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Centre for Contemporary
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Is Photography Global?
Presented by the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University
What are the relations involved in the global production of photographs? In what ways are new technologies influencing, shaping or impinging on these relations? Does photography have a specific place in globalisation? Are some kinds of photography more global than others?
Is Photography Global? aims to begin an international conversation among critics, historians and practitioners of photography on global thinking within the discipline.
Paul James (Director of the Globalism Institute, RMIT), Natalie King (curator/ writer) and Matthew Sleeth (artist) will discuss issues around the global production, distribution and local reception of photographs. Led by David Bate(University of Westminster, London) and Daniel Palmer (Monash University, Melbourne).
Download David Bate's introduction recording MP3, 6.4MB
Download Paul James' lecture recording MP3, 13.5MB
Download Natalie King's lecture recording MP3, 14.5MB
Download Matthew Sleeth's lecture recording MP3, 10.1MB
TARYN SIMON: HIDDEN AND IN PLAIN VIEW
Presented by the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University
In Australia there is a significant lack of knowledge regarding early Australian video artworks and an audience faces substantial difficulties in accessing these works and tracing the history and leitmotifs that connect them. American theorist Fredric Jameson described this as the 'disappearance of history' — the way in which our society is losing the capacity to retain its own past and has begun to live in a perpetual present. Jameson blamed electronic images like these because, in his opinion, they represent a paradox for memory and history as they connote the immediate instead of the past.
Video Void will re-engage the audience with important historical Australian video artworks from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s through a series of lectures and parallel screening programs. These works have been loaned from Australian collections and archives such as the Australian Video Art Archive, National Gallery of Australia and Griffith Artworks. Our aim is to draw attention to the seminal works of Australian artists, which would otherwise remain lost in time.
Convened by Matthew Perkins, Studio Coordinator of Photomedia in the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University and Dr Elena Galimberti, research assistant for the Australian Video Art Archive in the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University.
1. MATTHEW PERKINS, MONASH UNIVERSITY
2. IAN HAIG, RMIT
DARREN TOFTS, SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
In his paper Archive Fever (1998) Jacques Derrida suggests that the archive is motivated by a need to discover the seminal historical moment, as a way of owning those initial times in history. So while the archive can be seen as an institution dedicated to issues of preservation, storage and retrieval, it is also motivated by a need to capture and own those moments in history. This knowledge may affect our translation of events and objects that occurred after and indeed before those archived artifacts were created.
In the context of video art in Australia identifying that 'historical moment' is not without its problems, primarily because documenting this history has been somewhat neglected. In Australia in the 1970s video was marked by its experimental pluralism with a variety of approaches to the medium, for example: commenting on the social or political; documenting performances; and exploring the synthetic potential of the video image and television as a mass-media icon. This lecture will trace a number of these important historical threads through the 1970s and highlight the importance of accessing these works via archives and collections.
Matthew Perkins' video and photographic works have been included in exhibitions such as Testing Ground, Melbourne; Figuratively Speaking: The Figure in Contemporary Video Art, Brisbane; Stranger Geography, Italy; and Skin Alive, Canberra and Melbourne. He has also curated a number of exhibitions such as Vernacular Terrain, China, Japan, Australia; Anxious Bodies, Melbourne, Hobart; and Unsharp/Unconscious, Brisbane, Launceston. He has contributed to a number of publications including The International Journal of the Humanities and When You Think About Art: The Ewing & George Paton Galleries 1971–2008. With Professor Anne Marsh he founded the Australian Video Art Archive in 2006 — a project dedicated to the archiving and distribution of Australian video and performance art. www.videoartchive.org.au
Download Matthew Perkins' lecture recording MP3, 13.2MB
A cultural shift occurred in terms of video art in the 1980s with the introduction of the domestic VHS video recorder, the first video libraries, and the ability to record and cut up appropriated material — the seeds of an early remix culture. At this time, developments in technology with the introduction of digital systems such as the Fairlight Computer Video Instrument and Amiga computers saw the early hybridisation of video which lead to new funding initiatives to support video and emerging technology.
There was also a shift in the critical reception of video art, as the practice became contextualised within 'screen culture' and less within the space of the gallery due to theatrical screenings of artwork at festivals such as the Australian Video Festival.
Ian Haig works at the intersection of visual arts and media arts. His work explores the strangeness of everyday reality and focuses on the themes of the human body, transformation and psychopathology. His work has been exhibited in galleries and video/media festivals around the world, including exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. In addition his animation and video works have screened in over 120 festivals internationally. In 2003 he received a fellowship from the New Media Arts Board of the Australia Council. He is currently undertaking a PhD on the abject and uncanny in contemporary media arts practice.
Download Ian Haig's lecture recording MP3, 25.7MB
In his book Mutant Media (2007) John Conomos discusses the possibility of a reclusive narrative, a narrative yet to be written. That narrative, of local video art in Australia, remains as elusive today as it was in 1994, when Nicholas Zurbrugg asked a similar question. Zurbrugg was writing on the cusp of the emerging paradigm of interactive media art, Conomos at a time when the fervour of new media had all but disappeared. Perhaps somewhere between these two poles of anticipation and longing we may find some answers to a persistent question, but also to the question of why we keep asking it in the first place: why is the history of Australian video art as yet unwritten?
Darren Tofts is Professor of Media and Communications at Swinburne University of Technology. He is a well-known cultural critic who writes regularly for a range of national and international publications on issues to do with cyberculture, new media arts and critical and cultural theory. His work appears regularly in publications such as Photofile, RealTime, Rhizomes and Scan Journal of Media Arts Culture. His books include Memory Trade: A Prehistory of Cyberculture (with artist Murray McKeich), Parallax: Essays on Art, Culture and Technology and Interzone: Media Arts in Australia. He is currently working on a book project with Stelarc on the history of the body.www.darrentofts.net
Download Darren Toft's lecture recording MP3, 45.8MB
Presented in conjunction with The Australian Centre, The University of Melbourne.
1. Jirra Lulla Harvey
2. Wendy Red Star
Jirra Lulla Harvey looks at Bindi Cole's photographic series Not Really Aboriginal in relation to the history of Blackface performance in Australia. Underpinned by the question of light skinned Aboriginal identity, this paper draws parallels between government led assimilation policies and minstrel performance, both of which claim the right to classify another's racial identity.
Jirra Lulla Harvey is an advocate for Indigenous self-representation in the arts and media industries. She focused her studies on representations of ethnicity in popular culture and the creation of racial stereotypes that permeate contemporary Australian life. She has worked in Aboriginal education and youth affairs, while gaining experience as a freelance curator, arts writer and journalist.
Wendy Red Star grew up on the Crow Indian Reservation in south central Montana, USA. She is half Crow Indian and half Irish American. Red Star's art explores her cultural and ethnic hybridity—the notion of navigation and negotiation between the two worlds she occupies. Working across different media including photography, installation and sculpture, Red Star will discuss her practice.
Wendy Red Star (BFA from Montana State University and MFA in sculpture, UCLA) currently lives in Portland, Oregon where she is an adjunct professor at Portland State University. Exhibitions include Helen E. Copeland Gallery, Bozeman, Montana; the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; Museum Tower at MOCA, Los Angeles; UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; Laura Bartlett Gallery, London; and Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles.
Download Wendy Red Star's lecture recording MP3, 30.2MB
CCP presents an evening of lectures by astrophysicist Professor Jeremy Mould and scientific photographer David Malin as part of the exhibition Event Horizon. These leading authorities discuss the phenomenon of black holes, space travel and the seemingly impossible task of documenting the parameters of our universe.
David Malin is a British-born astronomical photographer who between 1975 and 2001 worked at the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Sydney. His training and previous career in chemistry enabled him to pioneer methods—including ‘malinization’—of radically enhancing faint photographic images of distant galaxies and other celestial phenomena, greatly increasing the information obtainable from them. Malin has had a galaxy and a minor planet named after him. Among his many publications are Colours of the Stars (1984, with Paul Murdin) and A View of the Universe (1993).
Download David Malin's lecture recording MP3, 44.1MB
Jeremy Mould gained his PhD from the Australian National University and held postdoctoral positions at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Observatories of the Carnegie Institute of Washington. He joined the Caltech faculty in 1982. He returned to Australia in 1992, where he became Director of Mount Stromlo & Siding Spring Observatories. He was Director of the US National Optical Astronomy Observatories from 2001–2007. He is now Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Physics.
Download Jeremy Mould's lecture recording MP3, 18.2MB
Centre for Contemporary Photography in association with the Faculty of Art & Design at Monash University is pleased to announce a lecture by leading UK based academic and curator Liz Wells on the topic of topographic narratives in relation to photography.
The authority of topographic photography derives primarily from the integrity of photographers as researchers exploring land and environment. Reference will be made to work by practitioners from Europe and USA including Olafur Eliasson (Denmark), Doris Frohnapfel (Germany), Mark Klett (USA), Ingrid Pollard (UK) and Jem Southam (UK).
Liz Wells writes and lectures on photographic practices. She is editor of The Photography Reader, 2003 and of Photography: A Critical Introduction, 2009, 4th ed.; also co-editor of Photographies, Routledge Journals. Land Matters: Landscape Photography, Culture and Identity, is due for publication in 2010. Other publications on landscape include Liz Wells, Kate Newton and Catherine Fehily, eds., Shifting Horizons, Women's Landscape Photography Now, 2000. Wells' recent curatorial projects include Uneasy Spaces, 80 Washington Square East Galleries 2006 and Facing East, Contemporary Landscape Photography from Baltic Areas, UK tour 2004 – 2007. She is Professor in Photographic Culture, Faculty of Arts, University of Plymouth, UK, and convenes the research group for Land/Water and the Visual Arts.