a very enchanting thing

date 2010
location mirror <> mirror: then & now institute of modern art, brisbane 2009; university of sydney 2010; samstag art museum, adelaide 2010; sookmyung women's university, korea, 2011
medium mirror, bakelite telephone, sound, wood, electronics
dimensions 2.0 x .5 x .5m
photographer ian hobbs
collection artist

mirror:mirror, samstag museum
abc tv website
adelaide review
the advertiser review
samstag museum youtube

A euphoric spin on the physic of mirror optics as ‘a very enchanting thing’ is delivered by the TV scientist Julius Sumner Milner, who, back in the 1960s, turned the captive living rooms of Australia into a school-room laboratory. Ann Stephen, catalogue essay

Reflecting on 50 years of telephone use in Australian drama, and a moment of scientific investigation.

Hellos, goodbyes, grunts, silences, answering, hanging up, questions, demands, sympathy, enquiry, deceit, disappointment, excitement…

By removing the message or narrative what remains is a collection of actions, movements and the ubiquitous telephone; grey, black, white, cream, blue, round, square, dials, press pad, ringing, pulsing or beeping tones.

At the centre of this project is reflection, sited in a place of solitude-a place for dreaming. Mobile and immobile, conversations bracketed by selected connections and disconnections.

Why It Is So (not…Why Is It So?) Julius Sumner Miller no. 3N99955 ‘Physics of Optics and Reflection’.


Electronics: Stephen Jones

Technical support: Josh Raymond and John Tonkin