Seekers logo

Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2023 at Seekers

August 8, 2023

For the third year Seekers took part in the 15th Gertrude Street Projection Festival, titled Confluence. Confluence is defined literally as ‘the junction of two rivers, especially rivers of approximately equal width’, however, it’s also more broadly defined as an act or process of merging. The festival emulated this metaphor of coming together by activating multiple sites along Gertrude Street as well as Peel Street Park and Collingwood Yards.

From July 27th to August 6th the festival projected the works of 11 artists-in-residence alongside some special projects, offsite activations, events, parties, talks and screenings. Seekers hosted the work of Tully Arnot as continued partners of GSPF, our practice being an ideal canvas for projections to show through. Tully’s work titled ‘Epiphyte’ was created for people to experience within a free-roam virtual reality environment. Adapted for GSPF 2023, the work comprised video and audio projected onto Gertrude Street. The concept is an intriguing, reflective and compelling one, we’ve included the artwork rationale below for you to take in.

Seekers loved seeing the Naarm/Melbourne community enjoy the GSPF 2023 festival, bringing people outside and together in winter and after dark.

If you didn’t manage to experience GSPF this year you can find out more via their website and socials. Or simply rely on us to remind you it’s coming up next year.




“Tully Arnot. Epiphytes, 2020. Video and Audio.

​An epiphyte is an organism that lives on the surface of a plant, feeding on the air, water and natural refuse of its environment, in harmony with its surrounding ecosystem. Tully Arnot’s virtual reality work Epiphytes honours alternative forms of plant communication and consciousness, inviting us to question our own perception. The primacy of sight is minimised in favour of sound and scent, which Arnot uses to influence our bodily responses within the virtual space. Epiphytes reflects Arnot’s interest in how emergent technologies help form human understandings of the world. Situated within an abstracted representation of Tully’s childhood backyard, the virtual environment of Epiphytes features a diffuse, shifting, magenta palette – suggestive of a phytomorphic (plant-based) interpretation of light and space. The work includes interviews with evolutionary ecologist Monica Gagliano, acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi, and echolocation teacher/blind researcher and activist Thomas Tajo. These sonic elements are spatially arranged within a free-roam VR (virtual reality) environment, encouraging curiosity and exploration of the space, while generating a collaged conversational dialogue between these diverse theorists. Field recordings of local birds and other ecological sounds complement these conversations, as well as foley representing the flow of water and nutrients through the trees, suggestive of a natural environment that is either fabricated, or fading. The audio is spatially controlled, using virtual reality as a powerful acoustic tool that can represent complex sonic constructions which aren’t possible in reality. Developed during the Australian bushfires, the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis, the work uses implied forms of nature; a passing scent, shadows from an unseen canopy, diffuse amorphous forms, to elicit feelings of solastalgia – an emotional distress at a loss of natural environments – while also encouraging a more symbiotic and interconnected way of being in the world, drawing on the existential premise of the artwork’s botanical namesake, the epiphyte.”

Copyright © 2020 – 2024 All Rights Reserved
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram