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futurePlay
from The House of Tomorrow
19 March – 29 May 2005

Introduction | Essay | Gallery | Sponsors

image: Craig Walsh, David and Steven Thomasson, Keith [RP11-345A12] 2003, Animation

Craig Walsh, David and Steven Thomasson, Keith [RP11–345A12] 2003, Animation more detail

image: Steven Mieszelewicz, Nimrod and Asaf Weiss 'Virsual - the digital rockinghorse' 2003 Interactive installation

Steven Mieszelewicz, Nimrod and Asaf Weiss Virsual – the digital rocking horse 2003 Interactive installation more detail

Plug in and Play

futurePlay from the House of Tomorrow presents a selection of innovative digital media works by local and international artists who use play as a vehicle to promote interactivity with art.

Young people have embraced technology wholeheartedly, immersing themselves in dvds, x-boxs, sms, net surfing and more. futurePlay from the House of Tomorrow connects with this enthusiasm children have for screen culture and uses it to introduce them to digital media art.

Developed in collaboration with Victoria's media art agency Experimenta, futurePlay comprises six interactive and screen-based works selected from House of Tomorrow curated by Liz Hughes, Shiralee Saul and Helen Stuckey for the Melbourne Arts Centre.

The exhibition has been re-contextualised for the Children's Gallery in the National Gallery of Australia and is aimed at attracting an audience of seven-to-thirteen year olds. Using discovery and games to encourage children's appreciation of art, this exhibition presents a twisted mirror, an animated carpet, a magical rocking horse, a video food fight, a digital baby and a pet couch.

Mirror D by Marco Bresciani and Sam de Silva is a digital mirror that distorts a viewer's face in ways similar to funfair mirrors of the past. It feeds our fascination with physical appearance and the way we perceive ourselves. In an increasingly electronic society it is also a comment upon video surveillance and the manipulation of truth by digital media.

Resembling a cross between a disco dance floor and a digital game of Twister, the psychedelic pattern on Petra Trefezger's Flying carpet seems to come to life when you walk on it. Each footstep on the carpet triggers a change in its surface design. The faster the movement the more frenetic the animation becomes. Referencing the futuristic home of Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle, Flying carpet offers a fascinating alternative to the usual choice of domestic furnishings.

Passengers on Virsual – the digital rocking horse take a virtual tour over an island populated by digital chickens guiding them on their quest to reach the end of the rainbow. Created by Steven Mieszelewicz and the brothers Nimrod and Asaf Weis, this magical toy is a window into the appeal of immersive digital environments and the current popularity of computer games.

futurePlay takes everyday objects that a child may encounter in the home and injects electronic life into them. The carpet on which a baby learns to crawl, the toy on which a child learns to balance and the mirror in which a sense of self is developed are exhibited in a gallery that could double as a playroom of the future.

Nicole Ryan
Multimedia officer

 

futurePlay, from Experimenta's House of Tomorrow exhibition

image: logo; Experimenta;s House of Tomorrow

 

futurePlay from the House of Tomorrow is proudly sponsored by:

Apple
Film Victoria
Arts Victoria
Digital Pictures
the Gordon Darling Foundation
Visions of Australia
Nets Victoria
microhire
and the Australia Council