Mutualism (n.) - An association between two organisms of different species in which each member benefits.
Terms of symbiosis such as parasitism, amensalism, commensalism and competition are used to measure the existence of benefit vs harm in cross-species interaction. Mutualism has been described as the ideal relationship between organisms and individuals where each member benefits and neither are harmed.
This video is an excerpt of a new audio/visual performance work Mutualism by Tilman Robinson and Carla Zimbler. In it, an audio-visual eco-system is formed that interrogates and displays the various examples of symbiosis, striving towards the ideal. Audio affects visual material and vice versa in a search for equilibrium. Images are siphoned across screens, blurring from clarity to complete obfuscation. Visual and sonic depictions of Australian landscape shift into focus and are obliterated. With a specific focus on the regeneration of landscapes destroyed by fire or humanity’s footprint, Mutualism invites a meditation on our inevitable impact on the natural world that sustains us.
Mutualism underwent a major development in 2021 as part of The Unconformity's Artist in Residence program. Faced with enduring COVID-19 complications, only Tilman travelled to Queenstown while Carla was locked down in Melbourne.
All footage and audio in this excerpt was recorded/filmed by Tilman in an abandoned copper mine in Mount Jukes and near The Confluence, both located on the West Coast of lutruwita / Tasmania. Carla later created the video in an equally-dark and claustrophobic Melbourne.
Enduring appreciation to Mark ‘Doc’ Doran and Emilie Llewellyn Simons who leant their considerable artistic and videographic skills to the task of capturing footage. Extra special thanks to Joy Chappell and Chris Wilson at RoamWild Tasmania.
Tilman Robinson is an Australian composer, producer and sound designer based in Melbourne, Victoria. He creates electro-acoustic music across a range of genres including classical minimalism, improvised, experimental, electronic and ambient music. Tilman’s diverse output focuses on the psychological impact of sound utilising acousmatic and psychoacoustic principles.
Utilising creative technology to reposition the body in two concurrent realities, Carla Zimbler shifts orientation, time and perspective to warp memory, redefine spatial boundaries and transcend the everyday. She invites audiences to question connectedness, permanence and contemplate the intricacies of the micro-/macro-worlds we exist in. Carla’s site-specific installations examine how light binds and separates, obscures and awakens.