As part of the Nature in the Dark project that I initiated in 2012 together with the Victorian National Park Association (VNPA), the Centre for Creative Arts, La Trobe University, and Unlikely – Journal for Creative Arts I produced the following videos together with Renuka Rajiv, Scott Lewis and Hugh Davies.

All videos re-purpose photgraphs and video footage from scientific surveys in Victorian forests and oceans. More about Nature in the Dark can be found here.

I love forms beyond my own and regret the borders between us.
– Loren Eiseley in ‘Magic’, 1972

It’s local time!

By Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier, Scott Lewis and Renuka Rajiv (2012)

Working collaboratively Jan, Scott and Renuka were like private investigators sifting through thousands of digital VNPA images of unsuspecting creatures from the night. We discovered a myriad of native animals and birds alongside a few ‘feral’ bandits and selected the ones that most appealed to us, then created a montage in a mostly playful way. We interspersed the images with a hand drawn animation style that appears like live drawing to complement these covert snapshots. We also integrated a scratch film technique whereby we scratch the emulsion from a 16mm film and then bond a decomposed leaf structure to the surface. The soundtrack is composed of analog elements like sound effects of crackling branches and digitally synthesised sounds and brings these animals to life as they dance into the dark.

Scott Lewis is a filmmaker based in Melbourne Australia. His short films are visually based in a lyrical way. He founded Zoo Patrol Productions in 2007. A boutique production company that specialises in short films, documentaries, web clips, showreels, music videos, educational videos and live event documenting.

Renuka Rajiv is a Bengalore-based visual artist. She studied printmaking at the Victorian College of Arts in Melbourne. In her art practice she likes to exhume something personal through the mediums of drawing, printmaking, paper mache and stitching. Her drawing process involves constant making and re-making. While not being afraid of repetitiveness, she is interested in the abstract rhythm that emerges out of the relationship between each component and the larger body of drawings. In this project collaboration her main concern was to make her drawing animations follow the flow of the audio/video montage.

Current and Waves

By Hugh Davies & Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier (2015)


By Hugh Davies & Jan Hendrik Brüggemeier (2015)

When viewing the underwater footage provided by Nature in the Dark (NITD) 2, one thing that stood out for the artists was the continuous movement of plants and animals as they exist in a world of water. Observing how frequency and oscillation of waves affect these living things is mesmerising. It shows the otherwise invisible currents and how they organise the shape, movement, habits and navigation of the underwater world. The video follows the interplay of these elements visually but also takes into account that the underwater world’s most predominant mode of sensing is acoustic.

NITD 2 was made possible through the support of Victoria National Parks Association’s (VNPA) Reefwatch and Parks Victoria with special thanks to Steffan Howe and Mark Rodrigue.

The source material for Current and Waves stems from Merry Marine Sanctuary, Bunurong Marine National Park and Flinders Pier in Victoria, Australia, and was provided by Parks Victoria and Museum Victoria.

Hugh Davies is an interdisciplinary artist primarily concerned with spatial practice. Coming from a background in film and television production and with education in multimedia and fine art, Hugh’s practice engages with sculpture, interactive installations, screen works and games. His work has been exhibited internationally. Currently Hugh is a senior lecturer in Media: Screen + Sound at La Trobe University and serves as board director of the independent gaming festival Freeplay. Prior to that he lectured in Media and Communication at RMIT, and worked as multi-platform producer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as well as he was chairman of the board at ANAT (Australian Network for Art and Technology).