Australian Video Art Archive

Linda Dement



I began making art as a young drug taking punk in the late 70s and early 80s. I learned how to use a camera and took photographs of the life I was living. The pictures were conventional, documentary black and white 35mm. By the 1990s I had moved completely away from picturing the external world to instead giving voice to what was within. I had developed an obsession with technology that enabled this connection with a formless, difficult interior. In the work of creativity, by focusing on settings, readings and file data, I could allow the art to take care of itself. Strict rules and hard science allow easy access to their apparent opposite; buried, mutating, human preposterousness.

Creativity allows me to use my destructive tendencies, the trouble inside, to wander over both sides of the line that marks out reason. There is great value in the irrational - madness, emotions, memories, pain, nightmares and furies. There is great value in the dangerous areas. I am ever grateful to the discipline, order, increments, numbers, scales and settings of my chosen field, within which unreason, imagination and cathartic fury can have free reign.

I work with the disease and detritus of bodily interiors, subcutaneous landscapes, in order to give form to lived experience and its inner disturbances. I am interested in the possibilities for embodiment and technology, particularly where the bodies concerned are those mad, damaged, uncontrolled and perverse ones from the peripheries of mainstream culture. It's in the outpourings of bloody unreason from bent flesh and fast machines that I find a potential for something truthful and real.

I have always only had one project: to give form to the unbearable.