a 3D model of wedge tail eagle on a grey background.

you can never touch your shadow
Dean Cross

you can never touch your shadow by paratactical artist Dean Cross brings together three mediums; one still image, one moving image and an Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture. The work calls on Australia’s largest bird of prey, the Wedge-tailed Eagle, as a vehicle for thoughts on transcendence, mobility and time.

The ‘Wedgie’ relies on the invisible force of thermal updrafts to be able to fly and travel. These animals traverse geographic, natural, cultural and generational boarders. Whilst capable of travelling long distances, these eagles mostly stay within their territories, often for generations. They are not bound by human metrics of borders or distance, and their understanding of time, scale and space is different to our own.

This tangible but elusive creature occupies physical space yet evades the grasp of humankind. This confluence between materiality and immateriality is what prompted Dean to replicate this physical being digitally, in the untouchable and disembodied realm of Augmented Reality (AR).

Read Artist Statement

you can never touch your shadow – there will always be a space between you and the light your body reflects. A fractal chasm connected by an uncrossable bridge, elastic and unbreakable.

On Country, you are never far away from a Wedge Tailed Eagle.

Or, perhaps, they are never far away from you.

They are our ancestors; they are our memories; they hold and protect; they guide and direct. They are called malyan in the Dhurga Language, which is the language of Walbunja Country where I live. There is a family of malyan I regularly visit, or who visit me, and I am grateful for their presence in my life. I dedicate this project to them.

Read Artist Statement

you can never touch your shadow – there will always be a space between you and the light your body reflects. A fractal chasm connected by an uncrossable bridge, elastic and unbreakable.

On Country, you are never far away from a Wedge Tailed Eagle.

Or, perhaps, they are never far away from you.

They are our ancestors; they are our memories; they hold and protect; they guide and direct. They are called malyan in the Dhurga Language, which is the language of Walbunja Country where I live. There is a family of malyan I regularly visit, or who visit me, and I am grateful for their presence in my life. I dedicate this project to them.

you can never touch your shadow

    • FRI 02 September, 17:00 – 20:00 AEST
    • FRI 23 September, 17:00 – 20:00 AEST
    • Campbelltown Arts Centre (C-A-C), 1 Art Gallery Rd, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia
  • FREE

    • Quiet Space Available
    • Wheelchair
  • Please note this work will be presented as part of the BLEED activations at Campbelltown Arts Centre (C-A-C) on FRI 02 September and FRI 23 September, 17:00 – 20:00 AEST, along with Endless Blue Edge and Sap 濕.

The distinction between physical and digital objects and places are blurred in the onsite component of you can never touch your shadow at Campbelltown Arts Centre. The artist Dean Cross brings together three mediums; one still image, one moving image and an Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture.

The Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture of the Wedge-tailed Eagle is the keystone to the experience of the work at Campbelltown Arts Centre. This AR world is accessed through an image of a QR code temporary tattoo on the artist’s body, linking the digital world to the physical, and the eagle to the artist. The eagle is animated to evade the viewer as it moves throughout Campbelltown Arts Centre. The eagle is only visible through the digital lens of a camera on a personal device, yet when it exists within and interacts with the IRL world, the intangible nature of this digitally-rendered object is almost forgotten.

The still image and AR sculpture are accompanied by a video work that considers edges, boundaries, borders and displacement. This new video work commissioned for BLEED is an evolution of the work Right Lands, which was initially conceived and presented in 2015. Seven years later, Dean Cross will retrace the steps he walked in the original video, traversing the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western boundaries of the artist’s family farm on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country, the place where over years he has connected with the family of Wedge-tailed Eagles which have inspired this work.

Credits
  • Lead Artist - Dean Cross
    Augmented Reality Design - Voyant Augmented Reality 
    Augmented Reality Designer - Natalie Marinho 
    3D Artist - Lisa Rye 
  • you can never touch your shadow is commissioned and produced by Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of BLEED 2022.
  • BLEED (Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital) was conceived by Campbelltown City Council through Campbelltown Arts Centre, and The City of Melbourne through Arts House. BLEED 2022 is produced and presented by Campbelltown City Council through Campbelltown Arts Centre, and City of Melbourne through Arts House, Taipei Performing Arts Center and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.  BLEED has been supported by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney.

you can never touch your shadow

    • MON 29 August – SUN 25 September
  • FREE

you can never touch your shadow by artist Dean Cross brings together three mediums; one still image, one moving image and an Augmented Reality (AR) sculpture. The digital version of the work on the BLEED website mirrors the onsite component of the work at Campbelltown Arts Centre.

The video work is at the forefront of the digital offering for you can never touch your shadow. This new video work commissioned for BLEED is an evolution of the work Right Lands, which was initially conceived and presented in 2015. Seven years later, Dean Cross will retrace the steps he walked in the original video, traversing the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western boundaries of the artist’s family farm on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country, the place where over years he has connected with the family of Wedge-tailed Eagles which have inspired this work.

This new video work will have the same premise and structure of the video captured in 2015, but similar to these eagles, who for generations have been returning to their nest after travel, Dean will return to his family home to reflect on how this place feels different. The AR component of the work will also be accessible via the BLEED website, allowing the viewer to bring the digital eagle into their own environment and surroundings.

Credits
  • Lead Artist - Dean Cross
    Augmented Reality Design - Voyant Augmented Reality 
    Augmented Reality Designer - Natalie Marinho 
    3D Artist - Lisa Rye 
  • you can never touch your shadow is commissioned and produced by Campbelltown Arts Centre as part of BLEED 2022.
  • BLEED (Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital) was conceived by Campbelltown City Council through Campbelltown Arts Centre, and The City of Melbourne through Arts House. BLEED 2022 is produced and presented by Campbelltown City Council through Campbelltown Arts Centre, and City of Melbourne through Arts House, Taipei Performing Arts Center and Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei.  BLEED has been supported by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and Cultural Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Sydney.
Acknowledgement of Country
Arts House, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Taipei Performing Arts Center, and Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands we work on, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Dharawal, and Ketagalan peoples. We extend our respects to their Elders past, present and future while respecting the vast Traditional Owners Nations our digital platforms reach. We extend this acknowledgment to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Austronesian artists, audiences and communities, and First Nations peoples globally.
墨爾本藝術之家、坎貝爾敦藝術中心、臺北表演藝術中心及台北當代藝術館向我們土地上的第一民族暨傳統所有人致上敬意,包括烏倫杰里族(Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung)、塔爾瓦斯族(Dharawal)、凱達格蘭族(Ketagalan)及其眾支系。因著BLEED數位介面所將廣泛觸及的各種傳統民族與土地, 我們尊榮各地過去、現在及未來的祖先與耆老。我們更將這份對台灣與澳洲原住民族、托雷斯海峽群島民族及南島民族的藝術家、觀眾與社群的致意延展至全球各傳統領地與第一民族。