In September 2003, I spent two weeks at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW as part of Time Place Space 2 The event, funded by the (now defunct) Australia Council New Media Arts Board and curated by Sarah Miller, Fiona Winning and Julieanne Pierce was an opportunity for the twenty Australian-based participating artists to share perspectives, practices, and opinions.

During a group exploratory exercise at TPS2, I generated a series of simple sketches located in the bottom right hand corner of my notebook. These were designed as a basic mnemonic aid for the activity, but were also able to be viewed as a childlike flickbook. My engagement with flickbooks (and associated memories of creating these toys as a boy) initiated the conceptualisation of a project that had the loss of information, or degradation of the hi-tech as a starting point.

These rudimentary drawings, scanned and then cropped as a basic slideshow, are a means of remembering and preserving the origins of this project. It provided the impetus to consider the world inbetween the seen - to imagine the life between the photos/images as it were.

 
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(Shifts and glimpses of places, free from any form of linear animation).

My early objective for dad.project (digital-analogue-digital) was to analogue-ize digital video footage of movement performers in order to generate hard copy and Flash-based flickbooks. However, my interest in developing hard copy versions of the animations was shifted in early 2005 when David Corbet expressed an interest in being involved in the project. Bringing a wealth of coding experience to dad.project, David was interested in having the animations load dynamically and, furtherstill, to consider opening up the project to web-based participants – capable of submitting their own images and contributing to the archive: a dynamic animated document of dance/movement actions around the world.

In July 2006, whilst participating in an R&D residency at PICA with movement artist Paea Leach David and I completed the dynamic part of the project and made it "live".

dad.project reflects an ongoing interest in performativity away (or distinct) from liveness, and part of its role is to subtly undermine the deeply embedded hierarchy in which the “live” body is considered to be the acme of performance practice. In this case, the role of the viewer in reading (or rendering) the action “meaningful” is foregrounded – without him/her the animation neither loads nor is experienced (brought to life). Further consideration of this area of the project will be developed through writing in August 2006.

In the latter part of the residency at PICA, David, Paea and I started trialing two second “micro50s” (initially called “flips”): 50 frames of (mostly) non-linear images recorded on video and then developed as stand alone films. Although distinct from dad.project, these “micro50” films exist in similar terrain in their capacity to highlight the (fleeting) temporal experience of viewing digital moving/still image, and in distilling the viewing experience to a very “located” and detailed time-space. In addition, both modalities – digital flickbooks and 50 frame films – seemingly invite repetitive and/or prolonged viewing.

Simon Ellis, July 2006