New media has a magical way of resonating with a wide audience, but in somewhat abstract ways. Using modern technologies, it draws upon our familiarity and associations with those things, yet those concepts are still so young in their cultural imprints that we see it often much more ephemerally, like a beam of light. For Special Effect, new media artist Peter Burr explores this in a performance he refers to as a “live television show.”

Special-Effect-2---Peter-BurrInfluenced by his developmental years of heavy TV consumption, Burr combines 18 animations from underground video label Cartune Xprez with sound-art type music from Lucky Dragons and Seabat. While these play through, he performs live in front of a green screen with a webcam and lasers, as “host” of the TV show. It’s all inspired by Andrei Tarkovsky’s iconic 1971 film, Stalker, which is loaded with moments of fascinated stillness and intrigue, which Burr describes as “hypnotic,” centred around the characters’ desire for access to the sought-after-but-off-limits “Zone,” where their deepest desires would come true.

Burr has toured this show through Australia and Europe, and is now making his way around North America. To differentiate the piece according to his location, local artists are invited to contribute short animations to become incorporated, and some of the ones we will see here include Chad VanGaalen, Yoshi Sodeoka and Stu Hughes, among many others.

From the animation venue that brings us GIRAF each winter, this looks to be another event to look forward to in the world of animation and new media.

Head to Quickdraw Animation Society November 8 and get into TV like never before. 

By Cait Lepla
Illustrations: Peter Burr

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