The Gesture Machine Laboratory: Bridging The Gap Between Music, Visual Art and Performance

Dr Robert Lewis
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This paper explores the theories, practice and philosophies behind the unique cross-disciplinary group, The Gesture Machine Laboratory. This group was founded in 2005 by the School of Visual Arts at the University of Tasmania's Dr Wayne Z Hudson, lecturer in sculpture and practicing artist; Robert Lewis, lecturer in theatre, director and performer; and Dr David Sudmalis, lecturer in music and composer. The group explore the meaning, impulses and reasons behind gesture, physical and auditory communication and expression. These physical attributes are universal, and the laboratory explore these with elements such as sound, music, moving and still digital imagery, sculpture and performance to create a unified channel of expression. Physical and vocal gestures are not only restricted to live performers. These other art forms are used to enhance, modify, and complement the notion of gesture. The spectators of The Gesture Machine works are taken on a journey through space and are confronted with a complete sensory experience. Can all three disciplines (music, visual art and theatre) work in harmony to create a fulfilling, expressionistic experience? The Gesture Machine Laboratory work towards finding a complete unity.

Keywords: Cross-disiplinary, Gesture, Theatre, Music, Art, Laboratory, Tasmania
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Gesture Machine Laboratory, The

Dr Robert Lewis

Lecturer in Theatre (Voice), School of Visual and Performing Arts, Academy of the Arts, University of Tasmania

Robert is the voice lecturer in the theatre department at the SVPA. Robert is a performer, director and voice teacher. He regularly performs and directs for the CentrStage Theatre Company in Tasmania. He taught at various institutions in Australia such as Sydney University, National Theatre Drama School, Flying Bookworm Theatre Company, Victorian College of the Arts and worked as a voice tutor for St. Martins Youth Arts Centre and Actors Showcase. Robert also voice coached various theatre productions and worked on a documentary with National History New Zealand for the Discovery Channel. He has trained with various practitioners including Matthew Fargher, Rowena Balos, Frankie Armstrong, Cicely Berry and Mike Alfreds. Roberts research interests include voice and the director; the relationship between voice, body and text; theatre for migrants and refugees; cross-disciplinary performance projects exploring the body and voice through the Gesture Machine Laboratory, where he co-director and co-founder.

Ref: H06P0029