The Book of Daughters, Melbourne
Lisa MacKinney, Limelight Magazine Review, Nov 2016.
Noriko Tadano performed a mesmerising combination of vocal and instrumental pieces on the shamisen, a three-stringed long-necked Japanese instrument. She was accompanied in the last of these by James Hullick playing Dr Jonathan Duckworth’s Resonance Table, an interactive audio and visual surface designed to aid movement rehabilitation for individuals with a brain injury.
SELECT NATURALIS with The Amplified Elephants
Bendigo Festival of Exploratory Music 2015
In partnership with the Footscray Community Arts Centre
Simon Eales, Realtime Magazine 128 (Aug-Sep), 2015.
This debut of their latest work, Select Naturalis, showcases a remarkable new piece of technology developed by Jonathan Duckworth in the CiART program at RMIT. The room’s central piece of equipment is in fact a large digital touchscreen tablet: images appearing on its surface are captured by the camera lodged above, and displayed in real time on the room’s two monitors. In developing the performance, the Elephants programmed a range of acoustic and digital sounds into the tablet’s software. They trigger these sounds in performance through tactile engagement with the interface.
This symbolic system suggests that while genealogical science might be undeniable, we should not let it limit the infinite ways we can practice art. Perhaps more importantly, it suggests that our continued evolution, including our ability to adapt to conditions like climate change, depends on acknowledging biological capacities we may already have developed, but ignored. It’s a perspective which links this performance text closely to the raison d’etre of the group performing it. If the Elephants, as bearers of intellectual disability, are the ‘elephants in the room,’ their amplification of that position represents their way forward, which is actually a way in. As the voiceover says, ‘meta-listening,’ a biological feature perhaps developed by our distant ancestors, involves just such a process of shining awareness on the functional, and the willingly unseen or unheard. Select Naturalis seeks to metaphorise that awareness and, it seems, achieve real social affect: community, inclusion, technological progress and ever-better names for things.”
Design and Play, RMIT University Design Hub
Ray Edgar, The Age, 6 May 2016.
In a giant dome inside the gallery, designer Jonathan Duckworth uses play as a form of rehabilitation from stroke and traumatic brain injury. The project won last year’s Premier’s Design Award. “Here you can see the possibilities of games to be used in ways that could help wellbeing or social good,” says co-curator Larrisa Hjorth. “That’s what a lot of serious play tries to consider.”