The Allo-Paradox Method

This work is part of the Live Dreams program of the Performance Space  Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, held at Carriageworks Sydney in 2022. It is the second in a series that follows Pick-up-needle-bottom-of-sea, which is an apology to Iraq for our recent invasion that was also produced with development funding and production support from Performance Space, Sydney for the same festival in 2021.

The Allo-paradox Method


John Shipton and I draw upon the candle-in-the-pool scene from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia, as a means to explore John’s ongoing advocacy work for his son Julian Assange, as well as Julian’s alternative practices that are also unreligious faithful performances of a not fully defined, coming from elsewhere and simultaneously attempting to gain traction in situations into which they come. Tarkovsky’s famous one-take scene involves a Russian musicologist carrying a lit candle the full length of an ancient sulphur pool as an act of faith for the activist who tells him it will save the world. The original scene can be viewed HERE and our After Tarkovsky appears in our work.

Other elements to the work include the role Wikileaks has played in raising scrutiny that has led to positive results. This is contextualised in the allo-paradox method that describes dialectical thinking to balance, or synthesise the opposing forces of allodoxia, a catalyst for individual/societal recuperative processes, yet still harmful as an influence.

This work is the first iteration of a collaboration that explores the research question John Shipton and I have set that ultimately focuses on whether, and if so, how programmed misrecognition can continue to be dismantled as part of group processes to promote civic engagement with bureaucracies and policies, when we are living in ever-increasing physically and socially distanced restricted times, marked by exhaustion and overload.

Other collaborators: Frances Whitfield/Paul Langley – support videographers, Rachel Whitfield – actor, Brian Wilson/Ross Johnston – soundtrack producers, singer and musician.