Dr Gregory Ferris is a media ‘construct-ant’ who works across a variety of media environments, including interactive media, installation, virtual reality and traditional moving image. He’s worked consistently in the industry ever since his first experimental films screened on the ABC in the mid-eighties.
He was Cinematographic Designer and Post Production Supervisor of the installation project Eavesdrop, which was the world’s first panoramic, interactive, multi-linear narrative film, and was presented in installation form at the Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney Festivals*. He also was editor, compositor and cinematographer on the pioneering ARC funded project Conversations*, the world’s first 360-degree virtual reality stereoscopic, narrative interactive, and was exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum in December 2004. He’s worked with a number of Australia’s leading visual artists who work with time-based media and installation, including Susan Norrie, Julie Rrap, Dennis Del Favero, Merilyn Fairskye, Anne Ferran, Shaun Gladwell and Lynette Wallworth.
He graduated with a PHD from the College of Fine Arts, Sydney, Australia, in 2013, with his thesis entitled Every time I leave the room: image, time and metadata in off-screen space.
In his art practice, he works across time-based, virtual reality and interactive mediums, and has exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Australian Centre for Photography. His most recent solo show was Every Time I Leave the Room, at the Mosman Art Gallery in 2015. He presented a major new VR work, Only the Air, Only Each Other, at the Kronenberg Wright Artist Projects in December 2016. He’s curated festivals of both film and art for the Art Gallery of NSW, The Biennial of Sydney and FilmWest’s celebration of the Centenary of Film.
As a film-maker, he has screened at the Sydney Film Festival and the Berlin Videofest. His music videos for Custard, Bernie Hayes, Little Johnny, Machinegun Fellatio and Pauline Pantsdown have screened across the broadcast spectrum, with Pauline Pantsdown’s ‘I Don’t Like It’ showing as part of Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition at ACMI in 2014 and subsequently acquired by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra.
Can supervise: YES
Microbudget feature filmmaking. Immersive and interactive narrative. Emerging and future media technologies including Virtual Reality.
Exploring media arts. Production and post production. Undergraduate and post-graduate project. Experimental media making. Aesthetics.
Ferris, G.J. 2012, Every time I leave the room: image, time and metadata in off-screen space, UNSWorks, Sydney.
Despite extensive media arts theory focusing on sound, the moving image and the relationship between the audible and the visible, there has been scant research into how the out-of-frame creates a sense of meaning in media art. The thesis argues that the out-of-frame can be conceptualised as an out-of-field that creates a novel sense of meaning, in both linear and non-linear media works. It explores the expressive possibilities of the out-of-frame to create such a notion of meaning through the still image, the moving image and meta-data, and thence via a series of media art works that employ a floating frame in their treatment and layering of media assets. It also investigates the possibilities when these notions take place over time. Focusing upon media artworks that are almost exclusively narrative-based, the thesis investigates the representation of an emergent out-of-frame, evaluating the capacity of these works to test the use of an out-of-frame to expressively address such meaningful peripheries. Whilst media arts theory and practice almost exclusively focus on events within the frame, this thesis argues that a critical part of the media experience is that of the unseen but represented, whether it be a place or character. This is an allusive reference, much as the use of motif can be an evocation of narrative elements both seen and unseen in temporal spaces. The thesis proposes that recent digital media technologies offer a revolutionary shift in the expression of the out-of-frame, realisations that will impact on users of media technologies in the future. It explores this hypothesis in a number of ways. Firstly, it investigates how mise-en-scène and montage relate to each other beyond traditional concepts as a basis for understanding the out-of-frame. Secondly, it investigates areas not historically associated with mise-en-scène and montage, but are now interrelated due to their inclusion and convergence in recent media technologies and the out-of-frame. Th...
Ferris, G.J. 2014, 'Sympathetic Threads: Cause and Effect of the Cinematic Frame', The International Journal of the Image, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 27-33.
Abstract: The cinematic out-of-frame can work in a number of ways; it can work formally, like Noël Burch and his description of the six segments of offscreen space; it can also work conceptually, as in Deleuze and his depiction of place and space as the out-of-field, where cinematic space and time that can be extended into an absolute or infinite. Burch remains tied to the screen space, whilst the latter has the possibility to stretch out, extending like Melville's sympathetic threads, into the infinite. This presentation looks at cinematic linkage of onscreen and offscreen space through such threads, their causes and effects, with particular focus on Dyke's 'The Thin Man', Coppola's 'The Conversation', and Scorsese's 'The Departed'.
Ferris, G.J. 2013, 'American studies: the films of Bob Byington'.
After a self-imposed decade long hiatus from filmmaking, Austin, Texas based filmmaker Bob Byington returned to writing directing in 2008 with RSO (Registered Sex Offender). His outputs have been mistakingly bundled into the loose collective of mumblecore filmmakers - in part due to his low budgets, digital workflows and use of professional and non-professional actors. Byingtons tropes are actually more reminiscent of those traditional filmmakers working in cringe comedy; Albert Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry David et al. Byington writes and directs in a strange and beautiful shorthand, characters deposing of pleasantries in order to get to the meat of the narrative with an brutally honest disregard to social norms of interaction - in this case the interaction which makes for a sometimes black, always awkward, but never unfunny comedy. This paper examines these tropes, their genesis, and Byingtons relationship to the film culture of Austin, focusing on his features (RSO, Harmony and Me, Somebody Up There Likes Me) as writer-director, post hiatus.
Ferris, G.J. 2013, 'Sympathetic Threads, Cause and Effect of the Cinematic Frame'.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibres connect you with your fellow-men, and along those fibres, as along sympathetic threads, run your actions as causes, and return to you as effects." - Henry Melvill The cinematic out-of-frame can work in a number of ways. It can work formally like Noël Burch and his description of the six segments of offscreen space, or it can work conceptually as in Deleuze and his depiction of place and space as the out-of-field, where cinematic space and time that can be extended into an absolute or infinite. Burch remains tied to the screen space, whilst the latter has the possibility to stretch out, extending like Melville's sympathetic threads, into the infinite. This presentation looks at cinematic linkage of onscreen and offscreen space through such threads, their causes and effects, with particular focus on Dyke's The Thin man, Coppola's The Conversation and Scorsese's The Departed.
Ferris, G.J. 2010, 'Every Time They Leave the Room: Mise-en Scéne and Montage as Metaphor in Regard to the 'Out of Field'', The Image, UCLA Los Angeles.
The use of mise-en scéne and montage as metaphor, and it's use in in respect to the 'out-of-field' in cinema and cinema studies.
Ferris, GJ 2017, 'Only at the air, only at each other', Sydney Film Festival, Revelation Film Festival, Manchester Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Seattle Transmedia Film Festival, Animaze Montreal International Animation Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Revelation Film Festival, Manchester Film Festival, Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Seattle Transmedia Film Festival, Animaze Montreal International Animation Festival.
Only at the Air, Only at Each Other is an experimental virtual-reality exploration of in-between spaces, in this case the Bates Motel from Psycho – motels being the spaces between starting points and destinations – and the space between life and death …
Ferris, G.J. 2013, 'The spiral of time', Editor (including compositing) and animation, Australian Centre for Photography.
The Spiral of Time bridges John Conomos concern with autobiography, identity, memory, space and time and his interest in the connections between art, cinema, literature, photography, video and new media. Autobiographical photo-performances during the last three decades are accompanied by Marguerite Yourcenars words `That mighty sculptor, Time. Conomos concern with the passage of time resonates with the French writers meditation on the transformative effects of time relating to the fates of ancient Greek statues. The use of a Greek expression in neon, o popoi, popoi, popoi, referring to the artists fathers words and philosopher Sarah Kofman, suggests the intricate intersection between disaster and fate. The series Kinema/Lisboa 2011, and the nods to Georges Franju, Chris Marker and Hitchcock, relate to the artists own cinephilia. A new HD black and white video projection in form of an image-sound-performance bricolage evokes the visual features? of avant-garde `trance films. Using innovative visual effects and a soundtrack of atmospheric recordings of his childhood, the artist explores the fragility of life and the necessity to remember the past.
Ferris, G.J. 2013, 'XV', Visual compositor (Cinematography, editing, colour grading, sound design), Federation Square main screen.
A multi-narrative, interactive artwork, XV takes the user-spectator on fifteen of Melbournes suburban trains. The work speaks to the quotidian world of train commuters using Melbournes iconic Flinders Street Station as the locative hub and creative axis for each story. XV collapses the space between the artist and the public. It integrates global ideas about technology with ordinary, everyday moments to create unique worlds individual to the user and experiential for the viewer/spectator. XV fully occupies those in-between spaces in art, society and humanity to propose new ways of seeing, being and making fundamentals of the new `mass theatricality created by technological evolution. Team XV includes Peter Brundle from interaction design company Nice Device and visual compositor Greg Ferris. The project will be led by David Pledger. The project's research stage was commissioned by Melbourne's Federation Square
Ferris, G.J. 2012, 'The ABCs of Death', Editor of the segment 'G', Feature film.
The ABCs OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world's leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by childrens educational books, the motion picture is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free reign in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABCs OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity. Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films are proud to present this alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by what Fangoria calls "a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world."
Ferris, G.J. 2012, 'Urbanandsuburban', Credit: 'visual compositor' (Editor, compositor, developer of digital monograph, co-cinematographer), Launch at Federation Square, but released as a digital monograph (DVD).
urbanandsuburban features a selection of works on video and film by David Pledger made in five instalments from 2001 to 2010: Scenes of the Beginning from the End (2001), Eavesdrop (with Jeffrey Shaw) (2004),Walk-In Drive-In/Dusk Till Dawn (with Callum Morton) (2006), The Meaning of Moorabbin Is Open for Inspection (2008) and Hoist (2010). They were made as a part of or constitute the whole material for these projects which were variously described at the time of distribution as: live performance, interactive cinematic artwork, visual art, site-specific installation or screen and object-based public art. ?? The edition looks at the influence and relationship of the Australian Landscape on the psyche of its inhabitants. It charts a journey from the desert through the city to its inevitable conclusion in the suburbs, the subject which most of the films explore. The suburbs mark out a number of cultural and imaginary frontier spaces. Concepts of civilisation, survival, border, race, fear are all deeply rooted in the evolving space that is the suburbs. Even as the outer becomes the middle, the history of once being at the edge is retained in the architecture, the town planning and the concept of community. It is why the suburbs, and its relationship to the city and the desert, remain such a vital, contestable site of investigation for Australian artists. The films have been re-mastered, re-framed or include new elements such as a new composition by seminal sound artist Ulf Langheinrich (Granular Synthesis) for The Road To Moorabbin. There are also two new works: The Box Set and Oakleigh Skyline. Other key features include interactive navigation by Gregory Ferris and Artists Notes on each film. ??
Ferris, G.J. 2011, 'Midnight Traceur', Post Production Supervisor (Online editor and grading), Anna Schwartz Gallery at Carriageworks, thence Globally.
Midnight Traceur (2011), an experimental video by renowned Australian video artist Shaun Gladwell, was shown at the Anna Schwartz Gallery on a small screen housed in a shipping container set in the middle of the gallery. For 23 minutes we follow the nighttime exploits of a parkour practitioner seemingly released from earths gravity as he bounces and spins in slow motion through Sydney streets. Far from the random movements of his earlier BMX and skateboarding videos, Midnight Traceur is tightly choreographed and shot simultaneously on two cinema-quality high-definition cameras.
Ferris, G.J. 2011, 'Precarious', Online editor and grading, VArious Local and International Festivals.
Precarious is a haunting evocation of the aftermath of the explosion at Chernobyl, 25 years on. This visually stunning road movie takes the spectator on a bleak journey from the shores of the Black Sea to the frozen heart of Chernobyl, passing through desolate, snowy landscapes, littered with abandoned villages. Squatting in this icy wasteland, the ghostly sarcophagus of Reactor Number 4 is a constant reminder of the threat still lurking below. While winter exerts its hold, ice keeps the hidden radiation at bay, but the spring thaw will once again release the surrounding rivers' toxic flow. Accompanied by testimony from a group of unseen veterans of the disaster, Precarious bears witness to both the folly and resilience of humans and to nature's fragility.
Re-enchantment is an immersive journey into the hidden meanings of fairy tales. Presented as an interactive multi-platform transmedia documentary project exploring why fairy stories continue to enchant, entertain, fascinate and horrify contemporary adult audiences. Re-enchantment features a series of 10 x 3-minute animated documentaries (interstitials), broadcast on the ABC, which explored the themes at work in fairy tales. It also featured a massive online exploratory environment that expanded on the themes of the TV series. It offered a rich visual design and presents a new way of thinking about these familiar and much loved stories.
Ferris, G.J. 2009, 'Burning Daylight, Place, history and community', Editor (Various).
Broome-based Marrugeku is at the leading edge of Australian contemporary inter-cultural performance. The company creates large-scale cross-cultural works in-situ, in community, that blend contemporary indigenous dance with physical theatre, screen-based media and live music. This process of making work `in-situ requires extensive consultation and conversation with the community before the `art making can begin. Burning Daylight, the companys third major work, was four years in the making, and included three creative developments, two community showings, and a heck of a lot of tea drinking with the elders in Broome. The final work is a manifestation of traditional and contemporary performance that was conceived through negotiation and collaboration with the traditional communities (Aboriginal, Malay, Chinese, Indonesian and Japanese) of Broome. The work takes inspiration from journalistic descriptions of the bar scene in Broome around the turn of the last century where it is described as an `Asian Wild West, and re-graphs this into the present, setting the production in the streets outside a notorious pub on a Broome-style Karaoke night. It tells the story of a group of young people who are kicked out of a bar around closing time. A series of contemporary dance scenes unfold expressing the friction, cultural collisions and local humour in the part of Broome known as `The Bronx. A lone cowboy comes to town, his presence echoing across the last century, stirring ghosts of the towns past and provoking the street gang into a surreal collision of past and present in the darkest hours of the night. Burning Daylight: Place, history and community aims to give audiences a greater understanding about Marrugekus process of making this work with community in Broome. It includes an interview with Senior Yawaru Law man and traditional owner, Pat Dodson, and essays by three Australian academics: Ian Maxwell, Jacqueline Lo and Kerrie Schaefer. It comes...
Ferris, G.J. 2008, 'Eclipse', Online editor and dvd authoring, Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia ZKM, Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe.
Single channel DVD-Video and Two channel DVD-Video Installation. Eclipse is a DVD project that investigates recent events involving the suspicious deaths of key scientific and financial figures, now on the borders of historical memory. It tracks the impossible dilemmas faced by its protagonists whose deaths created a judicial vortex in their wake. Eclipse forms part of a DVD/Book publication titled Un_imaginable published by Hatje Cantz, Osfildern. Un_imaginable is the first in the iCinema/ZKM/University of Pittsburgh Digital Arts Edition Series. Eclipse is co-produced by the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, University of New South Wales. It is written by Stephen Sewell, with music by Kate Moore and audio design by Tony MacGregor. Exhibited at: Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia ZKM, Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
Ferris, G.J. 2008, 'land[sound]scape', HD video editing, Guangzhou triennial, China.
land[sound]scape, is a video and sound installation by starrs & cmielewski, curated into the third Guangzhou Triennial, China, that opened on 6th September 2008. The work features panoramic images of the âWalls of Chinaâ at Lake Mungo in Australia projected onto a double sided suspended video screen. The viewerâs movement around the installation space is tracked by sensors and an ambient spatial audio soundscape responds to this audience movement. The sound incorporates field recordings from the Lake Mungo site, as well as voices speaking the names of early Chinese immigrants to Australia. When the viewer stops moving, the voices gradually fade away.
Ferris, G.J. 2008, 'My favorite Australian', Post-production/Editing/compositing, ABC broadcast, Australian National Portrairt gallery and ABC Online.
My Favourite Australian is a project developed in collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, ABC TV and the people of Australia. Early in 2008, the ABC commissioned video portraits by twenty-three artists and filmmakers of a selection of well known and little-known Australians who were voted for by the Australian public. I was asked by Merilyn to post-produce her three shorts - online editing and compositing. Merilyn Fairskye was invited to create video portraits of three very different subjects. The portrait of Sir William Deane, Governor-General 1996-2001, was created from ABC archival material. It provides an unfamiliar point of engagement for the viewer with a very public figure. The portrait of Dian Wellfare, human rights activist and founder of Origins NSW, is of a woman whose life was marked at an early age by profound loss, and who turned her loss into support for people around the world separated by adoption. Saturated colours and lush landscapes provide a surreal backdrop to the third portrait, of Ruth Lewis, animal rescuer and president of the Ipswich Koala Protection Society. The video portraits were on show at the new National Portrait Gallery until 1 March 2009. The exhibition then toured regional Australia, and Australian high commissions and embassies overseas. They are also available for viewing on the ABC website along with a âmaking ofâ TV documentary about the project.
Ferris, G.J. 2008, 'The Ground, The Air', Online editor, compositing and dvd authoring, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Wollongong City Gallery.
Video installation by Anne Ferran
Ferris, G.J. 2008, 'The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open For Inspection', Film editor, Melbourne festival.
The Meaning of Moorabbin is Open For Inspection embraces contemporary ideas concerning the development of our primary living space, the suburban house. The videos and the performance event deal with the following concepts; * First, the notion that the suburbs are constantly being overwritten in the name of progress. Swathes of suburbia get obliterated and transformed into sites of impermanence releasing the memories of past lives until the next generation of residents move in, make their own homes, fill them with life then leave, continuing the cycle; * Second, the idea that the suburban house is a metaphor for the Australian imaginary, its psychological texture imbued with the netherworld of the desert, the ephemeral space of suburban creep and the liminal nature of coastal living; and * Third, that the centrality of the suburban home to the Australian identity is no longer sustainable given that rising mortgages and interest rates drive the Dream of Home Ownership out-of-reach for the âordinary Australianâ. Encompassing these views is the frame that Australian suburbia is a mediated otherworld, a no-manâs land in which representation never reflects reality, where past and present co-exist and the future is a wrecking ball.
Ferris, G.J. 2007, 'Burning Daylight/3 x short films', Australian Film Commission/Australia Council/Marrugeku, Various.
Three short films directed by Warwick Thornton, which I post-produced (edited). These were later used as part of the production for the dance work of the same name, which toured in 2009.
Ferris, G.J. 2007, 'Hold 2', Post-production (editing), BFI Southbank Gallery, London, June 23-Sept 2.
Hold: Vessel 1 and 2 (2001 & 2007) brings together two immersive installation works that explore the intimacy and immensity of the natural world and our relationship to it. The audience is invited to carry a glass bowl into a darkened space and 'catch' projected images of microscopic marine life and telescopic astronomical imagery in a lensâshaped 'screen'. Hold uses moving image and technology to reveal the hidden intricacies of human immersion in the wide, complex world. Hold: Vessel 1 features breathtaking imagery of microscopic marine life and telescopic astronomical imagery in a lensâshaped 'screen'. Hold: Vessel 2 updates this earlier version of the work with the addition of two newly commissioned video projections, to present five separate video pieces. In creating these new projections, entitled Colonies and Light, Wallworth collaborated with specialist cinematographers, utilising current visioning technologies to produce intricate details of underwater marine life, recording how these environments have altered in the last six years. The new projections for Hold: Vessel 2, also feature rare imagery of the 2004 Transit of Venus, an astronomical event which, in 1769, was used to compute the relative distance from the Earth to the sun, allowing calculation of the scale of the solar system. This event marked a pivotal moment in history when, for the first time, warring nations chose to cooperate in order to answer one of the leading scientific questions of the day. Wallworth makes reference to this global scientific coâoperation and connects it to the effect of climate change on environments and marine species' highly developed means of surviving in diverse communities.
Ferris, G.J. 2007, 'Keep the Home Fires Burning', Compositing and DVD authoring, Port Arthur Project Port Arthur Historic Site.
Nicole Ellisâs works explore the nexus of archaeology and contemporary painting. In 1992, she began the Site Work series, a project that peels back the layers of human presence in old buildings such as clothing manufacturersâ warehouses, and a 19th century outback woolshed. Nicoleâs Port Arthur work continues her interest in Australiaâs colonial history and the inter-relationship between two worlds, the penal settlement at Port Arthur and the homelands of Britain and Ireland. Her video depicts an English marble fireplace, with a fire burning slowly down in the hearth. The fireplace motif, projected over the simple hearth of the servantâs room, suggests a longed-for home in England or the possibility of a better one in Van Diemenâs Land. It also refers to the class and rank left behind by immigrants, and to their aspirations for wealth, security, freedom and land-ownership in the new land. Early writings on architecture considered the location of the hearth, to be the important centrepiece of a dwelling and it came to symbolise the desirable qualities of nurture and comfort, associated with the term, âhearth and homeâ. For the residents at Port Arthur, the expression âto make oneself at homeâ meant setting up a replica of their homeland, in the architectural motifs, home furnishings, gardens, food and behaviour. In this way they felt more at home in an alien and inhospitable environment. The title: Keep the Home Fires Burning expresses the hope of returning to the homeland, but also the knowledge that most did not return. They became new settlers and threw in their lot with the new colony to establish a home in Tasmania.
Ferris, G.J. 2007, 'Scenic root', Post-production (editing) dvd authoring, AGNSW.
Sydney artist Gary Carsley's new project is an immersive installation comprised of large photographic monoprints made from scanned timber adhesive foils that together create an image of a park. In these complex works â which Carsley titles 'draguerreotypes' â nature has been dragged metaphorically back into abstract arboreal terrain, paradoxically suggesting how the processes of design and curation effect our understanding of what is 'natural'.
Ferris, G.J. 2007, 'Still waiting 2', Post-production (editing).
Ferris, G.J. 2006, 'Backwater', Online editor and dvd authoring, Stills gallery.
Video installation by Anne Ferran.
Ferris, G.J. 2006, 'Conversations The parallax effect', Conversations The parallax effect, University of NSW, College of Fine Arts, Sydney, Australia.
Digital monograph for the UNSW iCinema project 'Conversations', which was funded by an ARC discovery grant.
Ferris, G.J. 2006, 'Spirit of the Ashes', Wilkinson, Melbourne, Aust.
Ferris, G.J. 2006, 'stati d'animo', Australian Film Commission/Plus & Minus productions, Various.
I was post-production supervisor on this work, including editing and sound design. Stati d'Animo directly references the trilogy of paintings (1911-12) by the Futurist artist Boccioni that addressed the mixture of dynamism, chaos, and anxiety that the development of the modern city of the early 20th century provoked. His work centred on the railway station. In this work, the international airport has replaced Boccioni's railway station as the principal nexus of human movement, of arrivals, departures and farewells.
Ferris, G.J. 2006, 'Walk in drive in', Online editor, compositing and dvd authoring, Adelaide festival.
An immersive, interactive artwork by Callum Morton and David Pledger.
Conversations@the Studio presents an innovative mixed-reality narrative model of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Decorative Arts collection within a uniquely designed Intelligent Interactive Information Environment. It takes the natural navigation of a real world situation â a contemporary Glass Studio - as its point of departure, using this as a framework for organizing a set of narrative formations that further elaborate the thematics of the collection. By visualising a 360 degree global video recording, made on location at the Glass Studio, it provides the telepresent experience of an actual visit to the Studio, giving full interactive freedom to the viewer's gaze.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'Buried alive', Online editor, animation and dvd authoring, Australian broadcasting corporation.
A two part documentary first broadcast on the ABC in 2004, the story of the first five years of the European settlement of Australia, of how a collection of petty criminals, the outcasts of an old society, were sent to establish a new society, on someone else's land, on a strange, unexplored continent, on the other side of the world. The story is told by the people who were there, through their journals, diaries and letters home, and illustrated by some of the 800 sketches, drawings and watercolours dating from the first few years of the settlement. It tells of the often surprising relationship with the Aboriginal people, the hunger as storeships failed to arrive, the horrors of the hangings and floggings, the intermarriage between officers and convict women, the life and customs of the Aboriginal people, and the gradual development of the settlement at Sydney Cove to a stage where it seemed likely to survive. Above all, perhaps, Buried Alive shows that in many ways, despite the different circumstances, they were ordinary people, not much different from us.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'Conversations', Video Editor/Compositor/ Cinematographer, Powerhouse museum.
Conversations is an experimental Distributed Multi-User Virtual Environment forming the central focus of an Australian Research Council funded study investigating the reformulation of narrative within digital cinema. It offers viewers an immersive multi-modal interactive narrative experience dealing with the events leading up to the escape, recapture, trial and hanging of Ronald Ryan at Pentridge Prison, Melbourne in 1967, the last person publicly executed in Australia. It allows viewers "to inhabit the landscape of the escape, to experience the confusion of the crime scene first hand; then it enables us to encounter the key protagonists of the subsequent trial. Instead of being presented with 'facts', viewers are asked to negotiate the historical landscape themselves, to draw conclusions from their encounter with both the scene of the disputed events and the opinions of the characters who dominated their aftermath".* It has been developed in the form of two demonstrators. The first for the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney where it was premiered in November 2004 and the second at iCinema's Scientia Laboratory where it is available for presentation as part of a portfolio of experimental works. The project has been developed in collaboration with the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of Sydney and the ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Germany.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'Eavesdrop', Cinematographic Design & Post Production, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane festivals.
Eavesdrop is a multi-narrative mediation of psychological states in and around the theme of moral inertia. The stories take their cue from middle Australia and talk around, speak to, allude and confront a certain condition of morality.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'Enola', Online editor and dvd authoring, Biennale of Sydney/MCA, various national and international art galleries.
Susan Norrie's acclaimed video 'Enola' depicts a dreamy, otherworldly landscape of global icons in an exploration of the effects of nuclear war on the city of Hiroshima. At first, the viewer is lured into a charming miniature world as the camera slowly pans through the architectural theme work in Tobu, Japan where 102 buildings from the Eiffel Tower to St Peters Basilica to the World Trade Centre are built 1/25 of their actual size and set in a landscaped garden. The lullaby-like soundtrack of Burt Bacharach's 'Walk on By' and Disney's 'It's a small world' is used 'to lull people into believing in a Brave New World' . Norrie cleverly plays with the effects of real documentary footage and an imagined fantasy land. Her use of slow motion grainy shots induce a childlike wonder and diversion while a stronger perhaps more serious message about the state of our world is conveyed. Ultimately the video is a celebration of humanity's resilience in the face of adversity. 'Enola' was first shown in 'On Reason and Emotion', Biennale of Sydney in 2004 and has been in many international exhibitions since. Others from the small edition of 6 are held in the collections of Art Gallery of Western Australia and Queensland Art Gallery.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'Knickers on my head', Co-director, compositing..
Music video for Aria award winning group MGF, this video was made exclusively for the DVD of the Feature Film, 'Getting Squared'.
Ferris, G.J. 2004, 'On Ice (Machine Gun Fellatio album) DVD', Compositing and DVD authoring.
MGF album released as a double disc, the second of which was my DVD.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'Connected', Australian Film Commission/Plus & Minus productions, Sydney.
I was post production person on this, inc 5.1 surround design. Alice Springs is one of the most isolated towns in Australia. In December 1966 an agreement was signed that allowed the construction of Pine Gap, a US-Australian Joint Defence Space Research facility, as a base for global satellite technology and one of the largest ground control centres in the world, just 17 kilometres outside of Alice. The base connected the world to Pine Gap. This work considers how disembodied and shadowy the experience of being constantly connected can be. The work adopts a Pine Gap modus operandi. Sites are monitored, from the air and from the ground - Anzac Hill; the airport; the Pine Gap exit; Ormiston Gorge; Hermannsburg Mission; Kata Tjuta - to create a sense of a town and a landscape inhabited by shadows, mirages, and reflections. People inhabit this space tenuously. You never get to see them. You hear from them, or about them. Every one around Alice Springs has a story, or a friend with a story, that connects to the base. These anecdotes interweave with intercepts from recent news reports; ambient sounds; static; Morse code from Telegraph Station, the roar of road trains speeding down the Stuart Highway; a lone didgeridoo.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'Cyborg Ned', Post-production (editing, animation), Rosyln Oxley Gallery.
A poetic, experimental short film/installation looking at Australia's fascination with the Ned Kelly myth.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'Paging Mr Strike', CDRom authoring/design and artwork.
This was a cd-rom / enhanced CD for MGF that I created. The album itself went platinum (100 000 copies)
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'Passenger', Cinematography and on-line editor, MCA and internationally.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'proXy', Editor (including compositing), Performance Space, Sydney.
proXy was Exhibited at Performance Space, Sydney, 199 Cleveland St Redfern December 2002. Funded by The New Media Arts Fund of The Australia Council and supported by Performance Space, Sydney. proXy was initially supported by Das Arts, Amsterdam On September the 10th 2001 Rachael Swain flew from Sydney to New York to spend a month collaborating with André Lepecki on a dance video project. As we all know, on the following morning the `terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and other parts of America began. Abandoning our previous project we began collaborating on a new work as a means of survival. We have titled this project proXy. While dealing explicitly with formal oppositions (the living and the dead, East and West, carnage and poetry, language and image, dust and static), we hope to convey the sense of political fluidity and ideological fuzziness informing the dialectics of east and west, perpetrator and victim, living and dead, memory and event -- all cornered, crunched, and vaporized by the dizzying impact of history on the living body. In proXy, we are proposing an installation where surfaces receive as well as evacuate images saturated by media and ideological noise. We use image, motion and sound to build an architecture of dizziness and impact -- an architecture where the line of contact between two distinct planes of reality undermines their eradicable separation. The onset of the peculiar overlaying of coincidences, accidents, unforeseen plannings, geo-political strategies, devastation, personal dramas, historical forces, hauntings, media noise, reproduction technologies at full throttle, violent acts and traumatic shocks on the edge of hallucination is the reason why we feel proXy must be seen both as a response as well as a calling.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'To pussytown and back', NA, Festival Mushroom Records (FMR), NA.
Music DVD for Aria award winning band MGF which I authored. Nominated for Best Music DVD 2004. 'What DVD's Best Australian DVD 2004. Features live concert at Metro Theatre which I shot and edited.
Ferris, G.J. 2003, 'Undertow', Online editor and dvd authoring, ACCA Melbourne, AGNSW and internationally.
Susan Norrie's 'Undertow' is simultaneously an overwhelming and deeply meditative video installation, one of the most ambitious that Susan Norrie has created, and the culmination of several years of experimentation and development in her art practice. Undertow portrays the world in a state of both beauty and terror, shuddering with natural and unnatural events which verge on the catastrophic. The viewer is immersed in images of ominous tempests, delicate spring blossoms, bubbling mud pools, swirling clouds of dust, and scientific experiments which manifestly cannot make sense of these phenomena. The range and scale of images has a vertiginous and unsettling effect that pulls at the viewer's unconscious.
Ferris, G.J., 'A videotape ruined my life', Syncity, d/Lux/MediaArts, Australian centre for Photography.
SynCity highlights 25 years of sampling in experimental screen formats such as Super 8 mm film, 16mm film, video, computer animation and various digital media. The result is the revelation of a cultural tradition that challenges and extends the relationship between entertainment media and experimental art forms. The works in SynCity have been brought together mostly from the archives of d/Lux Media Arts who have preserved in digital format their own public events as well as their predecessors, the Super 8 Film Group and the Sydney Intermedia Network. This exhibition was the first curatorial slice through that vast resource and also the first time contemporary screen works have been placed within a living historical context.
Ferris, G.J., 'China Lake', Sydney Film Festival / d>Art.04 Australian Screen, Self, Dendy Cinemas.
China Lake is a work that deals with themes of personification, politics and the general boredom of everyday life.
Every Time I Leave the Room is a scalable, immersive installation that uses gestural movements to move in and around a cinematic spatiality inspired by Deleuze's concepts of the relative and absolute 'out-of-field'.
Words and actions are repeated and echoed across a number of scenarios situated in a series of hotel rooms. In one room an aging stuntman contemplates his own mortality.
Ferris, G.J., 'I don't like it', Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition, Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
With over 300 clips spanning nine decades, Spectacle follows how the art of the music video has progressed, from clips of 1920s jazz legends through to videos by Madonna, Lady Gaga and other contemporary artists. One of the 300 includes the videoclip I created for the artist Pauline Pantsdown, 'I don't like it'. Powerful imagery and music surround you as you journey through a labyrinth of interactive installations, sets, immersive environments, original props and costumes. Spectacle features the handiwork of some of today's most innovative filmmakers, including Michel Gondry who directed videos for The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, Spike Jonze (Björk, Fatboy Slim) and Mark Romanek (Lenny Kravitz, Jay Z). Key Australian music videos also contribute to the story with clips from a variety of home grown talent, including Temper Trap, Nick Cave, Kylie Minogue and my clip for Pauline. Videos featured in the show range from the experimental and arthouse to the political and the provocative and include epic productions which cross the boundary into short film. All of them demonstrate that ingenuity is the key to creating the perfect marriage of sound and vision. Spectacle: The Music Video Exhibition is organised by the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Curators: Jonathan Wells and Meg Grey Wells, Flux.
Ferris, GJ, 'Only at the air, only at each other (2018)', Kronenberg Wright Artist Projects.
Only at the air, only at each other (not to be confused with the VR video work of the same name) was my first major solo exhibition in a commercial gallery. It extends and elaborates upon research in and around extrapolation and the cinematic.