WED 13 SEPTEMBER 2017:: The unstable body and it’s image

diego ramirez & Alexia Kannas


Filmic horror, the monstrous and the body stalk Experimenta Social #12. We will reflect on the image of the body and its deformations, between Italian Giallo horror of the 1970’s and its reformulation by contemporary art.

Join contemporary artist/’Marilyn Manson of the PoC community’ Diego Ramirez and Cinema Studies academic Alexia Kannas for a night of reflection on the ever-unstable body on screen.

About the Speakers

Diego Ramirez is an artist and writer. He works primarily with video and pictures to develop installation projects for gallery contexts. His research-based practice deals with the legacies of colonialism in visual culture. Key areas of interest include the rhetoric of the image; the meaning making of fear and desire; and media mediation. As an artist, he seeks to reconfigure vernacular archives and popular images that embody these themes.

Alexia Kannas lectures in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Her research concerns topics in film genre, cinematic modernism, cult cinema and cross-cultural reception and exchange. She is the author of Deep Red (Columbia University Press/Wallflower, forthcoming 2017) and is currently completing a monograph on the Italian Giallo film for SUNY Press.

About Experimenta Social

Experimenta Social is a series of talks, discussions and tech demos designed to provide proximity to some of Australia’s most adventurous contemporary artists, researchers and creative technologists.

This artist led series is curated by Emile Zile in collaboration with Experimenta and explores practices at the nexus of art with digital media, science and technology and design. You will hear from artists sharing their latest projects, research and experiments that grapple with, and push the boundaries of utilising technological tools and speak to the concerns of our time. Beyond inconsequential debates over the role of media arts in a post-media world. Experimenta Social will combine activated audiences drawn from contemporary art, social research, electronic art and non-professional spheres for lively debate and discussion.

Image credit: Colonial Void of Death, Installation View Courtesy: Diego Ramirez. Photography by Matthew Stanton. Courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery.


WED 12 JUly 2017:: artist-led manufacturing in china

constant dullaart & Robert d. Jordan

What happens when an artist can’t get the product they want? They make it themselves.

This month, Australia’s pre-eminent media arts organisation, Experimenta Media Arts, explores artist-led manufacturing in China.

With more open access to mainland Chinese manufacturing processes, artists are beginning to work directly with factories in Shenzen, Guangzhou and the new territories to develop new tools that are responsive to the needs of their peers. Raising capital using online platforms such as Kickstarter and distributing products from the studio, artists are defining the terms of technology they want rather than being beholden to what’s available to them commercially.

In this Experimenta Social session we talk with New York-based Dutch conceptual artist Constant Dullaart about his DullTech Media Player project and local audio-visual instrument builder Robert D. Jordan on stories from the prototyping lab. (Due to time zone complications, Constant Dullart will be interviewed by Emile Zile via pre-recorded video).

**NeoLiberal Hardware Lulz FTW**

Constant Dullaart

Constant Dullaart is a Dutch conceptual artist whose work is deeply connected to the Internet. He was awarded the Prix Net Art late 2015 with the following jury statement; ““The fluidity of boundaries between artist and tech communities and questions of authorship, virtuosity, and the performativity of art in a mediated environment are an important aspect of the work of the winner of the 2015 Prix Net Art, Constant Dullaart. Dullaart’s work stays firmly yet defiantly within the realm of contemporary art, but from a position profoundly informed by the conditions of new media networks—technical as well as cultural, social, economical, and political networks. Dullaart strives for an honest, respectful, yet unembellished approach to the materials and conditions of the network. At the same time his work is full of humor, wit, and critical commentary.”

Robert D. Jordan

Robert D Jordan is a sound designer, VJ and the product designer and engineer behind Cat Full of Ghosts Electronics (CFOGE). Based in Melbourne CFOGE creates experimental audio and video hardware made with custom-designed PCBs that are used by artists, producers and creative around the world. CFOGE has a focus on creating new ways of interacting live with audio and video, creating new ways to play, manipulate and control sound and video.

Synthesizers and hardware from Cat Full of Ghosts Electronics are in the collections of the Pratt Institute of Film (NYC) and the Princeton Media Department among others.

DATE: Wednesday 12 July 2017, Event starts 6:00pm

LOCATION: ACMI X, 2 Kavanagh St, Southbank (located behind the Art Centre Melbourne).

COST: Free, Book here: https://experimenta-social-10.eventbrite.com.au
Light refreshments provided. 

Experimenta Social is a free event, taking place every second Wednesday of the month (12 April, 10 May, 14 June, 12 July, 9 August, 13 September, 11 October, 8 November 2017), curated by Emile Zile in collaboration with Experimenta Media Arts. Supported by ACMI X.

Image courtesy of Constant DullaartDullTech



The geological imaginary: between a rock and a soft, water based body.

Unpacking the cultures and rituals that humans place around geological forms, presenting artists Amy Spiers and Zoe Scoglio use speculative approaches, hybrid techniques and literary reverse-engineering within their work.

Amy Spiers is a Melbourne-based artist and writer. Her socially-engaged, critical art practice focuses on the creation of live performances, participatory situations and multi-artform installations for both site-specific and gallery contexts. For her recent project, ‘Miranda Must Go’, Amy calls for the acknowledgement of the negative impact of white settlement at Hanging Rock, awakening the true history of the infamous landform.

Zoe Scoglio’s practise unites performance, video, sound and installation to create interdisciplinary, site-specific and participatory work. Playing with notions of time, origin, sentience and morphology, her work engages the varied cultural, political and personal narratives we create about this rock we call home.

Experimenta Social #8 will be a night of reflection on the rock, the language we use about Land and the power of naming and mapping.

DATE: Wednesday 10 May 2017, Doors 6pm / Event starts 6:30pm
LOCATION: ACMI X, 2 Kavanagh St, Southbank (located behind the Art Centre Melbourne).
COST: Free, Book here: www.experimenta-social-8.eventbrite.com.au

Light refreshments provided. 
Experimenta Social is a free event, taking place every second Wednesday of the month (12 April, 10 May, 14 June, 12 July, 9 August, 13 September, 11 October, 8 November 2017), curated by Emile Zile in collaboration with Experimenta Media Arts. Supported by ACMI X.



In an era of purported Fake News, queries on whether we are living in an elaborate computer simulation and the widespread ease in which individuals select recreational sex partners, gender identities and filter bubbles it is appropriate to begin the 2017 season of Experimenta Social with a panel on​ the real and the immersive, ​ virtual reality and its potential. We are seeing a widespread adoption of VR in multiple spheres of creative, commercial and medical use. In this discussion, we will host innovative practitioners in the field to unpack the complexities of VR production, narrative construction and audience activation. Is VR here for the long-term? How do we tell engaging stories in VR? Is there scope for artist-led VR experiences in a commercially oriented industry? What is the potential to use VR storytelling in therapeutic use for mental health?

Presentations lead by Oscar Raby ( VRTOV ) and Dr. Greg Wadley (University of Melbourne), will unpack the complexities of VR production, narrative construction and audience activation. Each speaker will share their unique approach to this quickly developing medium.

Oscar Raby is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at VRTOV, the Melbourne-based Virtual Reality studio behind the projects The Turning Forest, Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel and Assent. In 2013 he completed a Masters degree in Animation and Interactive Media at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where the subject of his research was Portraiture in New Media. His graduating work, the autobiographical Virtual Reality documentary Assent, has been part of Sundance New Frontier, IDFA DocLab and Sheffield Doc/Fest as well as festivals in Australia, Canada, USA, Mexico, the Netherlands and the UK. Assent received the Audience Award for Cross-platform at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Dr Greg Wadley is a Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne working on the application of technology to health and wellbeing in areas such as youth and adult mental health, social connectedness, addiction, health screening and chronic pain. He is interested in the influence of mood-enhancing technologies on culture and society.

DATE: Wednesday 12 April 2017, Doors 6pm / Event starts 6:30pm
LOCATION: ACMIx, 2 Kavanagh St, Southbank (located behind the Art Centre Melbourne).
Light refreshments provided. 

This project is supported by ACMIx.

Image by VRTOV.



The final Experimenta Social in the series, we invited Philip Brophy and Eugenia Lim to reflect on Australian identity, place and belonging. Using pop cultural forms as a lens to view Australian society, both Eugenia and Phil uncover latent meanings and interpretations through their video works, writing and installation. Expanding on his AFTRS Classics of Australian Cinema book that uses Priscilla Queen of the Desert as a map of Australian identity, Philip Brophy will deliver an expanded illustrated version of this book.

Philip Brophy: After a series of experimental mixed-media works exhibited in art and non-art contexts over many years, Philip Brophy has consolidated his interests to produce a range of audiovisual works focussing on his key interests in pop, sex and music. Brophy continues to lecture and present on film sound and music internationally, specializing in horror, sex & exploitation, film sound & music and Japanese animation. He is widely published in all three areas, and his book 100 MODERN SOUNDTRACKS has been translated and published in Japan. http://www.philipbrophy.com

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist who works across video, performance and installation. Interested in how nationalism and stereotypes are formed, Lim invents personas to explore the tensions of an individual within society: alienation and belonging in a globalised world. http://www.eugenialim.com

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.

Image: Phllip Brophy, courtesy of the artist.


WED 12th october 2016 :: words

Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill deal with words, words as objects, words as recombinative forms. The internet and the street have conflicting voices, a sense of lawlessness, a place for infinite recombination and juxtaposition. Both these artists reflect the autonomous zones of the club, the artist-run initiative and the street in their writings, performances and installations. We are proud to invite Holly Childs and Christopher LG Hill to reflect on the impact of writing over networks, language as power, the power of networked speech at Experimenta Social 5.

Christopher LG Hill __________laces on shoes then some words biodegradable people of such in places hard ruptures some other words including Christopher L G Hill an artist untitled poet unknown everythings anarchist Y3K ignorant teacher porpoise torture bunyip trax collaborator friend facilitator curator lover anti power dexta daps falling words scrolling noise wall gardener monochrome co-label boss walking sips a homebody mirriad dancer plate and platter considerate participator dishwasher wind and sounds from the currawong graffiti bencher fine food eater exhibitions tweeter @clghill moorhenrafft fog fatiguée dj cognitive labour/gunic slack conversation comas or spittle independent representing our self and others born melbourne 1980c.e lives World new tab and window shopper expel binary dialog dispersed library open doors

Holly Childs is a writer and editor. Her work explores the use of digital networks in contemporary culture. Recent presentations of her work include: as art writer within Adam Linder’s choreographic service Some Proximity at MCA, Biennale of Sydney (2016); Danklands [Swamped in 3 voices] for Capitalist Surrealism curated by Liquid Architecture at NGV, Melbourne (2015) and as curator of both Quake II, Arcadia Missa, London (2014) and waterfalls.biz at Slopes, Melbourne (2014). She is the author of two books: Danklands, published by Arcadia Missa and No Limit, published by Hologram, Melbourne. She was an Associate Producer at Next Wave 2015-16, and founding editor of Next Wave’s online publication Worm Hole. In 2016-18 she is a Gertrude Contemporary studio holder.

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.

Image: wall, wall, wall, no entertainment, nothing but wall.  Christo Crocker 2016



In the fourth Experimenta Social session we dive into working with community in the creation of artwork. What is the potential of working with non-artists in large-scale community work? Where are the fault lines between stakeholders, funding organisations, venues and audiences? Are distinctions between expert, artist and non-artist valid? What are the ethics of participation in the realm of the non-expert? How are new approaches to social practice being defined by leading practitioners in the field? We are proud to present the work of two independent Australian artists who also have elaborate and sustained engagement with the non-artist, James Hullick and Lara Thoms.

Lara Thoms recently received a two year Creative Australia Fellowship to explore site-specific and participatory possibilities in contemporary art. Lara was commissioned to create a large scale public work Ultimate Vision: Monuments to Us as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s C3WEST program, a publication of the same title was released by the MCA in 2014. Other works include ‘Exposition’ for the Melbourne Art Fair with Jason Maling, ‘The Experts Project’, (2011- 2013) where she spoke with 150 ‘unofficial experts’ as part of Local Positioning Systems at the MCA, and the ‘Funeral Party’ (2016), working with a funeral director to create an art event for Dark Mofo. http://projectswithpeople.tumblr.com/

James Hullick is a composer, community arts worker, sound artist and producer. His projects have been presented internationally for a variety of ensembles and electronic formats. Innovative sonic terrains that James continues to work through include: recursive compositional techniques, perceptual music making, real time scores, sound making machines and community arts projects. In 2011 James founded The Click Clack Project, an organisation that combines community sonic artists with professional sonic artists. James recently completed a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. He was awarded an Australia Council Fellowship (2015) and received the Michael Kieran Harvey Piano Scholarship (2015-16). http://www.hullickmedia.com/

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.

Image: Lara Thoms A Singular Phenomenon 2015. Photographer Bryony Jackson



The acceleration of networked communication has led to a proliferation of platforms for distribution and dissemination of knowledge. How do the disruptive efficiencies of digital distribution play against hundreds of years of copyright legislation that has known authorship and publishing in a very narrow channel? Where do the cracks in appear when a digital platform leverages its speed and efficiency against the monoliths of cultural gate-keeping? We are very happy to host Sean Dockray in the upcoming Experimenta Social to present alternative platforms for knowledge dissemination including aaaarg.org and The Public School.

Sean Dockray is a Melbourne-based artist, a founding director of the Los Angeles non-profit Telic Arts Exchange, and initiator of autonomous knowledge-sharing platforms The Public School and aaaarg.org. With a focus on social systems, time, and impermanence, Dockray’s practice often emphasizes an active, critical engagement with technology. As a recent research fellow the Post-Media Lab at Leuphana University, he explored the physical infrastructure of the sharing economy, focusing on Facebook’s new northern European datacenter. His written essays address topics such as online education (Frieze), the militarization of universities (in Contestations: Learning from Critical Experiments in Education), property within “the cloud” (in Undoing Property), book scanning (Fillip), traffic control (Cabinet), and radio (Volume). Between a BSE in Civil Engineering and Architecture from Princeton University and an MFA from UCLA (Design|Media Arts), Dockray worked for Plumb Design in New York and consulted for a variety of cultural producers including Laura Kurgan Architecture, the Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Not a Cornfield public artwork, and the Milosevic trial video archive.

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.



Uniting dramatic energy and new media technologies is not a new challenge. Artists have consistently explored the overlap of technology and drama. From Italian Futurists privileging the new sounds of 1910s new media, namely the car and the machine gun, to 1960s developments around democratised broadcast technologies and the opening of video art to the body as exemplified by Nam-June Paik and Charles Atlas.

Working at the intersections of performance, installation and new technology Martyn Coutts and Matthew Sleeth will unpack their elaborate individual practices and delve into what rehearsal decisions make technology invisible, how do technical advances drive creative decision making and what is the potential for media art on stage.

Matthew Sleeth is an Australian artist living and working between Melbourne and New York City. His conceptually driven practice uses a range of media, including sculpture, photography, video and public installation. In 2015 Sleeth directed A Drone Opera which featured unmanned aerial vehicles in an experimental multimedia performance featuring drones, their pilots and opera singers, combined with a new sound score, laser light design and moving image. A Drone Opera also featured collaborators Kate Richards, Robin Fox, Phil Samartzis, Susan Frykberg. http://sleeth.info

Martyn Coutts is an award winning Australian interdisciplinary artist concerned with ideas of the live, the interactive and the mediated body. His work has been shown in theatres, online, public space & galleries throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. His works include Operation, Computer Boy and I Think I Can with Blood Policy, the Wayfarer series of works with Kate Richards, Thrashing Without Looking with Aphids, Visible City (the keynote project of 2010 Melbourne Fringe) & SAC35 for Salamanca Arts Centre. http://www.martyncoutts.com

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.

Image:  “I think I can premier” Sydney Central Station 2013 courtesy Martyn Coutts



Citt Williams is currently a PhD candidate at the Digital Ethnography Research Centre RMIT and is researching the behaviour of global systems such as climate change, animal migration and ecosystem modification. With a background in filmmaking, policy development and environmental science she has developed and shot independent documentaries in India, Nepal, Tajikistan, Siberia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, France, Borneo and Australia. From 2003-2005, Citt was the Executive Producer at the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association. http://teacup.net.au/citt-williams/

Joe Hamilton is a Melbourne-based artist working at the intersections of big data, global imaging and Capitalist Realism. Hamilton is part of a new movement of post-photographic artists that have less use for a camera than a database. Sourcing raw material from stock photography, open source mapping data and industrial 3D scanning techniques, Hamilton’s work uncovers a sense of contemporary visuality that privileges machine processing over the lens’ humanist inheritance. http://www.joehamilton.info/

This project is supported by the Besen Family Foundation and the City of Melbourne, and presented in conjunction with ACMIx.

Image: courtesy Emile Zile, artwork by Joe Hamilton, Ikea Roof Terrace 2014


APP now available!

Created by artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole, and programmer Warren Armstrong, A Galaxy of Suns is large-scale choral work and associated smart phone app that ‘plays’ the stars as they rise and set over 360˚ of the horizon – for any location on Earth. Operating on a galactic scale this project is a collaboration across contemporary art, music, astronomy and design.  A Galaxy of Suns works with the native potentials of smart device technology to create a unique experience of the cosmos accessible to audiences wherever they find themselves in the world.

Tracking the Earth’s motions through space, A Galaxy of Suns documents in real-time the audience’s precise position in relation to the stars, sonifying stellar data to create a sound and visual composition unique to their location in space and time.  Using the GPS data automatically recorded by smart phones and operational without network access, the project works with parameters such as location on the horizon, brightness, size, age and chemical composition of stars, and translates them into sonic and aesthetic variables including rhythm, pitch, volume, panning, colour and light intensity. 

If you are in Bristol on the 8th September you can experience A Galaxy of Suns as part of the Bristol Biennial 2016: In Other Worlds. Buy tickets here.

A Galaxy of Suns – The Performance premiered at Dark Mofo at Dark Park, Hobart, on the 10th and 11th June 2016. 

Download your version here:

iOS  https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/a-galaxy-of-suns/id1124035028?ls=1&mt=8

Android  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.agalaxyofsuns.general

For more information visit http://www.agalaxyofsuns.net, http://darkmofo.net.au/a-galaxy-of-suns/

Produced in association with Experimenta Media Arts

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
This project is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.

Image courtesy Michaela Gleave and Anna Pappas Gallery Melbourne.

A DRONE OPERA – Matthew Sleeth

A Drone Opera premiered to sell-out audiences at Arts House at Meatmarket, Melbourne, on 10-13 September 2015. For enquiries about future performances and touring, please contact us.

“A Drone Opera, an exciting high-tech, high-art spectacle”  Andrew Fuhrmann, Realtime Issue 129, 2015

A Drone Opera viscerally explores the rapidly developing technology of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), colloquially known as drones, and their social and cultural impact. Artist Matthew Sleeth directs an experimental multimedia performance featuring drones, their pilots and opera singers, combined with a new sound score, laser light design and moving image.

Feeling the drones’ air displacement and hearing their rotor sound, audiences will experience this robotic technology first hand, shifting their knowledge of drones from political abstraction into embodied experience in time and space. Curious about their potential to re-shape our world, Sleeth has designed, built and programmed customised drones specifically for the performance context.

Sleeth’s largest work to date, A Drone Opera featured an inspiring line-up of collaborators, including experimental artists Kate Richards, Robin Fox, Phil Samartzis and Susan Frykberg, lighting designer Bosco Shaw and choreographer Shelley Lasica.

A Drone Opera was performed at Arts House, Meatmarket, Melbourne, 10-13 September, 2015.

Unique theatrical spectacle, unleashing a new world of possibilities for fusing art and technology”
Cameron Woodhead, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 September, 2015

“We’re at the interface between technology and art, between two types of creativity: scientific invention and its aesthetic inflection”
Andrew Fuhrmann, Realtime Issue 129, 2015

“A piece of innovative theatre making bold attempts to transport its viewers to a dystopian fantasy”
Tom Beasley, Theatre People 2015