Distorting space and reality with Robin Fox

24 Jul 2018

Quadra, the latest work by Robin Fox, will premiere at GLOW 9-11 Aug and then remain on site at HOTA, Home of the Arts until 19 Aug.

Robin Fox is a leading Australian audio-visual artist working across live performance, exhibitions, public art projects and designs for contemporary dance.  His laser works, which synchronise sound and visual electricity in hyper-amplified 3D space, have been performed in over 50 cities worldwide.

Quadra, custom designed for HOTA, Home of the Arts, is a brand new immersive sound and laser environment that is specifically tuned to the black box theatre inside the Outdoor Stage.

Four white laser projectors will be used in conjunction with 12 precision optical mirrors to create a shimmeringly beautiful multi-chromatic artwork (white laser projectors can produce the full spectrum of colours as they combine red, green and blue diodes). A forest of beams will converge into planes and fields of light and diverge to points of hyper-complexity enveloping the audience in a meta geometry that uses the architecture of the space as its point of departure. Quadra has been designed to be enjoyed as both a walkthrough experience and be mountable as a Robin Fox installation in future.

Previous work

‘I have been performing my monochromatic green Laser Show worldwide for almost a decade. The premise behind the work is that you see and hear the same electrical signal at the same time creating a manufactured synaesthetic experience. The work is extreme and immersive’ said Fox.

‘In late 2013 I set to work on a new show that employs three laser projectors one red, one green and one blue. The results are simply incredible. Sound and light are synchronous. What you see is literally what you hear. The audience is saturated with sound and light information that connects parts of the brain rarely accessed. The experience is ecstatic for both performer and audience.’

The manifestation of this work, RGB LASER SHOW, premiered at Mona Foma 2014 (Hobart) and recently featured at Tramway (Glasgow), Vivid Festival (Sydney) and the Barbican (London).

‘At times sound is converted directly into light geometry and at others, the image itself is sonified so you hear the mechanics of the light drawing. This marks a radical departure from my previous work, which has always moved from sound to image. This new work must be experienced to be believed. No photograph or video can approximate the sensation of being caught in this audio-visual maelstrom’ said Fox.

‘As usual, one of the best things in the festival.’ Brian Ritchie – Mona Foma curator.

Robin’s ground-breaking work with Chunky Move Dance Company contributed to the work Mortal Engine receiving a Helpmann award for best visual production and an honourable mention at the illustrious Prix Ars Electronica 2009. Other works with Chunky Move include Gideon Obarzanek’s Connected, Antony Hamilton’s Keep Everything and Stephanie Lake’s Aorta. His recent sound work Interior Design: Music for the Bionic Ear in association with ANAT and the Bionic Ear Institute, was shortlisted for a Future Everything award in the UK 2011 and selected by the Paris Rostrum of Composers in 2012.

In the visual arts he has exhibited works at the RoslynOxley9 (Sydney), Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne), Gallery of Modern Art (Brisbane) and Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart) as well as galleries in Germany, Taipei and New Zealand. His interactive installation CRT; Hommage to Leon Theremin received an honourable mention in the National New Media Art Award 2012 and has been acquired by the Australian Synchrotron. The recent work Colour Organ had its first installation at MONA Hobart.

Public art projects include designing and building a Giant Theremin for the City of Melbourne, a seven-metre tall interactive musical sculpture; the White Beam project commissioned by Dark Mofo which shot a high powered white laser beam through the trees on Salamanca lawns; developing a hybrid sound/dance work A Small Prometheus with Stephanie Lake involving fire powered kinetic musical sculptures which had a sell-out season at the 2013 Melbourne International Arts Festival and sound/light design for Lee Serle’s SYNC at the Lyon Opera Ballet. A new work Transducer for microphones, speakers and percussionists co-composed with Eugene Ughetti was recently premiered at Totally Huge New Music Festival in Perth.

He has collaborated with some of the world’s leading improvisers and directors from Anthony Pateras, Jon Rose, Jerome Noetinger, Oren Ambarchi and Lasse Marhaug to Gideon Obarzanek, Antony Hamilton, Lucy Guerin and Stephanie Lake. He has released numerous sound works on labels across Europe, Australia and the US and recently released a limited digital edition of a new AV work Magnetic Trap through [edition] in the UK.

He also holds a PhD in composition from Monash University and an MA in musicology which documents the history of experimental music in Melbourne 1975-1979.

Quotes about Robin’s previous laser shows:

‘Visually stunning…’ The New York Times

‘A completely unique and memorable experience’ Hobart Mercury

‘The distortion of space and reality is awe-inspiring’ New York Theatre Review