Dr Chris Hales – European interactive film and digital media tour

Chris Hales, Post Doctoral Research Fellow at SMARTlab, has been active this summer showcasing twelve of his interactive films, on display in a specially constructed labyrinth of small rooms in the basement of Prague’s National Gallery, as part of the Triennale of Contemporary Art, June to the end of September 2008.

Chris’s work was selected by curator Carlos Cabral Nunes (based in Lisbon) on the grounds that it is representative of a kind of ‘underground’ personal production. Future collaborations are planned.

In June Chris made a short tour of Poland, with Finnish colleague Teijo Pellinen, with an interactive film show entitled ‘Cause and Effect’. This memorable show was in the town of Gliwice, in the region of Silesia, where a performance was given in a ruined theatre to 380 schoolchildren from all local schools. Chris’ film Crescendo – in which shrill singing, or in this case, screaming, is needed to cause progression in the film – almost literally brought (the remains of) the house down!

In the height of the summer Chris taught an interesting workshop in the very north of Finnish Lapland, to an international group of students of High-School age. Taking advantage of the sun never setting, his contribution to the workshop was a course on ‘Landscape Painting and Digital Media’. Firstly students were inducted into the traditional art of ‘plein air’ painting (à la Monet), subsequently the results were scanned and post-production effects added to generate morphing animations and video overlays of the artists themselves into their own paintings.

Chris has been doing some curating of his own and in early September he curated, organised and set up an exhibition of eleven interactive video installations at the Y-Gallery in the city of Tartu in Estonia. As well as showcasing one of Chris’s films, the exhibition, entitled “Change!”, presented his personal selection (and in some cases adaptation) of projects made during the last 5 years of his regular workshops at the Tartu Polytechnic of Art.

Photo: Chris’s photo of Lake Muddusjärvi where the landscape course was held.


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