Robert Andrew


Moving from the Binary


 Moving from the Binary evolves as English text translations of the Yawuru language are reformed through mechanical processes to create a new physical landscape. Six Yawuru words/phrases are cycled through the machine, and each change of word and its translation is indicated by a separate video screen placed near the installation.

Through this electronically driven process the normally opposing x-y axis that would be used to plot text or image is subverted to parallel positioning. This creates a choreographed negotiation between two rocks travelling over a horizontal bluestone surface. A seemingly random, uninformed dance of negotiated positioning and re-positioning across the etched bluestone base, produces both an aural and physical track. The rock on stone resonates with the mechanical machine-made sounds, while residues in the form of ground rock and pindan (red soil) are created.

Newly created and released ochre-like powder filters through etched holes in the bluestone, floating to the ground and forming, over time, its own landscape. Within this newly formed landscape the text origin of one of the words may be seen.  By releasing the translated language into another form, Moving from the Binary questions the binary text of the coloniser, the imposed ownership and disruption of the aural/oral colonised language and with it, the disruption of a culture.

An Experimenta and Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) Commission.

aluminium, sandstone rocks, blue stone tiles, stainless steel wire, electro-mechanical motors, video monitor

245 x 40 x 70 cm

3 hours (looped)

Robert Andrew is an Indigenous artist and descendant of the Yawuru people of the Rubibi (Broome) area West Kimberley, Western Australia. Andrew’s installation-based practice explores his Australian Indigenous history.

Born in Perth in 1965, Andrew relocated to Brisbane in 2000. He completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art in 2012 at the Queensland College of Art (QCA), accepting his Fine Art Honours in 2013. He is currently completing his doctorate in Visual Arts at QCA, Griffith University. Andrew has exhibited widely throughout Australia including TarraWarra Museum of Art (2016); National Gallery of Victoria (2015); Cairns Regional Gallery (2014); and a solo exhibition at Museum of Brisbane (2017). His work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria for the 2015 exhibition Indigenous Art: Moving Backwards into the Future. He was the recipient of the Graduate Art Show and Survey Room Award (2013) and the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Art Prize (2013), and a finalist in the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (2016) and the R&M McGivern Painting Prize (2016).

Images courtesy of the artist © the artist