Hazel Smith and Roger Dean

Time, the magician and Minimal


Working Note

Time, the magician (2005) is a collaboration by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean written in the real-time algorithmic image-processing program Jitter. The piece begins with a poem, written by Hazel, on the subject of time:  influential on the writing of the poem was Elizabeth Grosz’s The Nick of Time.  The poem is initially performed solo, but as it progresses is juxtaposed with live and improvised sound which includes real-time and pre-recorded sampling and processing of the voice. The performance of the poem is followed (slightly overlapping) by screened text in which the poem is dissected and reassembled. This screened text is combined in Jitter with video of natural vegetation, and the sound and voice samples continue during the visual display.

The text-images are processed in real time so that their timing, order, juxtaposition, design and colours are different each time the work is performed. This Quicktime Movie is therefore only one version of the piece. The sound is from a performance given by austraLYSIS at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, October 2005. The performers were Roger Dean, computer sound and image; Sandy Evans, saxophone; Hazel Smith, speaker; Greg White, computer sound and sound projection.

Minimal (2002) is a relatively sparse and ironic piece with text performed by Hazel Smith. In addition, pre-recorded samples of the voice are employed by Roger Dean with minimal processing in order to create multiple conflicting strands of speech. Again, each performance of the piece is unique.

Both Time, the Magician and Minimal — along with six other pieces — appear on the CD-Rom by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean accompanying Hazel Smith’s new volume The Erotics of Geography: poetry, performance texts, new media works, Tinfish Press, 2008.



Time, the magician

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Hazel Smith is active in the areas of experimental poetry and prose, performance and new media. A web page about her creative work can be accessed at www.australysis.com. Her latest volume of poetry The Erotics of Geography: poetry, performance texts, new media works, plus CD Rom with Roger Dean, was published by Tinfish Press (US) in 2008. She has published two other volumes of poetry Abstractly Represented and Keys Round Her Tongue, and made three CDs of her performance works (all three involve collaborations with Roger Dean). She is also co-author of numerous mixed media and multimedia works which have been published on the internet and on CD Rom. She is a founding member of austraLYSIS, the international sound and intermedia arts group, and has performed and broadcast her own work extensively nationally and internationally. Hazel also had a previous career as a professional violinist and appears as soloist on a number of commercial recordings.

Hazel was appointed in 2007 as a research professor in the Writing and Society Research Group. From 2002-2007 she was a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Creative Communication, University of Canberra, and a member of the Sonic Communications Research Group. Prior to that she was a Senior Lecturer in the School of English at the University of New South Wales where she founded the creative writing program. She is author of Hyperscapes in the Poetry of Frank O'Hara: difference, homosexuality, topography, Liverpool University Press, 2000 and The Writing Experiment: strategies for innovative creative writing, Allen and Unwin, 2005: the latter was short-listed for the Australian Publishing Association Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing. She is co-author, with Roger Dean, of Improvisation, Hypermedia And The Arts Since 1945, Harwood Academic, 1997. From 2003-2006 she was editor of infLect: a journal of multimedia writing, which she founded at the University of Canberra.