BIOGRAPHY: Tom first encountered filmmaking in the late 1960s
through his father’s Super8s. Some of his first memories were those of music
emanating from his father’s reel-to-reel tape machine, whose random selection
of music accompanied the lounge room projection of those Super8 home movies.
Tom first came to attention with his internationally
regarded psychedelic rock band The Moffs (1984-1989). Although he has never stopped composing music (rock, ambient,
theatre, ethno-jazz, experimental, etc), he took to filmmaking, its theory and
practice, with a passion from 2006.
His main work is the 16-minute cinema poem The Topologist (2009). Tom’s moving
image work also encompasses short film, video art and music video.
OVERVIEW: Much of Tom’s moving image work revolves around the
non-narrative, the barely-narrative, and the non-linear. He is immersed in the
European art house cinema tradition, with a particular love for Russian and
Greek cinema, the works of Chris Marker, and experimental moving image in general.
Tom’s filmmaking started as a direct response to arriving in a new city
(Melbourne in 2006), confronting how that ‘looked’ and ‘moved’ and how that
impacted the ‘subject-self becoming.’
The Super8 films made by his father were an integral part
of The Topologist, one of whose
premises is precisely the existence, access and manipulation of memory. The
episodic, multiple points-of-view voice and non-linear form of the film is itself a comment on how one produces memory,
while the barely-narrative thread deals with the character of the Topologist
confronting loss and liberation. One might note that the sequences in the film
are highly metaphorical, they are not depictions of any real-world sites.
Ultimately, they might be read as scenes of the unconscious.
Traces (2002) is “a short journey through a small piece of
infinity captured on video.” Generated electronic sounds directly create the
evolving forms, in this random exploration of 'Lissajous shapes.’ These shapes
can carry meaningful information on the nature of stereo sound. Although on the
surface Traces can be described as a
documentary, Tom argues that it also has much in common with the creation of a
fiction, where the discovery of varying forms is akin to an encounter with
There is also a body of short film, video art
and music video works, with themes ranging from the nature of seeing and being
in Post Utopian Pause (2010), the impending collapse in a failing
zone in The Room (2010), the video art of Transfusion (2014), and the part-travelogue, part-ghosted gaze,
part-response to architecture in Condenser (2018).
Traces (2002, 12 mins)
The Topologist (2009, 16 mins)
Collection of Cuts
Traces (2002,12 mins, documentary, video)
Topologist (2009,16 mins, cinema-poem, video/super8)
2 mins, narrative, video)
Utopian Pause (2010, 5 mins, cinema-poem, video)
of Cuts (2012, 7 mins, The
Topologist outakes, video)
Transfusion (TJ Eckleberg Remix) (2014, 6 mins, music video, video)
3 mins, documentary, video)
Topologist – Nimbin Film Festival October 2010
Moscow Short Film Festival May 2018
Post Utopian Pause
Much of Tom’s ambient and experimental music work also
addresses his interest in the non-narrative. His album Verdigris (2011) can be heard as a work of the piano traversing an
axis between the poles of narrative presence and absence. Listen to Verdigrishere.
Tom’s album Argot (2017)
addresses the sonics of minimalism/maximalism, defaulted melody, veiled sources
and their affirmed corruptions. Listen to Argothere.
Tom also has a large body of rock music as a
songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, including: