Festival at its best when artworks are as one with the island
August 6, 2013
Insomniac seagulls spray through the black night air as I wander the Docks Precinct where once-purposeful machinery – paragons of their era – now rust and hulk. There I encounter a crane that talks back. When you yell into a box at its base, the sound is returned from deep within the machinery’s guts in bestial booms that carry muffled echoes of your own intonations.
Called Mammoth: The Anti-Artifact Project, this simple yet endearing work claims to “breathe life into the island’s museum of broken-down machines”.
Returning to Underbelly in Sunday’s glorious sun, it becomes clear the best works are those like Mammoth that exist in synchronicity with the island – or are palpably inspired by it – rather than competing with it. Such site-specific artworks are nourished by The Lab, the two-week period in which artists develop their works on site.
Underbelly arts festival 2013 – review
August 5, 2013
As to works that used Cockatoo Island spaces for their own unique aesthetics, the trio known as The Lot had created Mammoth: The Anti-Artefact Project that invited visitors to blow into tubes or speak into ancient telephones, and to have their voices transformed by speakers installed inside the decaying metal of cranes and barges into sounds reminiscent of the tripods in War of The Worlds.