Part of Series


Siege Mentality

Brisbane, Australia


Where Queensland Maritime Museum, SouthBank
Date 6pm-10pm, Thursday, 29 November 2012
Tickets FREE
Gallery Siege Mentality Images

How does the very identity of the human mind rely on external mechanical supplements? How does it incorporate machines?—Slavoj Žižek

The HMAS Diamantina is many things. As a war machine, she defended Australia in the Pacific theatre during the Second World War. As a sovereignty machine, a free-floating particle of Australian state power, she was the stage on which the Japanese surrender of Nauru was formally consummated. As a mapping machine, she surveyed the deepest trenches of the Indian Ocean. Now, she is a history machine, part of the Queensland Maritime Museum, a specimen permanently stored in a custom-built stone cocoon off an inner-city bend of the Brisbane River.

The Diamantina echoes with elsewheres and elsewhens. Simultaneously capacious and claustrophobic, familiar yet uncanny, she militates against the anchoring of any one explanation, opening up possibilities for new ways of sensing the world. What does it mean to be a dry-docked, floating signifier? OtherFilm invited a raft of artists to stage works on board the Diamantina—responding to the array of spaces she harbours—to help us find out.

Siege Mentality will feature work by Sally Golding (London), Jade Boyd (Oslo), Danny Wild, Audrey Lam and Caitlin Franzmann, Sarah Byrne, Jason Fitzgerald, Bonnie Hart, Kiah Reading, Ben Hayes, Horse Macgyver, Vijay Thillaimuthu, Botborg, Leif Gifford, Patrick King, and Alrey Batol. 

Production manager – Sarah Byrne
special thanks to Ian and everyone at the Queensland Maritime Museum
huge thanks to Kim Machin and the MAAP mediabank 


Siege Mentality - WORKS

  • botborg-47

    ASDIC (Sonar) This immersive performance uses digital projection, experimental sound and the spectator’s participation in an audiovisual rendition process. Led through a labyrinth of passages to an ominous, confined space, the individual spectator will be subjected to an incomprehensible interrogation…

  • void

    Quarter Deck A deck-side collision course of Hollywood explosive FX and cartoon cereal sound.

  • Boat

    Engineer’s Cabin A virtual first person shooter scenario centred on the imminent boarding of a civilian fishing boat by a platoon of armed military personnel. The subjectivity of the soldier is brought to the fore, suggesting that perhaps neutrality isn’t…

  • Control Systems

    Crew’s Wash Multi-channel video installation utilising appropriated VHS footage of ABC Television’s ‘body education’ program, Vital Systems. This installation conducts analogue and digital raids into found footage, “re-editing” a slightly patronising actuality as a succession of heavy-handed cut and paste…

  • 16mmImmersion

    Engine Room This 16mm film and sound installation establishes dialogues between the projected image, recorded sound and the performer’s body. This work explores the emotional disassociation manufactured by civilians towards refugees, asylum seekers and other victims of territorial or financial…

  • fixed wash

    Engineer’s Workshop Fixed Wash is an installation utilising a live digital video feed and found objects that reverts to one of the Diamantina’s ‘former lives’ – her time as an oceanographic survey vessel. Re-creating a ghost-net snared by the Diamantina…

  • Sally-Golding

    Quarter Deck Sound recordings from a flexi disc dialogue about past life regression, and other assorted antique vinyl library sound effects, were reformatted as optical sound waveforms by recording into a 16mm sound camera, hand-processing the film, and contact printing…

  • My vessel is stopped and making no way through the water [2012]

    Seaman’s Mess An immersive installation incorporating multiple projections, geometric protrusions and a live video feed, My vessel is stopped combines digital imagery of international maritime flags and audio recordings of Morse Code transmissions in a new abstract language. Maritime signal…

  • noticing the shadows - noticing the lights

    Drydock The installation mobilises luminous material to describe surfaces and expose crevices in the nineteenth-century brickwork basin encapsulating the Diamantina today. Lightplay meets watercraft as beams and shadows cavort through space and into time. Throughout the night, unseen hands will…

  • Sex Waves

    Ward Room An overboard repurposing of the Diamantina’s most spacious internal room results in an immersive and experiential installation.  The work extends, embellishes and mixes pre-existing stereotypes emblematic of warships and party boats alike: libidinal repression; growth of male-to-male relationships;…

  • POsiTioN+NorMal

    Wheel Room The installation channels recordings of mysterious maritime radio transmissions through a cassette walkman, which in turn cause visual distortion on a monitor showing a sonar screen. The audio signal is mediated through live manipulations and effects, creating a…

  • patrick's mentality

    Paint Room Turbulence comprises a family of works – live audiovisual, video and light installation in concert with text-based works – to reflect on the physicality of marine and weather systems, the psychology of ocean voyage, and the narratives of…

  • Urn Ove

    Petty Officers’ quarters Minimalist object-based installation incorporating light, bricks and cement. Urn Ove explores the impost on human consciousness created by the conditions of spatial arbitration. The occupation of these quarters with impenetrable objects evokes the institutionalisation and separation of…

  • Vijay Thillaimuthu

    Quarter Deck “Please stand by while we power up the reactor. Excellent, we are now at full capacity. Unfortunately, due to the fragile nature of the human body, you will start to feel some fairly unpleasant symptoms as we begin our…

  • War Projectors

    Forecastle Deck 3 x self-contained battery powered projectors, running handmade looped 16mm inkjet printed film create a kinetic freestanding aesthetic experience blending new media consumption with the mechanics of analogue technology. What was once old and slightly suspect – a…