Roly Skender

Published: Monday, 29 October 2018 at 4:28:04 PM

Roly Skender is a In the early 2000's Roly Skender helped pioneer audiovisual performance in Australia with electronic music/video sampling act Rawbone. This led to him working with projected visuals as a VJ for clubs, festivals and events.

In 2012 he developed an original concept for musical collaboration called ‘Vongplay’, which was to become its own audiovisual webcam recording app and web platform. The project inspired an auto-didactic approach to computer programming and creative coding, which resulted in the development of a successful chord-finder app for musicians on the Android platform called Songo.‚Äč

In 2013 Skender began producing projection mapping works on buildings and in natural environments. His current practice incorporates a mixture of sound and video design, 3D animation, creative coding, performance and interactivity. He is currently working with amplified sound and projected vision to create large-scale audiovisual artworks.


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I grew up in Osborne Park and came to audiovisual art through music and performing in bands. I started putting a video screen up behind our band and pretty soon people were asking me to do it for their own band/DJ/act. This eventually led to me learning a lot about projectors, technology and even some software coding. It's a broad set of skills (I'm an expert at none) which lends itself to creating unique audiovisual artworks and experiences that almost always involves a mix of sound and vision.

2. What does it mean to you to be a part of the Australiyaniality project?

The Australiyaniality project has forced me to think about my own identity as a third-generation Australian. It's also sparked a curiosity in other people's stories and experiences. I'm releasing a series of podcasts about the exhibition and discussing the themes with some of the artists involved. There's quite a lot of variety and some surprising points of view -

3. What kind of conversations do you hope your work starts?

Aside from debates about the correct date for Australia Day, I hope the 'Australarium Cubby' can take people back a decade or few when they were lying down in a backyard looking up at the stars in the night sky. It's an imaginary outdoor space indoors, reminiscent of being a child, entering a cubby house and creating an imaginary world inside it. Identity seemed less of an issue then. In some ways what unites us as Australians is no more complicated than geography. Looking up at the night sky might be all we need to do to feel that connection.

4. What do you love most about what you do?

I enjoy the variety of the work and flexibility of working to my own schedule. It can sometimes be a challenge to be self-motivated but it feels good to be in the driver seat. I get to work with many fine people and share visions for lots of interesting projects. Getting positive feedback also helps to keep moving forward and come up with new ideas.


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