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Host of space

(Newtown Theatre, Sydney, January 1999) Funded by the Australia Council (New Media Arts Fund) and NSW Ministry for the Arts (Theatre Program).

Host, consecrated bread, one who receives guests, a horde, or body having a parasite. A human body living in symbiosis with thousands of species of anaerobic bacteria, six hundred living in our mouth, four hundred in our intestines. No form providing the place of individuation, no substance occupying a space to the exclusion of others. A static and abstract Euclidean space is the host for a cancerous self-duplicating, self-replicating morphing; the audience is the host to the event.

The audience does not enter this place, it is a projectile, a protrudent universe, entering the heart and the mind. Lifting, leaning, falling, balancing, delicately crushing, exploding, an architecture of macrophages entering the bloodstream, hunting, devouring trillions. Bodies leap at matter, thrusting themselves up into ecstatic states and falling into a deformity that coagulate in and through the audience. Dark alleys emerge out of the shapes, suffering occurs. Cities arise cavernous in their forms, excitement, vertigo, falling through spaces, emerging on the other side -a gathering, a herding, claustrophobia, agoraphobia.

Vistas of seduction, bodies, repulsive, attractive, blackholes in the eyes stare out and consume their audience, a vampire architecture feeding off its unsuspecting host, slobbering at the mouth, whispering obscenities into open ears pressed hard against the cracks of walls that soon disappear. Spinning, impossible monoliths turn endlessly in a whirlpool of space, drawing all down into a vortex, a never ending hole that buries the living with the flesh-eaters. Spinning, throwing out worlds, possibilities for wandering lost and mindless, stumbling across life-forms. Colonised exits and entrances, spaces overrun, obstructed and constructed, an adventure to travel down and through. A disappearance, light is foreign and comes from the outside. Where is this world?

Host's set is a cardboard environment comprised of huge monolithic elements, a variable living architecture, an active landscape that performs to and around the audience, who move amongst the scenes as monoliths are manipulated into walls, passageways, caverns and city-like agglomerations. The elements slide, drop, are erected, turned or leaned, mimicking the fly-through effects viewed by designer Horst Kiechle in a VRML (virtual reality modelling language) environment.

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Host is supported by
NSW Ministry for the Arts
The NSW Ministry for the Arts

Australia Council for the Arts
This project is assisted by the Australia Council, the Australian Government's arts funding & advisory body, through its New Media Arts Fund

University of Sydney VisLab

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performers at the wall
moving the set
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installation view
two performers interacting
performers within the set