Life imitates art so comprehensively in the work of new media and installation artist Di Ball that it’s increasingly hard to distinguish between the two. Ball has turned a full circle (or completed a revolution) since working as an architect designing theme parks a couple of decades ago. She now operates as a consortium of artists (each of them herself) exhibiting and performing under the BallPark [BallPark] logo, which she describes as representing “the theme park that is my life.” Commuting between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, she receives regular inspiration by driving past Dream World and Movie World.
Like a disco ball faceted with multiple mirrors, she reflects aspects of popular culture using an ever-growing series of individual personas, each with a name derived from her own. There’s Krystal Ball [Krystal Ball] the cyber clairvoyant, Fleur Ball the cuntry (sic) & western singer, Meet Ball the online introduction agency madam, and most recently Glo (Gloria) Ball the international traveller and celebrity hunter. In BallPark’s latest presentation Glo Ball exhibited somewhat murky photographs of herself, taken with a mobile telephone, apparently in the company of famous people. (Signage for this exhibition of phone photographs included a stray letter “y” that had slipped down the wall from its original position at the end of the word “phoney”.)
She has a beady eye for the most exquisitely naff aspects of modern life and an ability to find the user-friendly aspects of French feminist theory. Ball is part Julia Kristeva, part Edna Everage She revels in a promiscuous familiarity with lowbrow aspects of the mass media, from new age women’s magazines to television body makeovers.
Ball has appropriated information technology and some of its terms. Because she performs in cyberspace as well as in the flesh, she uses the website address acronym URL to denote “unreal life” (and IRL for “in real life”). Her videos and photographs have been shown at Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art and the Queensland Centre for Photography, and are in the collection of Griffith University. (Art Collector 2005)
I have since named my technoevangelism under iBall, and Beach Ball is going swimmingly.