Alex Davies

The Black Box Sessions

Through mediated intimacy, The Black Box Sessions creates the illusion of live performance. Upon entering the gallery the audience is faced with an attendant’s desk similar to what might be found in a hotel lobby. On the top ledge of the desk are performance programs and to the right of the desk is the entrance to the performance space. At the rear of the room behind the desk is another enclosed space, a 3×4 meter room that serves the (imaginary) function of a green room for performers to prepare their upcoming shows. Running along the outside of the wall of the performance space is a series of chairs (and other décor items) creating a space in which the audience can wait for the performance venue to be vacated if a show is currently under way. Whilst waiting, the audience members watch characters inhabiting the back stage area; an illusion created through the spatial arrangement of surveillance technologies, sound and mechanics.

From the foyer, single audience members are invited to enter the performance space to view one individual performance from over twenty available performances. To view the performance (in the pitch black surrounds) the audience member finds a single peephole located in the wall of the space. When looking in the peephole, the audience members see a screen with a live video feed of themselves, captured from an infrared capable camera at the rear corner of the room. The audience member hears a door open off to the left in the darkness, and then sees the performer enter into the room via the mediated video image. The performance commences…


  • UTS Gallery, Sydney, Australia, 2011
  • afo architekturforum oberösterreich und Künstlervereinigung Maerz, Linz, Austria, 2009
  • HAIP Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2008


  • This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.
  • Thanks to: Time’s Up, Kunstuniversität Linz, UTS Media Center, UTS Gallery, James Hurley, Brendan Lloyd, Michaela Davies, Andrew Maher, Holly Williams, Tania Creighton, Alice McAuliffe, Dr. Adam Jasper, Martin Crouch, HAIP Festival, Architekturforum Oberösterreich.
  • Performers: Scott Sinclare, Dr. Didi Bruckmayr, Roland Penzinger, Patrick Huber, Conny Kraus, Bert Zet, Matthew Stegh, Justin Shoulder, Celia Curtis, Marty Jay, Claire Conroy, Annabel Lines, Pete Manwaring, Chas Glover, Adam Mada, Melissa Hunt, Dr. Lian Loke, Mike Lira, Dr. Michaela Davies, Reuben Alexander and Lucas Abela.


  • Exhibition catalog from UTS Gallery with catalog essay by Adam Jasper can be downloaded as a PDF <here>


Project Details

DATE : 2008

KEYWORDS : Augmented Reality, Installation