Interview at ACCA, Via Ferrata for DESIRE LINES 2013

Dan Shipsides in conversation at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art’s exhibition, DESIRE LINES. Shipsides talks about three works included in the exhibition – a video, seven framed line drawings, and his scaling of ACCA’s exterior to form a line drawing in rope.
(Best watched at 720p HD)

Via ferratas translates from Italian as ‘the iron way’. It was a military form of mountaineering developed during World War I. The techniques were often about establishing and maintaining frontiers by moving troops to strategic summits and into extreme positions through the use of metal wires and steeples. Amazingly, these also channel lightning strikes and audio waves from the summit skies to the valleys, like some strange form of atmospheric communication. As part of Desire Lines, Shipsides evokes this technique by climbing ACCA’s exterior and forming a line drawing in rope.

Bivacco is Italian for ‘to watch’ or ‘post lookout’. Invoking the term, this experimental video is based on the ascent of Mt Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites. Mostly shot during the ascent and the days before and after, it gives an account of a close encounter with a lightning strike. BIVACCO follows a pattern of research, climbing and mountains forming the backbone of Shipsides’ and Beggs’ creative act and conversation — a gateway to and frame for wider life. It is typical of their approach, a focused task combining with an inquisitive open-mindedness to watch for and follow the lines of chance.

Desire Lines: A meander through art and life
5 December 2012 – 3 March 2013

Video Production: Emma Sullivan