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Spystation NC1074

Artist in Residence – Nicola Morton

Property Donor: The GPT Group

109 Hunter St Mall

From 4 – 28 February 2010 Brisbane artist Nicola Morton is installing the Spystation NC1074 at Loop Space, offering free workshops on field recordings, digital imaging and German/Japanese language coaching. Workshop participants become part of the exhibition.

Nicola will also be the first Renew Newcastle Artist in Residence, staying in the old Clergy residence at the Renew Newcastle HQ while she is visiting Newcastle for this project.

Artist Profile

I am Nicola Morton. I am a performing artist, futurist, activist and could be a little bit crazy. I support art as a tool for social change and sustainability. I am a future evangelist, genuinely curious about science and technology. I love to make things fun and love love.

I enjoy bringing art into public spaces. My activities include: receiving stories in my head, documenting visual and musical happenings, installing things in spaces then take them away, talking to people and making musical instruments out of rubbish. I use everyday objects and the social and physical environment around us as inspirations and tools to make people think radically and non linearly about what they can do about the future.

What inspired you to get involved with Renew Newcastle?

I find myself drawn to dead spaces because of their potential for magic and imagination. Renew Newcastle by utilising these urban dead spaces are putting works in community, where it can really cause effects, bringing us one step towards the great societal art organism that Joseph Beuys envisioned.

„Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included… something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a gigantic project.“ (Joseph Beuys)

I am all about future speculation and interactions with community, Renew Newcastle brings new and alternative visions to what the future of the city, Newcastle could be like. It supports growth through sustainability and is a wonderful, inspiring project that I am really glad to be a part of.

Project Profile

SNC1074 in February 2010 at Loop Space is an installation and workshop series that infiltrates, creates and challenges. It features several monitors broadcasting images and videos collected from myth makers around the world, live video chats with informants, weather balloons floating in the air, missions hidden in stuffed toys, and workshops for visual, audio or linguistic spying.

The workshops not only teach practical skills like field recording, digital imaging and German/Japanese but also create and exhibit new narratives for the environment. SNC1074 instils a new era of ownership of the ‘active’ landscape and opens the act of surveillance up to the public .

SNC1074 is hiding a social action. It touches diodes and fingers across Newcastle by finding and creating material culture. The environment around us is active and changing, we can share it, we can belong to it, we can own it together. Creating significance in the environment makes it special to us, creating myths fights the linearity of time. SNC1074 exhibits myths from all over the world and starts new narratives around the environment in Newcastle. Existence in the temporal becomes existence in the forever.

‘Big Brother’ owns surveillance (both in the form of government & in mass media). But the simple act of observation can be fun, not malicious and not about ‘who’s the boss’. Observation is an important tool for imagination and critical thinking. SNC1074 destablises the power model of surveillance and brings surveillance out to the public, lets them see what a fun Spy Station sees (not all terror threats and narky arguments over food) and devises adventurous missions for them. It uses telescopic visual and audio recording, mirroring, language lessons and internet communication to literally put people in the picture, place themselves in the world and even lets them fly.

Spystation NC1074 is exhibitive, interactive and interventive. It uncovers secret worlds, knowledge, thoughts and power for the community. But most of all it is a fun happening that everyone can be a part of.

About Loop Space …

Already it has been rewarding telling people I am exhibiting in Loop Space the old Fletcher and Jones store on the Hunter St Mall. People seem genuinely glad that something is being done in that space which has been empty for years. Loop Space suits me especially with its emphasis on musical interactions and sound art, both of which I have studied and am still really interested and influenced by. I find the amalgam of performance and new media natural and symbiotic and I am glad that Loop Space and Renew Newcastle has given me this opportunity to explode my Spystation and energy into Newcastle.

Installation & Performances: Feb 4 – Feb 19

Workshops: Feb 20 – Feb 25

Workshop Exhibition: Feb 26 – Feb 28

To register your interest in the Spystation workshops, email [email protected] or come along to Loop Space.

Residency Blog:

Schedule for Language Lessons: