Alex Monteith

Composition with RNZAF 3 Squadron Exercise Blackbird for three-channel video installation (2010)

15 min 47 sec3 channel installation / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

Large scale video-performance collaboration between 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 flies 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 manoeuvre of the artwork and was developed specifically to test the scope of both the formation of the flights against the re—installation 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.

This work was first shown at Accelerated Geographies, Alex Monteith, at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth in 2010.

Other works by Alex Monteith

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