Space and time to respond

Caterina Mocciola, Ashley Macqueen. Photo: Mike Day

Collaborating to tell a story means allowing space and time for sharing different perspectives. A new iteration of the Living Data animation allows for dancers, musicians and designers to share the telling of the story that the ocean is changing. We recognise our natures as mechanistic and organic, masculine and feminine. We know these qualities as dichotomies and as parts of a continuum. Gestures, music and lyrics relate the science to lived experience. A shift from personal to collective awareness is felt as gestures and sounds echo those of fellow creatures of the sea.

Photo: Yvette Worboys

Photo: Yvette Worboys

Photo: Stephen Pierce

Photo: Stephen Pierce

Catriona Davies. Photo: Stephen Pierce

Left to Right: Lisa Roberts, Ben DeMole, Catriona Davies, Caterina Mocciola, Ashley Macqueen Photo: Stephen Pierce

The new animation Oceanic Sydney is 37 minutes long. It begins with an earlier ‘mechanistic’ work Beware of Pedestrians (1995) and transitions into the Living Data animation that was screened at the 2012 Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Pauses and repetitions provide space and time for movement and sound responses.

Huge translucent screens are designed by Lawrence Wallen.

Screens designed by Lawrence Wallen for TED lecture at Carriage works, sydney


Costumes designed by Shane Dunn combine mechanistic and oceanic forms:

Designer Shane Dunn fits Caterina with her costume.

Caterina Mocciola rests between a costume fitting and rehearsal.

Drawing by Lisa Roberts of a costume design by Shane Dunn that combines iconography from the animations Beware of Pedestrians (1995) and Oceanic Living Data (2012).


Plans and pictures of the performance space are provided by Customs House:

Customs House foyer

The distance between pillars at each end is 8m.
Length of the space is 15m.

Screens are 3m wide and 8m long and will be supported by metal rods suspended from the balustrades by chord.

Aspect ratio of projected image is 4:3.

Image size cast by the data projector we are using is governed by the distance between projector and screen:

Distance Image width
4m – 2.3m
5m – 2.8m
6m – 3-4m
8m – 4.6m
12m – 6.9m


A time sheet of the animation is made for the dancers and musicians to score their movement and sound ideas.

Timeline of animation for oceanic Sydney performance


About Lisa Roberts

Project leader
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