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Robert Andrew
Moving from the Binary

Australia

About

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.

The Artist
Robert Andrew

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.