ActiveLayers - bios

back to igneous home

ActiveLayers was formed in March 2008 by Liz Bryce, James Cunningham, Suzon Fuks and Cherry Truluck. We began working together in early 2007.  We are interested in discovering a mode of 'cyberformance' which satisfies our need for the 'real' - the interactive.
Past work includes: The Old Hotel II  (part of UpStage 070707 festival), The Old Hotel III (both these works used online performance platform UpStage as well as taking shape on site in Hammersmith, London) and recently Calling Home.

ActiveLayers collaborate on experimental cross-disciplinary works that have layers of meaning and push the boundaries of the different media involved. We combine our disciplines of theatre, dance, video and visual arts not only through digital media but also in the method of working an idea. We challenge the ideas of location and 'site,' using the places where we happen to be (local site) combined with a variety of media and performance software that allows us to work together in real time from our different physical locations and across different time zones. ActiveLayers makes work which enables a genuine proximal and haptic experience of space for its geographically dispersed audience and performers.  This is achieved through the imagining and projecting of 'in-between' spaces, spanning the concepts of the virtual and the physical by means of live and interactive performance. As some of the more experienced users of the cyberformance platform UpStage, their performances tend to push the software to new limits. In "The Old Hotel" they found ways to add audio to UpStage before that was available as a feature, and in "Calling Home" they are experimenting with the use of multiple stages – active layers in action! The founding members of the international cyberformance group ActiveLayers are Cherry Truluck, Liz Bryce, Suzon Fuks and James Cunningham.

CHERRY TRULUCK (UK) is an artist and designer. Her work is motivated and inspired by her original training in architecture, as well as through a process of continuous research. She is currently investigating ideas about performativity in cyberspace, both in research and art practice. Meanwhile, Cherry’s work as a theatre designer allows her to explore her ideas in relation to specific texts. Recently, she has enjoyed working with digital media to create a space for a compilation of scenes from the works of Shakespeare.
Having completed her degree in architecture, Cherry worked for architectural design firms Charter Consultant Architects and Cube Design Ltd.  She was also instrumental in setting up Architecture and Urban Design company Urban Sense.
MA Theatre: The Visual Language of Performance (Research Route)
2005-7 - Wimbledon College of Art, London
Bsc (Hons) Architecture (2:1)
2000-2003 - The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
BTEC Diploma: Foundation Studies in Art and Design (Merit)
1999-2000 - Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London

LIZ BRYCE (NZ) is a Dunedin based multi media artist.
Her interest is in place as a palimpsest, particularly where it is invested with conflicting interests. Her work has appeared nationally and overseas in individual and group shows. Sometimes this is in space not usually designated as an 'art' place.
Some of her concepts and research are focused on ‘becoming indigenous’, ‘public interventions’, and the development of 'coloniana' theory.

SUZON FUKS (Belgium/Aus) (multimedia artist, director and photographer) and JAMES CUNNINGHAM (Aus) (choreographer and performer) have been collaborating artistically since 1993, share the artistic directorship of Brisbane-based multimedia and performance company IGNEOUS.
Together they create stage shows, performance-installations, video-dance works and online performances, presenting work in Australia, Europe (Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland), the UK, Canada and India. They facilitate workshops, master classes and labs on the integration of media and the performing arts, have been artists in residence at the University of Sydney, Brisbane Powerhouse, Dravidia Gallery and Shivashakti Kalarikshetram in Kochi, India (through Asialink), Dance4 Nottingham, and University of Brighton, and were awarded a fellowship at the Australian Choreographic Centre in Canberra.
Works include Body in Question a multimedia solo dance show; The Hands Project a performance with a cast of 17 across 3 generations in which the audience move from room to room; Fragmentation a site-specific installation performance, and the video-dance by the same name; Thanatonauts - Navigators of Death a "serial" multi-site performance delivered over 7 days and later adapted to a screen-based video; Liquid Skin a show where puppetry meets dance in a liquid skin of water co-produced by the 2005 Theater der Welt Festival Stuttgart; Mirage a performance installation playing on perceptual illusion, the construction of hybrid forms, and the real and virtual fusing and separating (short-listed 2007 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance), and the videodance Fragmentation is a finalist for the ReelDance Awards 2008.
In 2003, under a grant from the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council, Suzon and James were mentored by Keith Armstrong and Kelli Dipple on networked and telematic performance. Subsequent online performance projects include The Old Hotel II, Rejection and Interface (UpStage 070707 festival July 07), The Old Hotel III (Sep 07), and Calling Home – part 1 (Apr 08).

SUZON FUKS (Belgium/Aus) born in Brussels, trained in dance, theatre & music (69-76), completed a Masters in Visual Arts at La Cambre, Brussels (79-84), and moved to Australia in 1996.  Co-artistic director of Igneous, she created the multimedia projections for, and directed, most of its productions. She gives lectures and workshops in Australia & Europe integrating video with performing arts & fostering multimedia artistic collaboration. In 2008, she organised Brisbane Bridges and DIAL (Brisbane node), a streaming event connecting 5 international cities.

She has made award-winning films, videos and solo performance shows, received recently a Green Room Award for Outstanding Video-Scenography in Theatre (New Form), FRAGMENTATION (videodance), internationally screened, ReelDance finalist, was nominated for an Australian Dance on Film Award.  She created the film part of the Mandragore Theatre's groundbreaking show The Strange Mr Knight, which toured the world for 5 years (87-92, Adelaide Festival 1990).  Her photographic exhibition Keeping the Light toured from 1997 to 2001 to seven capitals of the world, and her photographs are part of the State Library of NSW and the National Library of Australia collections.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM (Aus) completed an Advanced Certificate in Dance (performance) at the Centre for Performing Arts Adelaide (87-88), and was dancer with Dance North, Townsville (89-91). He paralysed his left arm in a motorbike accident in 1992, and went to India to recover and retrain.  In 99 he received an Emerging Artist's grant, as a choreographer, from the Australia Council through Ausdance, and in 2000 performed with DV8 Physical Theatre in Can We afford This? (Sydney, London and HK).   Co-artistic director of Igneous, he performs and choreographs for most of its productions.

back to top
back to igneous home