Arts Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 48
Plurilingual teachers and their experiences navigating the academy
(John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2015-01-01)
<jats:p>Drawing on qualitative data collected from plurilingual teachers in the context of three research studies conducted at the University of Toronto between 2004 and 2015, this paper critically examines, through a dialogue between the three researchers, the experiences of plurilingual teacher candidates and graduate students in Education as they navigate the academy. A trioethnographic methodology is used, unpacking the underlying tensions of roles and positions held by each of the researchers in the Student Success Centre (SSC) which offers a range of support services and provides a space where plurilingual teacher learners can interact with plurilingual tutors during their academic journey which may include practica and internships. We relate our findings focussed on the SSC to the literature on diverse teachers in universities as well as writing centre research calling for significant changes in how to support plurilingual students in the academy in order to highlight lessons and strategies for equity.</jats:p>
Birds Without Borders
(Upwelling Festival, 2015-10-31)
The project is to create a large-‐scale puppetry event, based on the theme of migratory birds, for the Upwelling parade. The region around Portland is a destination for many migratory bird species because they rely largely on the Bonney Upwelling and the phytoplankton that feeds the marine food web. The message is local as well as global. Through these birds and their flyway, we are directly connected to other parts of the world. The process would be three-‐fold: one part educational, one part artistic, one part performance. The first part of the workshop would be a presentation and discussion about the journey of migratory birds across the globe, and the importance of the Glenelg area as a crucial point on that journey. The second part of the workshop would be puppet-‐making. These large-‐scale puppets would form the focal point of the parade. The last stage of the process, the performance aspect, would be to create a symbolic “flyway” in the town of Portland, mapping out the key points on the birds journey throughout the town, such as Siberia, Mongolia, Taiwan, South East Asia, Broome and the Portland area.
Falling Man – The Virtualization of the Violent Body
(Art Association of Australia and New Zealand, 2015-11-25)
Paul Virilio has noted the lowering of the horizon line in contemporary culture as the vision machine steps into the breach scouting the skies for suspicious vectors and surveying the Earth’s crust for glacial imperfections. At the same time our animal eyes turn away from the skies. We recoil at the violence of the heavens and bend our heads toward the safe glowing virtuality of the black mirror. As the millennium ticks over we are caught in an image loop defined by the vague outlines of the future. It was always a fabricated space, this technological promise, where the image of the body was defined by clean pale fabrics, glistening walls of chrome and pine amidst luminous trails of data. Always on the ground, always safe in the glass vestibule of progress. Our common shared reality is far different however, here the human form is rendered in a more vulnerable state of flux. On the mediated horizon line between the Earth and the atmosphere exists the figure of the falling man. The victim of our romance with vertiginous space and with our technological rush to colonize the air. This redrawing of the human form as an anonymous accomplice of the historical narrative is burnt into the infrastructure of the global network whose very survival is dependent on the repetition and repatriation of the image. This paper seeks to assess the virtualization of this networked body in violent repose – in flight, in space and in descent. Images such as Robert Drew’s photograph of the Falling Man on the morning of September 11 2001, of Commander Stone in Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity and Warhol’s Death and Disaster series which, while fixated with death, also wears the markers of mankind’s doomed quest for verticality. It is indeed as Donna Haraway has observed, a cyborg of convergent renderings, but not as she intended. Rather it is a rerouting of the body in digital form into something that does in fact return to dust – bent and contorted by the bloody mess of machine intervention. The most despairing of images, weary with the weight of Virilio’s accident of technology, is almost imperceptible now behind a shroud of pixels. This magic trick, this cyber-friendly blurring of the machine’s interpretation of the body is now a familiar mode of visual discourse. A deliberate act of obscurification – to protect us, to shield us, to remind us of unspeakable things to push back against the glare of that ominous shimmer on the horizon.
Warhol Goes Social: Art in the Age of Social Media
Today, everyone is a "Creative." With the boom of visually-based social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, technology has leveled the playing field. Does this really change how we define art and creativity? Artistic purists believe these tools cheapen the creative output with seventeen standard filters available to every untrained eye. But in true entrepreneurial spirit, those apps encourage a more democrative view of creativity, allowing user to share their inspiration with their friends and create beauty where it previously would have been impossible. Is there a difference between high-brow and low-brow art in relation to what social media enables everyone to create?
Screengrab7 International New Media Arts Award
We live in contradictory times. Irrespective of our geography we are wedged between the hegemony of entrenched oppositional forces. In a sense, we are the collateral damage of their friction. Of the old rallying against the new, of bold invention and nostalgic yearning, of extreme science and conservative politics, of terror and anti-terror, of social inclusion and those who seek to divide and to conquer. Art endures in between these kinetic forces, lurking at the edges of their chaotic and often destructive interplay. As Jacques Ranciere has observed, “to resist is to adopt the posture of someone who stands opposed to the order of things”. In this space, art – and its protagonists – demonstrate “a willing deference to established forms of domination and exploitation.” Art can resist time, the object of art can persist long after the fight has been won or lost. We put up monuments of art to speak on our behalf when all else has seemingly failed. The act of its creation resists the forces that would seek to oppose its very existence. Such is the oppositional nature of politics, capital and culture. Screengrab7 seeks works that not only interrogate the status quo by resisting the doctrine of their inevitability but also demonstrate that these entrenched systems of control are themselves resistant to change. Resistance can be viewed as both a liberating force and an agent of destabilisation. Resistance can disrupt the flow of information, bend the circuitry, jam the signal and hack the network. If art is a political act, then media art is a technologically enabled one. How can screen based media embody the notion of resistance? As Graham Harman notes, “As philosophers, we're not supposed to be swept along with the Zeitgeist, we’re supposed to be resisting it.” We resist political rhetoric by asking questions of language, of history and of context. We resist surveillance by pointing the camera back at the watchers. We resist the recurring bile of racism, sexism and bigotry by subverting stereotypes by creating new forms of beauty and a more interconnected sense of identity. We resist the predatory nature of capital and the upward linearity of growth and accumulation by challenging notions of value and currency with alternative definitions of wealth and new expressions of personal freedom. For Screenrab7 all forms of resistance will be considered: the politics of resistance, the physics of resistance, the messiness of resistance, and the urgency of resistance. In this age of contradiction – and as Bruce Sterling has observed, of “favela chic and gothic high-tech” – it is the duality of our relationship to the forces of order and control that is under examination here.
The Liquid Electric
(ASU Herberger Institute, 2015-03-28)
The representation of a life sustaining force, either of technological or natural means, has a deep and evocative history in some of our most elaborate cultural fantasies. Embedded in the fictitious dreamscapes of cinema, advertising and media art are the foundational principles of an emergent digital aesthetics of liquid. The art direction is often blue and luminous in tone, it is always found at the core of the film’s novum, and it often takes on a kinetic electrical form. It is as if these cultural artifacts - reaching back to the earliest uses of CGI, such as Disney’s 1982 film Tron and on to more recent Hollywood parables such as A.I. and Avatar – recognize the very Gothic anxiety we hold for our environment in the twilight years of industrialization. Appearing in all manner of image constructions, the liquid electric is presented as the source code - the host, the conductor, the origin – of our very human struggle with technology and evolving notions of artificiality. It has emerged from a place of darkness, this liquid energy, stylized as a predominately luminous surface texture contrasted most commonly against a narrative setting of loss and foreboding. Very much like the anxiety we feel for the contemporary perils of creeping urbanization, of resource exploitation and climate instability, the liquid electric operates in a contested space where the usual laws of physics, logic and nature have become unstable. This light-on-dark aesthetic has a somewhat deeper history. It is a technique once used by the Italian Futurists and the imagineers such as Thomas Edison and Norman Bel Geddes to promote the wonders of technology and electrification – sometimes with troubling and unwanted consequences. However, it is now being exploited by a new breed of digital artisans to foreground the perils of resource scarcity, to question the ubiquity of virtual networks and to interrogate the rise of the machine in a fragile imbalanced ecosystem. Indeed there is a discernible influence of machine vision at work here, and theorists such as Foucault, and, more presently, Paul Virilio and Zygmunt Bauman, have noted its ubiquitous rise. Most certainly it is strongly felt in the data visualizations emerging from the ATLAS observer at CERN, in the animations of NASA and in the marketing iconography of device technology and software, but there is something else at work here too. It is as if this liquid – this essence of life – is speaking, indeed screaming, through our mediated cultural artifacts. Perhaps through our fictions can we truly grasp the gravity of our most dire realities? It would seem that the liquid electric is not just an aesthetic turn or a narrative device but an explicit visual sign – nature’s digital avatar – reminding the audience of the precarity of existence in both the realms of the virtual and the real.
Screen Flow: Cultural Mirroring Through Movement and Ambience
(Melbourne Screen Studies Group, 2017-02-22)
Part visual essay part performance text, Screen Dance will explore the intervention of the screen – the mobile screen / the televised event/ the corner store TV/ the mobile app – in the public life of the city. Yarra Yarra, a Kulin nation meeting place pre-contact; now the site of this metropolis called Melbourne, a grid overlaid on the landscape, is a vertical convergence of glass and steel and glittering light. As a newbie, from the West but mostly from the North, to explore the meandering grid of this urban space is to conduct the rather colonial act of mapping: through a screen. Marking the screen, meeting via the screen and ultimately documenting via the screen. The screen is a now a feature of the cityscape – public, private, commercial. Screens punch holes in the night. Life accompanied by screens, life lived through screens. A merry dance is underway. Through the rain pelted window the glow of the television calls to arms the excited pack – it’s game time! The pearls of contrasting colour speak to history, to territory and to the drama of an evolving mythology brokered by the screen. There’s a stir in the playground tonight, just behind the monkey bars, beneath the crisp clear sky tilted faces glow with electric blue luminance as screens drift and sway in eerie silence. This is not your typical social gathering this is an augmented space. The battle for the King of the Hill is a subdued affair albeit facilitated by a poke, a swipe and a deft flick. They warned me about the 86, the Smith Street trundler has a history they said; well yes, it is certainly a lively affair especially on the fringes of daylight. Yet it is also a carriage of traveling screens of football highlights, of sexting, of LOLs, of earthquakes, of suicide bombings, of bleaching coral, of gum trees, of craft beer recipes and of GIF cats. This is their story as much as it is mine. This city/ this screen/ this blue planet.
The Smith Street Sprawl
(M/C Journal, 2018-12-05)
The 1990s was a strange time to be alive: a saxophone playing U.S. president waltzed into a Cold War vacuum left behind by the crumbling of the Soviet Eastern Bloc, while Gulf War 1.0 was the first mediated war, yet one lacking any meaningful optics - Baudrillard's so-called "weak event". Meanwhile, technology, culture and information was rapidly beginning to coalesce in unexpected ways. The 1990s was more of a feeling than a knowing, there was certainly change afoot and the clock was ticking on a century of acceleration and shrinking horizons. Zygmunt Bauman (Liquid Modernity, 2000) and Paul Virilio (Open Sky, 1997) capture this time from the perspective of the machine's lens and big data's gathering torrents. We were only just beginning to stockpile our algorithmic future. There is of course a strong human element to all of this as well, as domesticity was about to be transformed in ways not seen since the automation of white goods in the 1950s. Installing a telephone line in a new rental was a priority as this was not just a communication device but a gateway to a new digital epoch (chat rooms, conspiracy theories, gaming mods and a seemingly limitless archive of music). Australians, who would become the new suitors of the boom in computer peripherals and digital gadgetry, turned the latent ability to send short text messages from their mobile phones into a new form of digital dialectics. Meanwhile, the cinema was signalling a grave warning of what all of this might mean if we could indeed become virtual, if the machine was in fact alive and information networks consciousness itself. From James Bond confronting a Rupert Murdock/Conrad Black-type media demigod in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), to the digital psychedelics of the millennial rush in Strange Days (1995) to Henry Rollins raging against reality in the William Gibson penned Johnny Mnemonic (1995). These mid-nineties films tapped a rich vein of paranoia around the new vanguard of networked information and computer-generated image making while also expressing - in often garish terms - a deep anxiety about a not-to-distant future crackling into view beyond the millennial divide.
Screengrab6 International Media Arts Award
The rushing up of the Earth from below as we leap into the unknown is a strong pervasive force. The comings and goings of objects, the rhizomatic fever of life – of memories and of perception – is the stuff of both nature and the machine but also the stuff of change – of a compelling need to move forward, at pace. Since the millennium we have been moving away in linear time from the trauma of the 20th century, history accumulating behind us as we hurtle towards an undefined future. Yet there also seems to be a reductive velocity at work, the future appears to be expanding only in our mind’s eye – in the stories we tell ourselves, in the frames of the cinematic moment and the pixels of our most fantastic dreaming. If we stand still long enough the hyper-reality becomes apparent. Information is expanding at an exponential rate – images, sound and text – authoring a new present-future space of mobility, of interconnectedness and most of all of rapid accelerating change. Equal parts chaos and perfection – of truth and of fiction – a dark and light exposure. It is the making of us, this velocity of things. It is both our return to Earth and our mastery of its physics. Our identity and our collective history is fast becoming a vast data repository of machine vision – a rapid prototyping of our future selves. Financial transactions, personal communications, intimate moments exist inside this simulation of machine speed. Artificial intelligence observes, correlates, measures and makes split second decisions on our behalf. Notions of surveillance, fears for our privacy, the dilution of our identity and the voyeuristic connotations of relational databases make up the machine’s vision of us and our world. Can we keep apace of these algorithmic patterns? Can we author new vistas, new dreamscapes, new directions? Meanwhile, history keeps up a steady persistent pace: the image loops, the cogs turn, the velocity increases, and the hyper-real maintains its seductive play.
Mineral Machine Music
(Lumen Prize Exhibition, 2014-10-07)
An audio visual collaboration between geologist Clement Fay and media artist Mitch Goodwin. Mineral Machine Music is a collaborative exploration of the fabric of the earth as seen from the stage of a microscope and the lens of the industrialized city. The work juxtaposes the man made structural textures of the New York cityscape with the geological mineral formations from the South Australian outback. Blending cityscape with substrate Fay & Goodwin compliment the imagery with layers of sonic noise – musical representations of tectonic activity, echoes of the universe from deep space and the groans of the restless earth all juxtaposed against the industrial machine ambiance of a New York City subway.
Media Lab Report
(School of Culture & Communication, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2016-09-16)
The School of Culture and Communication is a large interdisciplinary School with a number of inter-related media, communications, digital humanities, screen studies and journalism programs and research groups requiring high quality media facilities. These programs are growing in global significance as the fields of the humanities, communication disciplines interact with real world issues and contexts. The reputation of the School, commensurate with the University’s ambition to be a world-leading institution, for delivery of high quality teaching and research is currently inhibited by the lack of a dedicated strategy and resource agenda to provide suitable media facilities anywhere on campus. The purpose of this report was to identify the requirements of programs within the Faculty of Arts, to investigate what was available at competitor institutions both in Australia and internationally, to scope existing resources on campus and to identify any possibilities for expansion or refurbishment of appropriate spaces on campus. In addition, it was to recommend courses of action to stage investment in a Media Lab at the University of Melbourne Carlton campus.
Tin Can Blues: Moonage, Earthrise & Bowie
(The University of Melbourne and Deakin University with the support of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation, 2015-07-18)
David Bowie emerged during a period of intense space dreaming, the late 1960s. His multiple personas and genre hopping musical constructions at times took this on directly. His lyrical observation that “planet Earth is blue and there is nothing that I can do” and the NASA Earthrise image were iconic cultural objects of the early environmental movement. This sense of beauty and fragility and helplessness is something we still feel today as the Earth as cultural icon becomes a virtual icon of network culture. In recent years however, our relationship with space has changed, as indeed has our relationship with Bowie. Both have been elusive and curious for some time – Bowie it would seem disappeared along with the Space Shuttle. Today however, the romance has re-emerged as we chase asteroids in slickly produced NASA animations and put robots on Mars. The virtuality of contemporary space exploration mirrors the virtuality of Bowie. Both exist most predominately online, both fulfill a strong nostalgic turn and now Bowie and Apollo and Endeavour are finding a new type of cultural immortality in the exhibition space.