The 2018 premiere of BLAK BOX at Barangaroo Reserve in Sydney offered audiences a chance to embrace the First People’s concept of ‘Deep Listening’ in a purposely designed, state-of-the-art, surround-sound, place-based listening space.
The inaugural BLAK BOX program, curated by Daniel Browning, was entitled HumEchoChorus (hum echo chorus) and comprised commissioned oral histories of the Barangaroo harbour headland before 1788, informal interviews and spoken word performances. These sat alongside over 15 separate commissioned sound pieces comprising original music, poetry and language.
HumEchoChorus provided audiences with a vantage point for a wider exploration of the First People’s relationship with their waters through that most compelling and fleeting artefact of human consciousness – sound. Together the works offered a sound stream of consciousness blending stories of the past (echo), the present (hum) and an imagined future (chorus).
UTP was delighted to work for the first time with Barangaroo Delivery Authority to present this powerful and important new pavilion at Barangaroo: Australia’s next cultural precinct and Sydney’s newest creative stage for leading-edge public art and programming. The 2018 world-premiere project marks the beginning of a three-year partnership with UTP and Barangaroo Delivery Authority which will commission a suite of new art and sound installations at the site at the same time each year until 2020.
The video below was produced and featured by ABC Weekend Breakfasts on June 4 2018 covering BLAK BOX Barangaroo 2018.
ABC TV Weekend Breakfast's Miriam Corowa interviews Curator Daniel Browning, Spoken Word Poet Lorna Munro and UTP Artistic Director Rosie Dennis about #UTPBlakBox onsite at Barangaroo Reserve in this beautifully produced 4 minute video segment.
Posted by Urban Theatre Projects on Tuesday, 5 June 2018
BLAK BOX Curator – Daniel Browning
Daniel Browning is one of Australia’s most respected commentators on Indigenous visual arts. A journalist and broadcaster on ABC Radio National, Browning has produced and presented the Awaye! Indigenous art and culture program since 2005. Browning is from the Bundjalung and Kullilli peoples of far northern New South Wales and south-western Queensland and is a visual arts graduate of the Queensland University of Technology.
“One of the key tangents in the work is the idea that water is sovereign – we can try to shape it, redirect its flows, but ultimately it does its own thing. Together the works offer a sound stream of consciousness blending stories of the past (echo), the present (hum) and an imagined future (chorus).”
BLAK BOX Architect – Kevin O’Brien
Kevin O’Brien is an architect of Kaurereg and Meriam descent. He is globally renowned for his designs which draw on Aboriginal concepts of space. O’Brien’s Finding Country exhibition was an official Collateral Event of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale 2012. The designer has also received multiple National and State Awards from the Australian Institute of Architects. O’Brien is widely accepted as one of the country’s leading architects and a pioneer in his field. The BLAK BOX design features similar materials and design principles to previous examples of O’Brien’s award-winning architecture by harnessing natural light and presenting a sleek aesthetic whilst maintaining environmental friendliness and a connection to Country.
BLAK BOX Lighting Designer – Karen Norris
Karen Norris has worked extensively as a lighting designer in Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe. In Australia she has worked for numerous theatre and dance companies including Bangarra Dance Theatre, Belvoir Street Theatre, Red Shed Theatre Company, State Theatre of South Australia, Griffin Theatre Company and One Extra. In 2008 Karen returned to Australia from living in France and her work has since included designs for the opera Ingkarta Project (Adelaide Festival 2008), Noel Jordon’s In the Shape of a Girl (Sydney Opera House), Love Me Tender (Director Matt Lutton for Company B, PICA and Griffin Theatre Company), Hansel and Gretel (Pacific Opera), and Christine Douglas.
UTP’s Artistic Director, Rosie Dennis says: “BLAK BOX is one of our most ambitious projects to date – bringing together design, installation and sound for a completely unique contemporary storytelling experience for audiences. Daniel has curated an intelligent, layered and thought-provoking program which grapples with the complexity of urban development, place and history.”
BLAK BOX is supported by the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and the following Project Sponsors: