starrs & cmielewski
Leon Cmielewski and Josephine Starrs are Australian artists whose long term collaboration has produced hybrid media art installations that often use play as a strategy for engaging with the social and political contradictions inherent in contemporary life.
Their recent work, chapel of rubber was shown in the Cementa arts festival in Kandos, in mid-western NSW from February 1-4. It was installed in the old nunnery chapel as a shrine to the street machine burnouts that take place in Kandos every January on the Australia Day long weekend. Chapel of rubber has been selected as a finalist in the Blake Prize 2013.
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. Their installation Incompatible Elements, has been been shown several times in Australia and overseas.
Incompatilbe Elements at Museum of Contemporary Art, Taiwain 2012.
An artwork like Incompatible Elements is not propaganda or politics, yet the artists are unwilling to leave socio-political questions to designated experts. The cumulative effect of Incompatible Elements is not alarmist, rather human responsibility is implicated in the large-scale geo-physical changes to our world that the artists represent. The work encourages reflection on the impact of cumulative weather events that are difficult to conceptualise as statistical data or scientific warnings.
Janine Randerson, critical flows: climates & people RealTime issue #104 Aug-Sept 2011 pg. 39
video still: days like these, Incompatible Elements.
Waterways is a video and sound installation commissioned for a group exhibition, Urbanition at Carriageworks, Sydney from August 4th - September 3rd, 2011. The exhibition is a sister city project between Sydney and San Francisco and was shown at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery in April-June, 2011.
Starrs and Cmielewski’s past projects include Seeker, winner of an Award of Distinction at Ars Electronica 2007 and sms_origins, a mobile phone texting work that was created for the big screen at Federation Square, Melbourne in 2009. Dream Kitchen, is an interactive stop-motion animation that featured at Transmediale, Berlin and the European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruk, Germany, and Trace a hybrid art installation that used sensor technology and performance to explore biometrics, was shown at Sydney Records Centre, 2002. Bio-Tek Kitchen, a modified computer game was exhibited in Experimenta’s House of Tomorrow exhibition, Melbourne in 2003 and the Seoul New Media Biennale, 2004.