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Newtown Shuffle (2005)

Analogue video (5 mins, looped 15secs black to start)

A colour-to-sound formula has been produced by the artist, by asking a cross-section of people to correlate a colour wheel with a musical scale.  This  formula has been applied to footage of a drive along King St., Newtown, Sydney – a section of road known locally as ‘the Newtown shuffle’ due to its normally congested state. Each note is derived from the colour of a vehicle moving through a designated area of the video image.  Pre-set parameters are used to match the dominant colour in each vehicle with a musical note (eg. red = A, orange = B, … , violet = G). The lane closest to the camera has been ascribed to a piano, the next to a cello/violin, and parked and waiting vehicles, the glockenspiel.  Thus a chaotically derived ‘composition’ emerges from the footage.

 

<- conversion chart

 

Materials:

 

Video or DVD, chart

Installation requirements:

240V power supply

DVD player

Small-scale projector / TV

 

The work is best shown as a small wall projection, with the screen slightly larger than a car’s windscreen, and the projector set to wide screen format. It also works well as a simple DVD-to-TV installation.

A wall text plate of the conversion chart, mounted on foamcore, should be placed next to the screen/TV, affording viewers an insight into the formula, as the work gains nothing by being conceptually obscure.