BLACK BOX
Work in Progress

‘Black Box’ marks the first collaboration between artist Claire Robertson and designer David Clark under the name Clark-Robertson. This single channel video work and photographic series combines their respective disciplines of site responsive video and military/utilitarian inspired clothing design. The works are presented as typical photographic and video landscapes, but under closer inspection, a form can be seen moving through the environment.

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The setting for the work is the landscape of the greater Queenstown area, which resembles a post-apocalyptic or war-scarred environment. A by-product of mining and smelting, this landscape no longer resembles the natural or constructed—it becomes the interzone.

The form moving within the landscape journeys between the constructed and natural environments. They wear an abstract camouflage device, which allows them to ‘be’ in this interzone. By drawing inspiration from WW1 dazzle camouflage, and creating visual dissonance, the artists attempt to conceal in plain sight. The design is purposefully large, cumbersome, and appears heavy—a weight that might be shed after the crossing.

The artists are interested in exploring the idea that colonial constructs have estranged us from the natural environment. But, despite humanity's efforts, it is impossible to completely escape the fact that we are innately part of nature. In this work, Clark-Robertson explores the process of traversing the interzone—existing between the man-made and natural environments.

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Indicative of work yet to be created. Picture above is Queenstown, Tasmania, the site for filming/ photography of final work. Black Box figure photoshopped in for context.

Indicative of work yet to be created. Picture above is Queenstown, Tasmania, the site for filming/ photography of final work. Black Box figure photoshopped in for context.

Research image for Black Box. Anon, photograph of the USS West Mahomet in dazzle camouflage, 1918. Courtesy US Naval Historical and Heritage Command, NH 1733.

Research image for Black Box. Anon, photograph of the USS West Mahomet in dazzle camouflage, 1918. Courtesy US Naval Historical and Heritage Command, NH 1733.