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Experimenta: Speak to Me Exhibition

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by Marguerite Bravay (subscribe)
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A Media Art Exhibit at RMIT Gallery
In our technology-based world, methods of communication are almost as infinite as the number of users. But how do we, as human beings, truly connect to one-another? This is the theme that Experimenta's 5th Biennial of Media Art, Speak to Me, examines through interactive displays, wall projections and short films at RMIT Gallery.

Until November 15th, stop by RMIT Gallery on Swanston Street to discover technology's human touch, as perceived by Australian and International artists. Catch the exhibit in Melbourne before it heads off for a two-year national tour.

The success and failure of communication

When you walk into Speak to Me's main room, you can't miss the big, rectangular projection board. A cast of solemn-looking individuals of all ages, wearing t-shirts with different quotes, parades across the board. The quotes, more like opinion statements, are written both in English and French and instigate us to ponder some important questions of our century, such as the role of friendship and the triumph of peace over violence.
Speak to Me Projection Board
Projection on Friendship: "My friends are nearly everything in my life"

Surrounding the projection board, you'll find several LCD screens playing short films that discuss successes and shortcomings of communication that everyone can relate to. Some of the features include the breakdown of a relationship due to lack of communication, an interview and children talking about playtime. Words, spoken and written, guide us to understand these montages.

Technology and the human touch

Once you've gotten into the spirit of things, find out how technology and communication connect via the human touch. Speak to Me is an exhibit to be shared, but the old saying applies: two's company and three's a crowd. And only two people are allowed in the dark room that shelters the French artist Scenocosme's work, Light Contacts, at once.

Here, you will see how touching a metallic ball can alter the room's acoustics. One person is asked to touch the ball, built up on a pedestal of sorts. Then, after a few seconds, the second person is asked to touch the first person's arm. At this point, sounds not unlike piano playing fill the room, increasing with the pressure of human touch.

Speak to Me features three interactive displays, where a myriad of colours, sounds and movements come to life, representing the impact of humanity on technology, and the impact of technology on humanity.

Want more?

Experimenta offers art consultancy services both publicly and privately, and has done so for two decades. To find out more and locate their events in conjunction with Speak to Me, visit the RMIT Gallery website. Speak to Me continues at the National Gallery of Victoria, ACMI and the Faculty Gallery of Monash University with free screenings of works by Japanese and Australian filmmakers. The main exhibit at RMIT Gallery is open late on Thursdays (until 7pm).
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Why? To explore concepts at the core of modern society
When: Monday - Wednesday and Friday: 11 - 5. Thursday: 11 - 7. Saturday: 12 - 5.
Where: RMIT Gallery
Cost: Free
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