Armstrong's multimedia practice – incorporating innovative performance forms, site-specific electronic arts, networked interactive installations, alternative interfaces, art-science collaborations and socially and ecologically engaged practices – seeks to explore the great ecological and social justice issues of our time.
Over Many Horizons is an interactive, experiential exhibition that investigates the mesh of environmental, social and cultural ecologies that form our worlds, asking how might we re-imagine our place and actions within those networks as ‘refuturing'. Retrospective works are shown together with key new projects including a sculptural text-based work, (O Tswellang) Horizon 3 arising from collaborations with social change agents of the informal townships around Bloemfontein, South Africa, where Armstrong is currently conducting research for the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD), an initiative of the Vrystaat Art Festival and the University of the Free State.
Another work, Horizon 1: Deep Ecology invites the viewer to explore the imagined depths of the remotest corners of oceans, with faintly glowing fibre optic forms that travel ethereally through a darkened tank, suggesting an ecosystem isolated at the edges of consciousness.
Over Many Horizons will also see the re-development of innovative video installations, including Horizon 4: Shifting Dusts, originally commissioned for the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA) London in 2006. In a darkened space a human form is projected against a dust-strewn surface inviting differing states of meditation, exploration, stillness and play.
Audiences navigate the works non-linearly, encountering robotically controlled kinetic light works, telescopic tunnels of ethereal imagery and sound and gently pulsing, ambiguous surfaces. The exhibition dovetails with a range of workshops and discussions that ask, why is today's environmental crisis a crisis of ‘us', and how must we therefore evolve?
Over Many Horizons seeks to shine a light upon the silent, shadowy barriers of cultural misunderstanding that prevent us from re-inventing ourselves as a future-sustaining species.
Keith Armstrong states, "No one voice, philosophy, knowledge paradigm or practice can ever hold easy answers. There are many horizons and so the purpose of 'ecosophical practice is to allow us to temporarily ‘draw breath' together, in order to examine the maps we have drawn; asking – what do we need to re-imagine now at this time, and how? How can we find common ground across divisions and persuasions that have so long stymied our thinking?"
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, public program and school workshops, as part of National Science Week (13 – 21 August), Sydney Science Festival (11 - 21 August) and Sydney Design (2 – 11 September).
Opening: Tuesday 2 August, 6-8 pm