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Australian art

Contemporary art

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The outlands



David Haines

England, Australia

1966 -

Joyce Hinterding


1958 -


Haines and Hinterding's visually stunning 'The outlands' invites visitors to take control and conduct their own voyage through an immersive digital world of forests, islands, and futuristic interior architecture. Clasping the tree branches that sit atop a console table, the viewer navigates through each zone, encountering portals into the other worlds configured within the work. While appearing to be a video game, what are startlingly absent are weapons, bodies and aggression. The logic of killing and winning that structures gaming no longer exists, and is replaced with the process of moving through each digital environment and at times suddenly being transported into an adjacent world. Exploratory voyaging becomes the subject of 'The outlands' and a close attention to the digital environments portrayed within it.

With an interest in the natural landscape and cyber environments Haines and Hinterding converge the two in their impressive projects. Rather than the reactive and violent zones of video games 'The outlands' is a virtual journey which rewards unstructured movement and adapts to audience interaction. As the work uses an open world model to generate the environment, the landscape or architecture is often unpredictable as it changes from one navigation to the next.

The colour in the work is unnatural, signaling the constructed nature of what we are seeing. The forest scenario for example is an intense saturated blue that is beautiful and immersive and, like an Yves Klein ultramarine, somewhat other worldly. It enhances the dream like feel of the work, of the sublime nature of this environment. In contrast the prismatic architecture of the built world is sharply artificial and futuristic, but equally fictional in appearance. The perfection of digital environments is expressed in this 'The outlands' which, with the removal of the death logic of gaming, becomes almost Utopian in feeling.




Materials used

interactive computer generated program, projected, colour, sound, customised joysticks with twigs, table




dimensions variable

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Anne Landa Award and Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2011


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

David Haines

Works in the collection


Artist information

Joyce Hinterding

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 4 publications


Christopher Allen, The Weekend Australian, 'Modern life's destination unknown', pg. 11-12, Canberra, 18 Jun 2011-19 Jun 2011, 11, 12 (colour illus.).

Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Video takes the prize for creativity', p.16, Canberra, 27 May 2011, 16 (colour illus.).

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Among the outliers', pg. 16, Sydney, 02 Jul 2011-03 Jul 2011, 16. 'Spectrum' section.

Justin Paton., Unguided tours: Anne Landa Award for video & new media arts 2011, 'Notes from an unguided tour' and 'David Haines & Joyce Hinterding', Sydney, 2011, front cover (colour illus.), 9-11, 40 (illus.), 41, 42-45 (colour illus.), back cover (colour illus.).