Super Long Play
Opening 06.07.16 6-8pm
Artist Talks 28.08.16 6-7pm
The once ubiquitous VHS (Video Home System) cassette tape now occupies a space of curiosity and fetish, a symbol of the 1980s and an antidote to the digital perfection of High Definition (HD) video. The act of recording to videotape is one of protest and yearning for another time. It is one of nostalgia.
Videotape is material and can be handled. The cartridge is satisfyingly pushed into a machine where the tape is mechanically engaged. The tape travels through the video player’s tape path and is read by sensitive playing heads. These heads read the information on the magnetized videotape and send the video and audio signals to a television or other monitor.
Domestic videocassette recorders (VCRs) allowed the everyday person to make their own mix-tapes from television broadcasts. If you use multiple VCRs you can copy your own tapes and even edit your own compositions.
But the compositions you make are imperfect. The controls at your disposal are not as accurate as a computer. You rely on the mechanics of the machine and the timing of your own finger on the play, pause, record and rewind buttons. Further, the tape in its movement across the heads may bobble slightly with resultant imperfections on the screen. Noise, movement of the image, fluttering, blips, lines and static washes can occur. If you make a copy of these imperfections onto a new tape, the imperfections multiply and flourish. Thus instead of recording a perfect moment in time, you smear time on the tape, bend it and warp it.
Matte Rochford is an artist from Dulwich Hill in Sydney’s outer inner-West who works with performance and installation, particularly focusing on the medium of VHS videotape. He has studied Communications at the University of Technology, Sydney, and performance and theatre making at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists.
His first gallery showings were in 2007 at Greg Shapley’s Don’t Look Gallery in Dulwich Hill, a space for experimental new media work that nurtured artists who didn’t necessarily think of themselves as artists. He also helped found the 2203 Collective with other local artists, curating exhibitions and exploring community art-making.
He has gone on to show both static work and performances in galleries including; Mori Gallery, Artspace, 55 Sydenham Rd, Peloton, Serial Space, Home at 735, Verge Gallery and Kudos Gallery. His performances have also been seen at Performance Space, PACT, The Red Rattler and at festivals and warehouse venues.. In 2015 his work Progressively Degrading Test Pattern was included in the ‘Technologisms’ survey show at Monash University Museum of Art in Melbourne alongside work by Nam June Paik and Christopher Burden. He has worked on projects by artists Tino Sehgal and Marina Abramovic.
Matte works in the public education system at primary school level and has hosted community art workshops with Penrith City and Auburn councils.
As part of sibling trio ‘The Rochfords’, Matte sometimes shows work with artist sisters Greer and Julia.
Matte is a member of the socialist group Solidarity and a singer in the band Ex-Trendy.