Trevor Lloyd Morgan (b.1969) is an Australian artist living in Berlin, Germany. His art practice largely focuses on adapting media technologies and image formats to create works that explore the embodied image, dis/location, space and place in the everyday. These themes reflect his experience as an immigrant and expatriate, with an itinerant childhood in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the United States. Morgan became an artist after working for over a decade as a commercial photographer and digital imaging specialist. in 2014, Morgan completed his PhD, an Art Practice Based Research Project at RMIT University, Melbourne Australia, for which he developed the Head_X visualisation system.
Head_X: Commuter Space II, 2013
42 minute video loop, 16:9 1080p single channel, colour, sound
Head_X: Commuter Space II is a 42-minute video journey which captures a routine shopping trip to a media electronics store in Alexanderplatz, Berlin. In this work, the Head_X image construction slowly rotates to distance the intentional view as only one of several perspectives in the recorded visual domain of the PDU.
Head_X: Forest, 2013
20 minute video loop, 16:9 1080p single channel, colour, sound
Head_X: Forest is a 20-minute video loop that reveals a 5-minute directionless walk in a thick, forested area presented in four different ways. The artwork was produced in a setting where the visual domain is not related to external reference points, such as a horizon line or the parallel and intersecting lines and planes captured in transit space. It is presented in static and animated versions of the Head_X format.
All video works are constructions shown in unedited real-time.
This video series involved the development of two new media tools, a *Personal Documentation Unit (PDU) and the Head_X media format, which were then used to produce video works that reveal some of the ways people experience and adapt spaces to create personal place to feel ‘at home’. These works drew inspiration from many aspects of everyday routine experiences, how we move through transit spaces and in domestic places; how we orient ourselves from a body spatial perspective; the technologically augmented body; how we come to understand new ways of viewing imagery; and the evolving nature of surveillance and camera technologies in our everyday lives.
The PDU and the Head_X format present the view that approximates what we can see directly and four views we can only see by turning. These integrated embodied images and sounds present the journey by implying and revealing space, our place within it, and the experience of moving through it. A spatial dialog occurs when viewers try to orient themselves within the Head_X image combined with their instant identification of the embodied sound and movement that allows them to experience the journey while at the same time observing the medium. Through this engagement, the space between the artwork and the viewer may be transformed into a place of identification and meaning.
The journey shown in Head_X: Commuter Space II can be described in terms of the architecture and history of the spaces and places captured combined with the artist’s lived bodily experience of it and the viewers’ interaction, knowledge and experience of the images presented. The journey originates from the artist’s apartment, a late 19th century building with high ceilings and a steep staircase on Zimmerstrasse in Berlin, a street that formerly housed the Luftwaffe, Gestapo Headquarters, Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. The building lies at a landmark of cold war surveillance on the former border between capitalism and communism at the entrance to the American Sector, but when the artist leaves it, he walks through a tourist precinct to reach the subway that takes him onward to Alexanderplatz, an iconic former East Berlin city center square and shopping district. Trevor Morgan’s perceptions and understanding of spaces and places in these journeys are a complex interaction and melding of his past experiences as a commuter, his biological body and its reactions to the complex world around him. To make the journey, he walks through a crowded urban environment in a continual spatial negotiation. In counterpoint, the spatial focus in Head_X: Forest was selected to contrast the artworks that explore transit space, because in a forest the visual domain is not geared to external reference points.