Digital performance, co-creation and learning practices as Synthesizer Art
Dr Murray-Leslie — or Alex, as she’s sometimes known — presents a world in three scenes: her work in the context of the art band / movement Chicks on Speed; how it has shaped her ideas about teaching and learning; and the Objektinstruments, appendages for theatrical expression, which changes how we experience the world and vice versa.
Dr. Alex Murray-Leslie is performer and educator, an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Trondheim Academy of Fine Art. In 1997 she co-founded Chicks on Speed (COS), a collaborative group and collective banner for work that cross-pollinates performance art, pop music, fashion, video art and design. Modelled in part on earlier artistic movements, in particular the Bauhaus, Fluxus and KLF, it serves as a platform and brand for framing diverse practices, interventions and experiments. Over 22 years of work and play, COS's members, both core and transient, co-author, build exhibitions, teach, learn by doing and develop “Objektinstruments”. These self-made computational yet body-centric musical instruments are exemplified in her Computer Enhanced Footwear (CEF) project, the subject of her PhD at The University of Technology — Sydney's Engineering and IT Department. Like COS's work, Murray-Leslie’s solo work has been presented internationally across a stunning range of contexts and venues, from major museums, to rock ’n’ roll tours with superstar artists, to global fashion magazines.
Top Left: Performance still Chicks on Speed: YELL-Echo! with collaborators Luca Sauerwein, Tina Frank, Yinlin Kong, Samrridhi Kukreja (projected image of augmented reality filter-art work by Yinlin Kong, zoom penguin performers: Yinlin Kong, Anders Johnsen, Xinyu Zhang, Shu Da, Thea Tokstad, Jiaqi Wang, Yanping Yin, Magne Elholm), 27th March 2021, @deSingel Antwerp, supported by ChampdAction/TIME CANVAS, artistically led by Marko Ciciliani. Top Right: Performance still from Chicks on Speed: YELL-Echo!, projected image of artist Amalia Wiatr Lewis (wearing costume "Overalls for All" by Chicks on Speed and Jeremy Scott) filmed by Srinavin Kumar Raja,. Alex performs “Feedback-instrument” developed in collaboration with Prof. Øyvind Brandtsegg and Kaspar Lasn supported by NTNU SO funds to promote artistic development work at NTNU (costume by Chicks on Speed, Peggy Noland and Dinu Bodiciu), photo by Tina Frank. Bottom Left: The NOW course, led in collaboration between team-teachers Annett Bush, Prerna Bishnoi and Alex Murray-Leslie, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, NTNU, 2020, course branding grafic design by Panja Göbel. Bottom Right: Performance still Computer Enhanced Footwear, performed by Unnur Andrea Einarsdóttir and Alex Murray-Leslie, Reverberation Chamber, The Great Hall of Acoustics, Department of Electronic Systems, NTNU, kindly supported by ARTEC Artist in Residence, 2019, photo by Nanna Klith Hougaard (costumes by Alex Murray-Leslie/Kathi Glas, a remake of Sonia Delaunay's Robe Simultanée, 1913).