Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph
 
     


Steven Ball
b. February 14, 1960, London, England.

BIOGRAPHY:   Steven Ball studied film, video and sound at Maidstone College of Art in the UK, graduating in the early '80s.

In 1988 he accidentally migrated to Melbourne.

Within a few years he became deeply involved with the local media arts scene, in particular Super 8 filmmaking.

From 1991 to 1995 he was the administrator of the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, and helped to organise the group's festivals and other screening events.

 


He was involved with a number of independent activist groups and collectives such as AllGauge and Digita, and curated screenings and events for established organisations like Experimenta (MIMA), Melbourne Cinematheque and the Melbourne International Film Festival.

He has written for a number of journals, and worked across a range of arts administrative, teaching and technical positions. His artistic practice encompasses film, video, sound and installation.

He currently lives in London where since 2003 he has has been Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins and was instrumental in developing the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection.

He is also a member of the legendary post-punk DIY group Storm Bugs.



CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   My earlier work, in particular Green on the Horizon (1988, 18 mins, made with Philip Sanderson) combines a reading of landscape and folkloric phenomena. In Australia this relocated to local cultural concerns. Initial observations form the groundwork to Earth and Channel Part 2 (1990, 8 mins) and Pools Between Land (1991, 10 mins), fusing formal elements with loosely 'psychologically' inflected observation of, and immersion in, landscape. As I became more ensconced in Super 8 filmmaking (having found an agreeably open cultural context in the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group and the discovery of the potential for a self-determining practice), the project became environmental formalism, experimenting with structure and the 'material' specificities of the Super 8 medium.

 
 
Harmonic Three Three (Maheno)

Finding its early apotheosis in Harmonic Three Three (Maheno) (1991, 23 mins) and Quiet Passage (1992, 9 mins), this practice continued through to Smart Little Motor (1997, 10 mins), Saltwater (1997, 10 mins) and beyond. This was enhanced by diversions through a poetic essayistic approach (often employing a deadpan, occasionally 'ironic' voice-over), touching on subjects such as migration and settlement (Periscope 180º [1992, 16 mins]), narrative, landscape and representation (Skywonkie [1994, 12 mins]), meteorology, time-travel and everyday transvestitism (Microphone [1994, 24 mins]), among others.

Moving from Melbourne back to London has coincided with a move back to video. Recent works experiment with the transmutable 'material' properties of digital media. In Sevenths Synthesis (2001, 7 mins) and the next six minutes (2002, 6 mins), for example, image is derived from sound data, sound from image in a mix of abstract and camera originated images and fast arrhythmic scrubbing. While Beamer (2002, 7 mins) is a totally abstract extreme minimalist piece that exploits spatio-temporal relationship and viewer expectation in a drama of tension and release.

My recent practice has developed earlier interests in landscape, exploring the relationship between local and personal spatial practice and global politics, with particular regard to their dissemination through contemporary media platforms, performance and exhibition contexts employing moving image, sound, text and spoken word.

Steven Ball, March 2014

See also A selection of excerpts from articles about Steven Ball's Australian filmworks


FILMOGRAPHY:

(All produced in Australia unless otherwise indicated)

Apostrophe-S (1986, 3 mins, video, UK, co-directed with Philip Sanderson)

Green on the Horizon (1988, 18 mins, video, UK, co-directed with Philip Sanderson)

Earth & Channel Pt 2 (1990, 8 mins, Super 8)

Pools Between Land (1991, 10 mins, video)

Pools Between Land

m-dot.report (1991, 5 mins, video)

Blister (1991, 5 mins, Super 8)

 
 
Periscope 180°

m-dot.report (1991, 10 mins, Super 8)

Harmonic Three Three (Maheno) (1991, 23 mins, Super 8)

Quiet Passage (1992, 9 mins, Super 8)

Off Off On (1992, 5 mins, Super 8)

Gullyslide (1992, 22 mins, Super 8)

Periscope 180° (1992, 16 mins, Super 8)

Storm Bugs (1993, 8 mins, Super 8)

 
 
However, the Autodidact

Circle of Confusion (1993, 5 mins, Super 8)

Melbourne International Film Festival Trailer (1993, 1 min, Super 8 and video)

Middle Distance Distant (1993, 6 mins, Super 8)

Archaeology of Memory (1993, 3 mins, Super 8) made for Melbourne Super 8 Film Group's p+ors project.

Land Gauge (1993, 11 mins, Super 8)

Protein (1994, 9 mins, Super 8)

Microphone (1994, 24 mins, Super 8)

 
 
Among Vertebrates

However, the Autodidact (1994, 17 mins, Super 8)

Skywonkie (1994, 12 mins, Super 8) made for The Bush Studies Super 8 film anthology

RattleStack (1995, 2 mins, Super 8)

Difficult Beauty (1995, 10 mins, Super 8)

Ten Light Years (1995, 10 mins, Australia & UK, Super 8)

Receiver (1996, 10 mins, Super 8)

Saltwater (1997, 10 mins, Super 8)

 
 
the next six minutes

Smart Little Motor (1997, 10 mins, Super 8)

Grayline Spacer (1998, 8 mins, Super 8)

Chromacodes (1998, 6 mins, Super 8)

Personal Electronics (1998, 12 mins, Super 8)

Among Vertebrates (1999, 8 mins, video)

Simple Systems (2001, variable duration, video, UK)

Sevenths Synthesis (2001, 7 mins, video, UK)

Local Authority (2001, 8 mins, video, UK)

 
 
No-way Street

Local Time (2001, 14 mins, video, UK)

the next six minutes (2002, 6 mins, video, UK)

Beamer (2002, 7 mins, video, UK)

Phase Space Pacer (2002, 2 mins, video, UK)

Metalogue (2003, 27 mins, video, UK)

The Defenestrascope (2003, 6 mins, video, UK)

The War on Television (2004, various durations, video, UK)

No-way Street (2007, 1 min, video, UK)

The Ground, the Sky and the Island (2008, 7:47, video, Australia/UK)

Over the Borough Island (2009, 1:52, video, UK)

Over the Borough Island

 

 
 
Personal Electronics

Over Magnetic Island (2009, 2:39, video, Australia/UK)

Personal Electronics (2010, 25:00, video, UK)

Aboriginal Myths of South London (2010, 10:27, video, UK)

Boundary Cyclone Transaction (2013, 6:46, video, UK)

Concrete Heart Land (with Rastko Novakovic, 2014, 25:00, video, UK)


For QuickTime excerpts from recent digital videos see
Steven Ball's website
.

 

Aboriginal Myths of South London


OTHER PROJECTS:

(All produced in Australia unless otherwise indicated)

Metamorphose Storm Bugs (collaboration with Philip Sanderson) (1981, 7" single record, L'Invitation au Suicide, UK/France)

Pools Between Land (1990, video installation, Performing Arts Museum, Melbourne)

Grounded (1992, slide, video & sound Installation, Linden Gallery, St Kilda)

RattleStack (1994, variable duration, computer Hypercard animation)

UnAustralian (1997, computer/film/music performance collaboration with Dirk de Bruyn [16mm film/digital media] and Nicole Skeltys [music])

Synthesiser (1997, computer/music interactive performance collaboration with Nicole Skeltys [music])

Hope Under the Weather (1998, sound, Hope sound art CD, Audio Research Editions ARECD101, UK)

Night-light (1999, light box installation, West Space, Footscray)

 
 
Eutopia

Brittle Creek Stalker Track (1999, sound, Trace sound art CD, Audio Research Editions ARECD102, UK)

Say Zero (2000, sound, Zero sound art CD, Audio Research Editions ARECD103, UK)

An Abstract Phase (2000, live video and sound mix-up at Tantrum, Planet Café, Fitzroy)

Let's Go Outside and Get it Over Storm Bugs (collaboration with Philip Sanderson) (2001, CD, Snatch Tapes, TCH 213, UK)

The Bugs are Back Storm Bugs (collaboration with Philip Sanderson) (2002, 7" EP record, Klanggallerie, Austria)

Up the Middle Down the Sides Storm Bugs (collaboration with Philip Sanderson) (2004, LP record, Fusetron, FUSE036, USA)

Eutopia (with Martin Blazícek, 2006, streaming video performance, London, UK and Prague, Czech Republic)

near Zlaté Piesky (with Martin Blazícek, 2007, video performance, Kubikov 13, Bratislava, Slovakia)

Neither There Nor Here (Storm Bugs video performance with Philip Sanderson, 20:00,The Foundry, London, UK)

Direct Language (2005 - 2007, videoblog)

Aroundabout (2008, ongoing hyperlocal ambulatory weblog)

Aroundabout: Second Person Present (2009, installation and expanded performance, UK)

After Lethaby (video performance with Martin Blazicek), Expanded Cartography and the New Live Cinema, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, London, UK, 2009

On Being, a PDF, (spoken word performance) Light Writing, Sheffield Institute of Arts, Sheffield University, 2011

Live performance soundtracks to Vowels and Consonants by Guy Sherwin and Lynn Loo, and Autumn Fog by Lynn Loo, Seeing in the Dark, CIRCA Projects, Newcastle, UK, 2011

Dodgy Provenance and the Fantastic Mundanity of Sound in Space (spoken word/sound performance) Visual Thinking: Between Sound and Light, Camden Arts Centre, London, 2013


SELECT SCREENINGS:

 
 
Pools Between Land

Electric Eyes, Film & Video Umbrella (UK), Birmingham, London, Aberdeen Derby, Scarborough, Brazil, 1988-9 (Green on the Horizon)

Beyond Documentary, Beyond Fiction, Melbourne Cinematheque, 1991 (Blister)

Matinaze 92, Sydney Intermedia Network, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, 1992-3 (Pools Between Land)

Super 8 is Dead or Alive?, London Filmmakers Co-op, UK, 1993 (Harmonic Three Three)

Matinaze 93, Sydney Intermedia Network, Sydney, Canberra and 1st Biennale of Video, Chile, 1993 (Periscope 180°)

Experimenta 1994, Melbourne (Microphone)

Kiosk 8, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, Melbourne, 1994 (However, the Autodidact)

The Bush Studies, Cinematheque, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide and Perth, 1995 (Skywonkie)

Super Kiosk 8, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, 1996 (Difficult Beauty)

Viva 8, London Filmmakers' Co-op, UK, 1996 (RattleStack)

Ultra-projections, Dance House, Melbourne, 1999 (Among Vertebrates)

Cinema Auricular, Elektronic, London, UK, 2001 (Sevenths Synthesis)

Waste, Experimenta, Melbourne, 2001 (Sevenths Synthesis)

3rd Festival of Cinemas Different, Paris, France, 2001 (Local Authority and Sevenths Synthesis)

Videoex, Zurich, Switzerland, 2002 (Local Authority)

Recontres Internationales Paris, France and Berlin, Germany, 2003 (the next six minutes)

25hrs, Barcelona, Spain, 2003 (Sevenths Synthesis)

World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2003 (Beamer)

UK/Canada Video Exchange, London, UK, touring UK and Canada, 2003 (Sevenths Synthesis)

VIPER, Basel, Switzerland, 2003 (Metalogue)

STILL, St Constantine and St Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Crystal Palace, London, 2004 (The Defenestrascope)

Lux exposure, London, UK, 2004 (Metalogue)

Rencontres Internationales Paris, France and Berlin, Germany, 2004 and 2005 (The Defenestrascope)

 
 
The Ground, the Sky and the Island

PureScreen, Manchester, UK, 2004 (The Defenestrascope)

S1 Salon, Sheffield, UK, 2005 (Sevenths Synthesis)

Hull International Short Film Festival Hull, UK, 2005 (The War on Television)

Take 291, 291 Gallery, Hackney, UK, 2005 (The Defenestrascope, the next six minutes)

Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 2005 (The Defenestrascope)

The Wormhole Saloon, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK, 2005 (The War on Television improv Freeview remix) performance with Tom Wallace (sound).

Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris, France, 2005 (The War on Television)

Directors Lounge, Berlin, 2006 (Metalogue)

Index Generator 2, ReverberAções São Paulo, Brazil, November 2006 (Metalogue)

Mediateca, CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain, May 2007 (The Defenestrascope)

New Lands, BFI Southbank, London, UK, June 2007 (The War on Television)

Waygood Gallery & Studios, Newcastle, UK, June/July 2007 (The Defenestrascope)

RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, Australia, October 2007 (No-way Street)

Directors Lounge, Berlin, Germany, February 2008 (No-way Street)

The End of Television, The Nerve, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2009 (The War on Television)

Australian International Experimental Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia, 2010 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

Olsen Leeds, UK, 2010 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

Urban Research, Directors Lounge, Berlin, Germany, 2010 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

Figuring Landscapes, various venues, UK and Australia, 2008 - 2010 (The Ground, the Sky, and the Island)

Melbourne Cinémathèque, Australia, 2011 (Formal Environmentalism: recent work by Steven Ball)

Directors’ Lounge, Berlin, Germany, 2011 (Travelling Practice, solo screening programme)

Glitch vs Scratch, Artist Television Access, San Francisco, USA, 2011 (The War on Television)

Exploring the Extraordinary, York, UK, 2011 (Personal Electronics)

Off and Free Festival, Seoul, Korea, 2011 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick, Scottish Borders, 2011 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

Maelfa Screening Programme, Spike Island, Bristol 2011 (Aboriginal Myths of South London)

London Seizure Bermondsey Project, London, 2013 (No-way Street)

London Seizure, Part Two, Arbeit, Hackney Wick, UK, 2013 (Myths of Social Capitalism with Rastko Novakovic)

Synthetic Zero, Bronx Art Space, New York, USA, 2013 ('Vapor Collecting' videos)

DVblog, 2013 (Boundary Cyclone Transaction)

Bermuda Triangle Lovely Audio Visual Extravaganza, London, 2014 (Boundary Cyclone Transaction)

 
 
Boundary Cyclone Transaction

Select Programming & Curatorial:

Microprocesses (curator, experimental sound video programme), Island Film & Video Festival, London, UK, March 2005.

Collected Works & Colour Fields (co-curator)

Lethaby Gallery, Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London, UK, October/November 2006.

Cogcollective (co-director, monthly screenings of artists' film and video) Candid Arts, London, UK, July 2006 - June 2007.

Systems of Nature, recent installations by Chris Welsby and season of film and discussion events (co-curator) Lethaby Gallery, Central St Martins College of Art and Design and BFI Southbank, London, UK, November/December 2007.

Transcentric (co-curator), Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, UK, November/December 2008

Figuring Landscapes, Australian and UK artists' landscape moving image (co-curator), Tate Modern, February 2009 and touring the UK and Australia, 2009 - 2010

Complex Infrastructure (curator) , UK-based artists' moving image, cogcollective, Melbourne, Australia, 2010

Light Writing (co-curator), Window Gallery, Central St Martins, Banner Repeater, Hackney Downs Station, London, and Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, 2010 - 2011

Recalling the Shots (curator) CIRCA Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK, 2010

Seeing in the Dark (co-curator), CIRCA Projects, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, 2011

Expanded Cinema: Art Performance Film, (co-editor), Tate Publishing, London, UK, 2011.

Taking Place screening programme (co-curator), Black Maria in The Crossing, Granary Square, London, UK, 2013


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY:

 
 
Periscope 180°

writing on works by Steven Ball:

"Notes from the Undergrowth" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 63/64, 1990.

"Experimenta" (article on Pools Between Land Installation work), The Interior, Issue 1, 1990.

"Harmonic Three Three (Maheno)" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 67/68, 1992.

"Quiet Passages Review" by Michael Filippidis, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, Issue 74, October 1992.

"Text - Texture - Gesture" by Dirk de Bruyn, Electronic Arts in Australia - Continuum, Vol 8, No 1, 1994.

"...Testing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9...However, the Autodidact" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 75/76, 1994.

"The Ball Bounces...", by Bill Mousoulis, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, Issue 92, June 1994.

"Edit-Aurally-All" by Steven Ball, Sonic Eight, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, Issue 102, May 1995.

"On Triggering Steve Ball: Beginning to think through the implications of his labour" by Dirk de Bruyn, Melbourne Super 8 Film Group Newsletter, Issue 109, December 1995.

"Naked 8" by Heinz Boeck, Cinema Papers, February 1997.

"Barroom Fantasias" (review of Digita's Screen Savers event) by Dean Kiley, RealTime Issue 22, 1997.

"Tractor" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 91/92, 1999.

Figuring Landscapes review, Pryle Behrman, Art Monthly, no 328, July 2009, UK

A selection of excerpts from articles about Steven Ball's Australian filmworks

other writing by Steven Ball:

"Looking Back on Looking Back" (review of Cantrills' twentieth anniversary screenings) by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 65/66, 1992.

"At Home with Ettore Siracusa" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 65/66, 1992.

"Introduction to Australian Cinema Screenings" by Steven Ball, Experimenta Catalogue, 1992

"The Melbourne Super 8 Film Group", "Richard Tuohy and Ordinary Flux" & "Julian Dahl" (interview) all by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 67/68, 1992.

"Checking in at Hotel Experimenta" (Experimenta overview) by Steven Ball, Agenda (Experimenta Supplement), Issue 30/31, 1993.

"The Films of Moira Joseph" by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 71/72, 1993.

"Within the Crystal Palace: City Screens and Metrodome" by Steven Ball, Mesh, No. 2, 1993.

"QED Choose Film" (screening review) by Steven Ball, Mesh, No. 3, 1994.

"The Alexander Enigma" (the films of Perry Alexander) by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 73/74, 1994.

"Grainy, Scratched and Out of Focus" (contemporary Super 8 film) by Steven Ball, Mesh, No. 4, 1994.

"The Swimming Somnambulist" (the Super 8 films of Virginia Hilyard) by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 75/76, 1994.

"English Channels" (contemporary English experimental film and video) by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 81/82, 1996.

"Cantrills Filmnotes Twenty-fifth Anniversary" by Steven Ball, Cteq-annotations on film, No. 3/96, 1996.

"A Dandy in the Underworld" (Cocteau's Orphée) by Steven Ball, Cteq-annotations on film, No. 3/96, 1996.

"Mo Title, No Title" (videos by Mo Man Yu) by Steven Ball, Cteq-annotations on film, No. 4/96, 1996.

"Can't You Make it Bigger?" (Interactive CD-ROMs at Digita) by Steven Ball, Metro, No. 108, 1996.

"No Budget Filmmaking in the Raw" (review of Naked 8) by Steven Ball, RealTime, issue 16, 1996.

"If.... Conjunction or Noun?" (Lindsay Anderson's 'If....') by Steven Ball, Cteq, No. 2/97 (in Metro No. 110), 1997.

"Obsessive Becomings" (Obsessive Becoming by Daniel Reeves, Chronos Fragmented by Malcolm Le Grice and Trying to Kiss the Moon by Stephen Dwoskin) by Steven Ball, Cteq, No. 3/97 (in Metro No 111), 1997.

"On Squareworld: going slowly all the way around the outside against architecture" (Kenji Onishi's Squareworld) by Steven Ball, Cteq, No. 4/97 (in Metro No 112), 1997.

"Robinson off the Planet" (Robinson in Space by Patrick Keiller) by Steven Ball, Cteq, No. 1/98, (in Metro No 113), 1998.

"An Imploding Cinema" (films by Daniel Kotsanis) by Steven Ball, Cantrills Filmnotes, Nos. 89/90, 1998.

"Up the Snakes and Down the Ladders" by Steven Ball, Mesh, issue 12, 1998.

"Blimey!" by Steven Ball, (review of Experimenta 'British Bulldogs' programme), RealTime, issue 27, 1998.

"Captured" by Steven Ball, (review of Melb Film Fest programme), RealTime, issue 31, 1999.

"The Study Collection" by Steven Ball, Filmwaves, issue 20, UK, 2003.

"Spinning Straw into Gold: Four Works by Jurgen Reble in the New Medium of Film" by Steven Ball, Cteq Annotations, Senses of Cinema, 2004

"Material Damage: The Films of Dirk de Bruyn", Senses of Cinema, 2005, Australia

"Out of Conflict", Filmwaves, Issue 26, 2005, United Kingdom

"Motion Sickness" ('Nausea' by Matthew Noel-Tod), Vertigo, Vol 3 No 1, and Words, Images, Music (Nausea), Outpost Gallery, Norwich, 2006, UK.

"Angles and Poles", 1,2,3 . Avant-Gardes; Film/Art between Experiment and Archive, with David Curtis, Ram Publications, 2007, Germany/Poland

"Background, Foreground, Middle Distance - Landscape, technology, subjectivity and artists' time based media", Filmwaves, 2007, UK

"Polyvocal Islands" [co-authored with Catherine Elwes], Figuring Landscapes, artists' moving image from Australia and the UK ed: Catherine Elwes, Eu Jin Chua, Steven Ball, pub: Catherine Elwes, 2008, UK.

"Around the Nature Colour Cycle - Abstraction, landscape, colour and information" To Look and To Look ed: Raúl Gómez Valverde, Esete Punto Publishers, Spain, 2009.

"Between Land and Sea" Vertigo Magazine vol 4, no. 1, UK, 2009.

"Turning and Unfolding: Personal Reflections on Cantrills Filmnotes", Steven Ball, Senses of Cinema, Australia, 2010.

"Conditions of Music", Expanded Cinema: Art Performance Film, (ed: Duncan White, A.L. Rees, David Curtis, Steven Ball), Tate Publishing, London, UK, 2011

“Expanded Cinema and Urban Space in the 21st Century”, Expanded Architecture, University of Sydney, Australia, 2011.

“The End of Television”, review of David Hall’s End Piece, Moving Image Review & Art Journal, Vol 2, No 1. 2013.

“Spectres of Communism” D'Est by Chantal Akerman, Melbourne Cinematheque Annotations, Senses of Cinema Issue 67, 2013.


© Steven Ball, March 2014.

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis