The South Sydney Project is an ongoing research project that looks at the potential of combining oral history with interactive audiovisual installation. I am working with an oral history video archive of interviews conducted by historian Sue Rosen in 1994-5. The archive charts a social history of 20th century South Sydney through 60 video interviews with people who grew up in suburbs such as Redfern, Surry Hills, Chippendale and Waterloo between 1910 – 1980. Over the past few years I have developed an installation practice based on the re-interpretation, re-processing and re-imagining of documentary and archival material. After stumbling across this archive, I became fascinated with the interviews and negotiated to access the material to re-interpret it into an installation artwork.
In working with the archival material I spend time listening to the stories and thinking about the best way I can re-materialize these narratives into an artwork that opens up a space for interaction with the past. I have created various iterations of the project in different spaces – at an artist-run gallery in Chippendale called Serial Space and as part of the DNA symposium at Concordia University in Montreal. I plan to present the third iteration of the work in 2011.