Small Change — a concert of visual music

Canberra Festival 1999

Canberra Festival logo 1999
Why do you keep quoting Minor White?
It’s a reminder of how I can be badly wrong about something. Twenty years ago I thought there was nothing much to White’s photographs. It’s taken me a long time to understand the depth in his simplicity. I have much to learn from White.
Why don’t you do this stuff on a computer?
Why don’t you put this stuff on video?
Why do you keep using that old technology?
Even today, in 1999, you can’t get the visual quality on TV screen that you can get on 35mm film. I’m sure it’ll catch up one day. Until then I’ll keep using film. The longer I work in this medium, the more I become fascinated by the visual subtlety of long slow dissolves. You can’t yet see that kind of subtlety on a computer screen.
Why don’t you do put this on film and turn it into a movie?
I don’t have that kind of money.
Why do you keep showing bad photographs?
I’m not showing photographs—I’m showing transitions between photographs. Anyway, they’re not all bad! I raved on about all that in the artist’s statement I had to write for the festival director.
What’s the name Small Change supposed to mean?
I thought I was being clever giving an event a name that had two meanings. Then the a friend pointed out a third, and I looked silly. I had meant that the concert consists of little pieces—they’re not great symphonies. And the pieces are made of small changes—slow dissolves between related images. Then my friend said "Is that what I need to get in?", and I suppose it is—$6 isn’t much is it?
After 1999 Small Change was adopted as the name for our small group of Canberra-based contemporary artists.
Why won’t you sell children’s tickets?
That’s very straightforward. Some of the pieces are quite slow and contemplative. Children are likely get bored—and bored children are likely to spoil it for adults. There’s nothing offensive in the concert that I know of; it’s simply that it takes a certain amount of maturity to appreciate visual music.