Tim Brook

Biographical notes

Tim in 2007

Biographical
notes

Multimedia collaboration

Tim is a multimedia artist. For one piece, he worked with a Reggae band; for another he worked with a Nigerian Rastafarian and four drummers. Usually he works alone or in collaboration with the composer Arne Hanna or the visual artist Ruth Hingston. He’s been making multimedia works for more than thirty years, collaborating with composers, performers, theatrical directors and visual artists.

Tim enjoys the excitement and the risks of collaboration. He appreciates the depth and richness that collaboration can bring to a work—there’s always something unexpected—and he also admits to one or two disasters.

Slide-tape

Tim combines his photographs with recorded sound and commissioned music. He projects slides onto surfaces, blending the slides one after another to produce a sequence of slowly changing images. He describes a slide-tape work as an invitation to make connections—an audience is invited to observe not things but relationships between things. Meaning appears in the space between the images.

Now he uses digital animation software to produce the same effects on a computer screen.

Multimedia works

Tim’s completed works are often idiosyncratic. Usually they are visually rich and alluring. Sometimes they toy with clichés. Always they invite reflection. You’ve got to respect your audience he claims. You’ve got to give your audience credit for having brains and imaginations. Leave them space to have their own ideas. But he still sees a role for the artist, by the same token, you mustn’t cheat your audience by giving them something empty, something self-indulgent. You have to put in plenty of hard work yourself—make sure there’s enough substance to justify paying attention.

Audio-visual works

Tim’s audio-visual work began in 1980, when he was invited to collaborate with the composer Adrian Keenan. At that time, Adrian was creating musique concrète—he was making music by blending and manipulating environmental sounds on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Tim used equivalent non-digital techniques to blend and manipulate visual images. He did this first in space, in the picture plane, and then, like a sound musician, he blended and arranged the images in time. The result, a combination of Adrian’s music and Tim’s slide sequence, was called About Time!.

Photography

As a photographer, Tim was originally known for documenting the work of visual and performing artists. Since 1994, much of his work has been a close study of surfaces—their textures, patterns and colours. He also photographed reflections.

Current positions

Tim is an independent media artist, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University School of Art and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Australian National University College of Engineering and Computer Science

Tim lives with his wife in the capital of Australia. His daughters and grandchildren all live in a provincial capital.