Experimenta Make Sense in Melbourne – Wrap Up
Experimenta Make Sense: International Triennial of Media Art finished it’s run at RMIT Gallery on November 11 2017.
The exhibition, which featured over 20 leading national and international artists attracted thousands of people to the exhibition and public programs. Before the exhibition hits the road in 2018, here are some highlights from our time in Melbourne.
Experimenta Make Sense. Photo by Theresa Harrison Photography. Featuring artwork: ‘Access Remote Fervour’ by Ella Barclay (2017).
The exhibition officially launched on Thursday October 4 2017 with a packed opening at RMIT Gallery. We welcomed artists, VIPs, partners and supporters and members of the public to be some of the first to be immersed in the artworks.
A beautiful array of coloured taped patterns covered the foyer staircase on which our opening night speakers launched the exhibition. Created by participants that joined artist Briony Barr in a rule-based interactive workshop the day before, the project was an excellent backdrop.
We were lucky enough to hear from guest speakers including RMIT Gallery Director Suzanne Davies, Experimenta’s Artistic Director Jonathan Parsons and our exhibition co-curator, President of the Experimenta Board Vito Giudice, and RMIT University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor Calum Drummond.
In addition to the exhibition itself, Experimenta held several public programs for all ages, built around the theme of ‘Make Sense’. Programs and events included artist-lead talks, curated tours, interactive artwork sessions, a Mixed Realities – VR & AR Symposium, a special Experimenta Up Late session and more. You can see the full list of public programs here.
Andrew Styan,Catch Your Breath, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist © the artist.
Outside of the RMIT Gallery, Experimenta Makse Sense engaged with audiences and creative organisations to further explore the exhibition themes.
Catch Your Breath by Newcastle artist Andrew Styan was located at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, which invited people to see their breath in a way they had never experienced before. By breathing into a tank of water, high-speed flash photography captured these exquisite moments. View the full archive of photos captured here.
Steve Berrick’s Hello Future Self was a pop-up interactive installation that invited young artists to creatively contribute their own drawings to a live-animated scene. First showing as part of Footscray Community Art Centre’s School Holiday Arts Program, it also travelled to 100 Story Building, Library on the Dock and then finally finding a home within the RMIT Gallery.
We were also excited to present a range of artist talks and artwork presentations with our event partners ACMI X. As part of our Experimenta Social series, artists Elizabeth Willing and Cat Jones provided an insight into embodied art made for multiple senses. In addition to this, we co-presented with ACMI X, in collaboration with VRCC, a full day symposium that explored virtual and augmented reality technology encouraging conversations about artistic possibilities and ways these new platform are impacting our social roles and responsibilities.
Description Victoria tour, November 2017. Photo by Matto Lucas. Featuring artwork: ‘Moving from the Binary’ by Robert Andrew.
This year we were pleased to partner with Description Victoria, making the exhibition more accessible to those who are blind or have low vision. A special guided tour took place with audio describers leading attendees around the gallery, which allowed for a full sensory exploration of the artworks that highlighted sound and touch.
Audio description recordings will be available online as the exhibition tours around Australia.
This year Australian Teachers of Media were on board again to create a special guide for primary and high school students. The guide is a great way for teachers to engage their students in the exhibition asking pertinent questions and encouraging them to interact with the artworks in new and interesting ways. The guide is available online here.
Now that the exhibition has closed in Melbourne, we are working hard to get Experimenta Make Sense ready to hit the road. We’ll be touring national in 2018 and 2019, with our first stop being to Newcastle’s The Lock Up Gallery. You can see full tour dates here.
If you’re in Melbourne you won’t miss out. We’ll still be programming great events in the city including our regular Experimenta Social and more, so stay tuned.