Composition with RNZAF 3 Squadron Exercise Blackbird for three-channel video installation


Medium: 3-channel video installation with 3-channel audio, 15 meters x 3 meters, 16 mins

Large scale video-performance collaboration b etween Alex Monteith, Royal New Zealand Air Force 3 Squadron & SQDNLDR Oliver Bint at Dip Flat during Ex Blackbird, Aotearoa, NZ, July 2010.

Three simultaneously flying RNZAF Iroquois helicopters perform a collaboratively generated flight routine in the Ex Blackbird locations with onboard recordings for three-channel video installation. Area; Dip Flat, Leese Valley.

The composition of the three-ship flight / action list; Three helicopters take off and fly the valleys in the line-astern formation with Frame 14 front, Frame 05 middle and Frame 01 rear. The formation flys line-astern up the Clarence River Valley and doglegs into the Leese Valley and flies deep into the catchment and performs a sweeping turn. The formation returns to the entrance of the valley and makes a slow approach to a ridge top where each helicopter performs a 360-degree pedal turn simultaneously. This is the key maneouvre of the artwork and was developed specifically to test the scope of both the formation of the flights against the reinstallation method as a video-artwork. The formation hovers stationary briefly, before the order of helicopters is reversed an Frame 01 leads off, Frame 05 remains in the centre and Frame 14 flays at the rear of the new line-astern formation.


Exhibition requirements:
15m wall space | dark space
3 x Pioneer V8000 DVD players
3 ch David Jones Sync unit
3 x speakers
1 x sub woofer
Amp & EQ

Pilots and Aircrew: 
Frame no 05 - Pilots: Jane & Reichardt, crewman; SGT Dave Tauai
Frame no 14 - Pilots: FLTLT Wilson & FLTLT Netzler, crewmen; Tahi-Martin & Woodley
Frame no 01 - Pilots: SQDNLDR Oliver Bint & SLT Melville, crewman; Walters Cameras

Onboard Cams: Fergus Millner, Neil Stichbury, Alex Monteith
Additional Cams: Fergus Millner & Neil Stichbury Grip equipment; Harry Harrison (NZL)
Stills: Alex Monteith & Sarah Munro

Project funding (main production): University of Auckland, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries, Elam School of Fine Arts

Premier exhibition: Accelerated Geographies, Alex Monteith, Govett Brewster Art Gallery, Aotearoa NZ, Sept 2010