With the 2014/15 summer and fire season upon us on the Western Plains of NSW, the urgency to get the video component of my Cementa work in the can was becoming greater by the day. As chance had it, I lucky with the weather a couple of weekends ago, finding the perfect day for a burn.
The 15 drawings completed during my Fire Station Arts Centre residency were put to the match using a lovely old atlas donated by a photographer friend as the fuel for the fire (set up on an old plough disc and a brick base). There was just enough air circulating to keep the burn going. Having fired books before, it can be a problem if there’s no breeze to push the flames into the pages – they tend to snuff themselves out (which I like to think of as the book fighting for its life!).
I used a GoPro camera mounted at ground level and my DSLR to capture various angles as the fire progressed. My assistant was on the stills camera documenting the burn in progress, including some very unflattering angles of me. I’ve now got 22GB of data to work with to put together the video component of the Indicatus installation.
The soundtracks for the motion-sensored sound component of the work are also going through various edits, with the next step being to get the recordings on to the chips in the sensors (which are still sitting there as a box of plastic and wires). Finally, there’s the smell component of the work, which may cause more headaches than the rest combined, as it has to be contained within the space where the work will show.
I’ve got a residency at Kandos Projects coming up in early December, during which time I plan to get community input into the Indicatus project blog and to gather more birdsong recordings, as well as sorting out how the work will be installed for the festival. I’ll be blogging here about the time spent in Kandos as part of my Cementa preparations.