2016/10/14 - 10/23:  Melbourne Festival, Arts West, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia