Starrs & Cmielewski (detail)
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and the earth sighed

and the earth sighed is an immersive video and sound environment that encourages contemplation about our relationship to nature and technology.


Josephine Starrs and Leon Cmielewski are Australian artists, creating and exhibiting media art projects for national and international audiences. Their work is situated at the juncture of cinema, information visualisation, and data mapping, playing off the tensions between the large and small screen, and between information and sublime landscape. Starrs is honorary Senior Lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and Cmielewski is a Senior Lecturer at the school of Humanities and Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney.

17 November 2014 - 3 January 2015

Gallery 2

The normalisation of drone warfare and drone surveillance is becoming an increasing concern to all. But drones can have other uses. Starrs & Cmielewski use drones to capture still and moving images of Australian landscapes. They re-imagine the relationship between nature and culture by presenting aerial views of Australian landscapes and waterways dynamically manipulated in ways that reveal their underlying fragility. Starrs & Cmielewski also use a drone to record a dancers’s site-responsive performances in the natural environment. In response to the persistently intrusive drone, the dancer exhibits a range of different emotions, including curiosity, agitation, engagement and resignation. The drone drifts across degraded landscapes, and rolling sand hills, seeking out the fragile interfaces, the edges, between lands lost to the desert and land fending off the relentless encroachment of sand and fire.

This project has been kindly assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


Mallee 2014