Michael Carmody: Drowning World

Nature in the Dark 2

View Michael Carmody's Biography

Michael Carmody is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Geelong, Victoria.

Drowning World

Inspired by experimental filmmakers Kelly Reichardt, James Benning, and Jean Luc Godard, this work is attempting an unexpected engagement with the concept of nature conservation. Delving into themes of subconscious prehuman experience (archaeophysic past), enrapturing catastrophe, and the desire to reconfigure the familiar, the video becomes a fictional proposition, a dreamscape, an apocalyptic sci-fi experience, a surreal blending of land and sea. Being aware of the delicate balance between upholding the original integrity of the source media and enacting a poetic incursion, the artist was particularly drawn to the haunted ghostly atmosphere of the marine environment. Here the imaginative points of view can reveal unexpected, frightening and enthralling dimensions of what we think of as familiar environments.

The source material for Drowning stems from Yaringa Marine National Park, Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park, The Arches Marine Sanctuary, San Remo, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary, Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, Point Hicks Marine National Park, Point Cooke, Gabo Island, French Island National Park - Tortoise Head and Flinders Pier. It was provided by Mark Norman (Museum Victoria),  Roger Fenwick (Parks Victoria), Michael Sale, Parks Victoria and Museum Victoria.

Michael Carmody's art practice incorporates a “see the sound / hear the image” - philosophy. He designed video for numerous Melbourne theatrical productions including Bare Witness and Chapters from the Pandemic for which he received a Green Room nomination. His short films have included Great Ocean Road, commissioned by the Geelong National Wool Museum, and carpark, a look at life in a suburban carpark. In 2005 his short documentary Debutanes screened at the Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth International Film Festivals. He has also worked as a writer/dramaturg with Paradigm Productions, Platform Youth Theatre, Mari Lourey and Nadja Kostich for Bare Witness and Suze Smith for Unconditioned Heart. In 2011 his video/sound installation Anatomy of Atoms (with Elissa Goodrich) was exhibited in Italy as part of the international sound symposium – ‘Keep an Ear on’. In 2013 he designed video for Rollercoaster Theatre’s The Noahs and was filmmaker on the Spinning Yarns project for the City of Knox. In 2014 he was video artist on Dusk to Dawn: Devolving for a Punctum Inc – Seedpod in Castlemaine, and video artist and sound designer on the public art installation The Locker Room for the City of Knox. He was also an artistic associate with Nadja Kostich on the Monash University - Bachelor of Performing Arts: Third Year Production RAID.