a 16 minute SP Betacam PAL format video ::: is a prototype electronic essay dealing with issues around the idea of national identity in an Australian context.

Beginning with an ironic take on both techno-buddhism and the idea that migrants were "welcomed" to aboriginal land (ie how colonisation was naturalised) INVOCATION then looks at the concept of using the example of my own individual heritage in terms its migration to Australia.

video image from I N V O C A T I O N

The work proceeds to examine the larger question of the construction of national identity by reference to various critical theorists who have contributed to the field. These include excerpts from the work of Benedict Anderson, Cornel West, Hakim Bey, Raymond Williams and Homi K Bhabha.

The visual images seek to work as poetic counterpoint to the information carried as text and data graphics.

The first piece of critical writing looks at how national identity emerges from the larger cultural systems which preceded it. INVOCATION then positions Australia's future in terms of its politically-driven integration with the economies of Southeast and North Asia via the quote from the Prime Minister. The second excerpt of critical theory examines the role of death and desire in the construction of national identities, coming as it does over images which speak to an "Asian-Australian" visual imaginary.

Following this, the strategic importance of the state in its current modus operandi as being a patterning of information is examined with reference to the communications revolution in the Asian region using media coverage, and data facts of teledensity and GDP growth.

Narrating the nation is an idea which is introduced to elaborate on the process of tactical 'intervention' into the state's construction of national identity.

video image from I N V O C A T I O N
The final text seeks to illustrate the fact that many things will slip through the net of the state as a result of non-or-mis recognition, making them therefore impossible to code in terms of official national identities.

The debate on identity examined by INVOCATION is immersed by a call to take the question of identity beyond the rationalist deconstruction favoured by the left, into the realm of existential questioning. A subtext of the work looks at both Christianity as a meme imported to the region, and Buddhist constructions of social power as they are currently played out in Burma under the military rule of the State Law and Order Restoration Council -- the SLORC.

INVOCATION is a dense, poetic and multi layered video text -- a prototype for the kinds of new modes of information-delivery current and future media convergence will make possible. It was shot on Hi8 video on various locations in Sydney, Central Australia and Southeast Asia, and assembled in a digital suite.

Music by Timothy Doyle.

INVOCATION was conceived, shot and produced by Linda Wallace

video image from I N V O C A T I O N
the burma railroad