Daniel Belton / New Zealand
OneOne has been described as a masterwork of beauty and power – radical in its combination of innovative new media and ancient cultural knowledge. The human figures in OneOne shift through geometric virtual stone-form containers and suggest the presence of breath in the soundscape. This creates a pictorial representation of air movement inside the river stones, which are blown and drummed to make sound.
Human figures become holographic when processed through the digital, the binary. Their movement establishes a hieroglyphic language of dance that synchronises with the sounds of nature, Taonga Puoro and the hollow stone flutes of the Maerewhenua River. OneOne reflects an ancient elemental energy – ancestral memory unfolds in a digital cloak of projected bending light and sound. The Maerewhenua River stones are 23-25 million years old.
They have inspired the artistic research and creation of OneOne in its delivery as interactive museum installation, expanded cinema transmission, architectural projection mapping and AV Liveset stage performance. Selected stones have been carefully scanned and 3D modelled to become spectral Waka, or vessels that transport the human figure in time and space. They evoke kinetic Polynesian navigation charts, cetaceans and islands. OneOne explores the twin acts of voyaging and coming to land.
The Waka (traditional Maori canoe) is a monument, and the product of an entire community coming together with sacred rites. Ancestral knowledge is reborn again through the long corridors of time when song and chant connect past and present. The tree symbolises rootedness in culture. The Waka is a very female element. Male and female together journey forward. In OneOne the female figure is the navigator – the internal gaze.
The female dancer is a messenger between worlds in this ocean oriented anthology/ontology. For the closing episode she is cradled inside a great geometric basket or ship that glides like a gigantic whale. We hear the call of cetaceans. Membranes that convey the geometry of sound, constellations, tides and corals take form, with hollow stones like bones of the earth.